About This Project

Salus per aquam, or SPA. This acronym was coined by the Romans, frequent visitors of spas and profound connoisseurs of the benefits of their waters so as to transform them into places not only for well-being, but also for social life. A very ancient tradition, therefore, that linked to the thermal waters that, given the hydro-geological conformation of Italy, offers the possibility to perform aesthetic and curative treatments in over 380 centers in 20 regions.
Today the classic spa is a concept of a holiday focused on health and relaxation with deep roots in Italian tradition and culture. From the Romans to the Belle Epoque, a stay at the spa has always been synonymous with healthy walks and good social life. A history that led the country, after the economic boom, to discover the concept of relaxation, still unknown to workers and peasants, accustomed to conceiving life as work and effort. In the ‘60s a huge cultural phenomenon developed: the social thermalism of the mutual companies.

In the ’70s and ‘80s thermalism lived its moment of glory, with hundreds of thousands of people who, taking advantage of the reimbursement from the National Health Service, crowded into the spa towns every year. For example, this is the story of Chianciano, which after the golden years spent hosting Federico Fellini and Luigi Pirandello, has faced a period of crisis since the 1990s, helplessly witnessing the decline in visitors. The competition from the ultramodern Spas was ruthless. The restrictive measures adopted by the National Health Service, which in the late 1980s had eliminated the special leave for spa treatments, had done the rest. A common destiny for many other Italian spas like those of Fiuggi, Montecatini or Salsomaggiore Terme. From 1960 to 1980, in the thermal parks, there were an average of 1.5 million entrances a year. Today, entrances to the baths are on average 350-370 thousand.

The crisis of traditional thermalism started in the early 90s; since then, within a decade, a new way of conceiving the spa stay has been developed based not only on the idea of ​​treatment but of prevention, and shifting the attention from illness to health, from a healthcare vision, that considered treatment as therapy, to a holistic one, for the achievement of a psycho-physical well-being. Italy is the fifth country in the world for the number of thermal springs. It is one of the most sought after destinations for wellness trips, thanks to free spa resorts and luxury wellness centers. Among the free spas, where you can immerse yourself in free beneficial waters, are those of Saturnia, not far from the famous and luxurious design structure: the source of sulphurous water originates from a stream that runs along suggestive landscapes to create two particular beauty spots: the Gorello and the Cascate del Mulino.
Also in Tuscany, the spa town of Bagni San Filippo, in Val d’Orcia, is composed of gigantic white limestone waterfalls deep in the woods that form thermal pools where you can dive in and spend time in a unique atmosphere. Despite their awesomeness these places have not been exploited by tourists: no deckchairs, no bars, nothing built by man. Thanks to this still wild aspect there is no lack of tourists.

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