I've spent my last few years quite confused with the idea of spas. So, I did some research and found the reason for my consternation. Italian spas are much different than American spas.
Health spas in America are mainly devoted to beauty and diet, usually to get you to eat less to achieve the pencil-thin body that doesn't need to be Photoshopped to make you think you're beautiful (or handsome). In spas like Terme Tettuccio, the idea is to ingest the right mineral-laden waters that bubble up from springs on or near the spa property in an environment that's relaxing and conducive to healing.
Music is part of the process, as is eating lightly while you're getting your body in balance.
About Terme Tettuccio
Terme Tettuccio is one of several spas set in a park inside the town of Montecatini Terme. The Tettuccio spring is on the property; the name Tettuccio refers to the little roof found over the spa's source when the spa was being built to its modern configuration.
Terme Tettuccio doesn't do massages, baths, or other treatments associated with the other thermal spas found in Montecatini Terme. Here it's about drinking the waters.
Four sources are "served" at the spa:
- Leopoldina Waters - "indicated for the treatment of cronic constipation. Normal bowel function is generally restored whenever treatment cycles are spaced at 4/6 month intervals."
- Regina Waters - "restores a regular bile flow from the liver to the bowels and are useful in the case of hepatic an bladder disorders."
- Tettuccio Waters - "effective in the depurative process of the liver, and can help reduce cholesterol levels."
- Rinfresco Waters - The "diuretic waters favor the process of waste elimination through the urinary system as well as the restoration of normal saline levels after prolonged sports activities."
(Material quoted from Terme di Montecatini S.p.A brochure available from the tourist office in Montecatini Terme on Viale Verde 41)
Recommended Treatment: How to Take the Waters
If you are looking for a specific cure, you will want to schedule a visit to a doctor at the spa. A doctor's visit is not absolutely necessary for casual visits.
A twelve day cycle twice a year is recommended. You enter and pay the fee at the spa. They'll give you a glass and you'll take the waters in the morning, and follow with a walk around the grounds of the spa. You should eat lightly during the cure stage. Music is a part of the therapy as it lowers stress, allowing the body to heal. There is even shopping therapy available (yes, a rise in serotonin is seen in women as they shop, and unfortunately, a rise of adrenalin is seen in men). You can go sighseeing in the day, and return later in the afternoon.
If you just want to see what it's all about, there is an afternoon tourist visit available for around €6.
For current prices for all the spa treatments at spas in Montecatini Terme, see the Terme di Montecatini web site.
How to get to Montecatini Terme
It's easy to get to Montecatini from Florence as Montecatini Terme has two train stations (and is near the A11 Autostrada). The link above takes to to an interactive map where you can see how to get to Montecatini from anywhere.
Places to Stay
There are many hotels in Montecatini Terme. The competition makes the budget hotels a good value, especially during the off season.
Terme Tettuccio Virtual Tour
See pictures: Terme Tettuccio in Montecatini Terme