Sometimes, spontaneous decisions are the best. That’s how I ended up in Genoa, the capital of Liguria. I was in Barcelona and wanted to travel on by ferry. My destination was Marseille, but there was no boat going there. Instead, the next one leaving was heading to Genoa and I didn’t hesitate for a moment. What a find.
If you like Florence, you’ll enjoy Genoa too. Equally beautiful Renaissance buildings, but more compact and all around a pedestrian zone, shopping arcades to rival Milan, a relaxed student atmosphere, splendid food and of course, the added delight of being a port town. For a more in depth story visit here.
Next stop was colorful Cinqueterre. But culture, natural beauty and history isn’t all that you can enjoy in Liguria. You can also pamper yourself rotten and emerge rejuvenated from one of several excellent spas.
Here are 3 healing activities in Liguria that will sooth your mind and soul:
The sulphurous thermal baths in Pigna, the ferrous water at Eira and the alkaline water at Acquasanta in the Western Riviera are the most famous thermal baths in Liguria.
The thermal establishments of the Pigna thermal baths exploit the semi-warm, sulphurous waters that gush out from the spring at 30-32°C.
Beauty treatments and every type of massage are available, including assisted underwater massages, plantar reflexology, stone therapy, Ayurvedic massages, lymphatic drainage and shiatsu massage.
You’ll find the Eira Thermal Baths in Diano Castello. The water has an elevated iron concentration with anti-stress, anti-inflammatory and rehabilitative properties. The naturally occurring Eira clay is produced in the spring.
Just a stone’s throw from Genoa are the Acquasanta thermal baths. There is a wellness centre and beauty farm, with hammam, calidarium and relaxation. The Acquasanta establishment has a covered swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a vascular run with a Kneipp bath, which is useful for venous and circulatory problems.
Spas and wellness centres in Liguria are a must. The Arnaldi Colony behind the Portofino Mountain was founded as a House of Health, in a splendid park where traditional treatments are practised alongside modern techniques of relaxation.
There are many wellbeing hotels in Liguria, such as the Grand Hotel del Mare in Bordighera, with a spa-living room, saunas and emotional showers. In Finale Ligure there is the green resort of Relais il Casale which boasts a Turkish bath in a cave.
The Hotel Caravelle in Diano Marina offers seaweed packs, massages and sea peeling. Visit the Grand Hotel’s wellness centre in Arenzano. In Alassio the Grand Hotel Mediterranee has an avant-garde spa. In Lerici the Hotel Shelley has various treatments including Finnish sauna, and the Grand Hotel Portovenere has a tepidarium, Jacuzzi tub and various treatments are available.
Discover wellbeing in the valleys and parks of the Ligurian hinterland. Holiday farms with wellness centres, offer an organic holiday that blends nature with wellbeing.
Valcrosa, a holiday farm in Diano Aretino is just a few kilometres from the beaches, with a wellness centre and swimming pool. In the same village is the Ada Musso Farm, where you can bathe in the lake. In Garlenda, you can stay at Tre Case to enjoy nature, the sauna and relax in the swimming pool.
To the east there is the Anhydrous Holistic Centre in Borzonasca with the holiday farm Il Mulino, while in Varese Ligure, in the organic La Spezia, you can immerse yourself in the wellness centre of Risveglio Naturale, a holiday farm immersed in nature. In Levanto, Costa di Faraggiana has a wellness centre with a swimming pool; while in Riccò in the Gulf of Poets there is Cinque Terre tra il filo di Arianna, surrounded by greenery.
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Situated in northwest Italy, Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera. The long and narrow coastal region is recognized for its capital Genoa, the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Cinque Terre villages and for being the home of pesto. Liguria, the perfect blend of authenticity and relaxation, is renowned for its incredible beaches, beautifully preserved medieval villages, stunning mountains and unique cuisine.
What stops you from heading to stunning Liguria this summer?