After a week of hiking in Cinque Terre and biking in Lucca, we trim down to the basics of living the sweet life at a thermal springs outside of Lucca. We change into white robes as we enter the caves of Grotta Giusti in Monsumanno, Italy. My mind and body crave this gentle ‘steam bath’ to relax, and release toxins.
This is a surreal passage into another time, as less than a dozen of us enter a beautiful series of softly-lit caves. The temperature is a warm 93 degrees Farenheit, 34 degrees Celcius, (lower than our 98.6 body temperature). To my surprise, it is odor-free. We silently walk into different sections of the caves, called Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. We sit in deck chairs in this mysterious other worldly womb of the earth, surrounded by ceilings and walls of beautiful minerals and rock formations.
Away from our normal routine of life, we relax into the silence to RETREAT, REPLENISH and REJUVENATE.
Next, we change into our bathing suits and walk outside to immerse in the large mineral rich thermal pool, where we swim and float, then make our way over to the underwater hydro-massage seats inside the edges of the pool. Like the caves, the temperature is a steady 93 degrees Fahrenheit, 34 degrees Celcius. We move in and out of the pool, sit poolside on the lounge chairs, and enjoy delicious food and drinks at the poolside restaurant.
Grotta Giusti was discovered in 1849 when some miners saw hot steam rising from the ground while working on the Giusti Family land. The thermal waters contain bicarbonate, sulphate, chloride, calcium and magnesium. The water feels soft, smooth and like the cave, odor-free. Surrounded by beautiful hillsides, I close my eyes and float on my back. Another beautiful spot in Italy that nourishes.
I arrived in Monsumanno from Lucca. The train ride from Lucca to Montacatini Terme takes 25 minutes. Outside the train station, I use my cell phone to call a taxi that costs 20 Euros for a 10 minute ride to Grotta Giusti in Monsummano. The phone number is posted on a sign in front of the station. Although not always at convenient times, Grotta Giusti Spa sends a van to the train station at designated times 3 times a day for pickups and departures from the spa.
What spas have you visited in Italy? Want to join me in September, 2013 for my Italy Retreat for Women?
Note: I have not included photos of Grotta Giusti Spa as they do not allow photos taken of their pool and cave area. Please see their website for photos.