By Laura Scheiber
Photos by Mathew Harris
A sign for Adler Thermae Spa & Relax Resort Tuscany
When I arrived at the spa reception desk on the ground floor of the Adler Spa in the town of Bagno Vignoni in Italy, the manager, Minnie Romano, who had spoken with me the week before on the phone, warmly welcomed me to the spa. She offered me a seat in the waiting area where I enjoyed the views through large glass windows of the hotel’s thermal pool with indoor and outdoor sections, and the breathtaking Tuscan countryside serving as the backdrop.
Veronica Maione, a gifted esthetician
My first treatment, the Brunello Ritual, began when my therapist, Veronica Maione, escorted me to a dark room with a calming ambiance in the treatment area of the spa. After giving me privacy so I could remove my clothes and slip into my robe, Veronica reentered the room and offered me a wet towel doused in scents of lemon, orange and verbena to wash my face and hands. She then gently rubbed essential oils in the middle of my forehead and the palms of my hands while wishing me, in a soothing voice, well being and harmony. This prelude to my treatment took place in the entryway of the room, which I later found out was an intentional ritual to help guests disconnect from the outside world and focus their attention on their treatment.
The waterbeds in the relaxation room
The ritual was surprisingly effective. I immediately felt more relaxed and more attentive to the unique Tuscan spa treatment that I was about to experience. What ensued was a 45-minute relaxation massage with Tuscan red grape seed oil, followed by a 12-minute soak in a tub filled with bubbling warm water and a pitcher’s worth of Brunello wine to enhance blood circulation, followed by 15 minutes of relaxing on a waterbed while nibbling on a plate of four distinct pecorino cheeses and sipping a glass of Brunello wine. Brunello wine, I had learned during a prior wine tour, was considered one of Italy’s most prestigious wines and could only be found in the neighboring town of Montalcino. The overall effect that the Brunello Ritual treatment had on me was a mentally and physically relaxed state, juxtaposed with a feeling of increased blood circulation, as if I had just come back from a long jog.
A sign pointed to Bagno Vignoni, where the thermal spa waters originate
View onto Travertin Lake from my treatment room
The next day I enjoyed the Poppea Massage, a 50-minute relaxation massage in which the therapist used a deliciously scented cream made from locally produced honey and sheep’s milk, immediately followed by the Excellence Anti-aging Facial. While I enjoyed all three treatments, I was most impressed with the Excellence Anti-aging Facial. When I returned to my guestroom, my husband immediately commented on how glowing my complexion looked and questioned if I had received additional beauty treatments. For the rest of the evening he complemented me on how radiant my skin looked. The next day, I could not resist buying the Adler Spa Fitomelatonina Crema Rivitalizzante, a cream with a high concentration of melatonin, which was recommended to me by the spa staff to compliment the effects of the facial treatment.
Olivae, Finnish Sauna on the Travertin Lake
On our third day at Adler Thermae Spa and Relax Resort Tuscany (see Three days at rejuvenating Tuscan spa resort), my husband and I had a delightful afternoon, taking advantage of the sauna and steam rooms surrounding the thermal water lake that I had seen from the entryway of the hotel. We spent 15 minutes in a humidity room followed by a rest on an individual waterbed in the relaxation area before moving onto the next humidity room. By sunset, I felt like I had reached a new state of relaxation that I don’t ever remember experiencing before spending time at Adler Spa.