A rather ordinary exterior hides a magical paradise on the outskirts of Florence – the Asmana Wellness Centre. And while I rarely promote commercial activities think this place is an exception to the rule and rarely found by tourists. It is an enormous luxury complex of relaxation – warm pools indoor and out with spas,vortices and waterfalls, indoor relaxation rooms, sauna, foam baths, and Hamman with enriching wellness ceremonies.Who could ask for more?
And incredible as it may sound, no mobile phones are allowed…or only as far as the changing room wardrobe!! An enormous relief, no beeps, tings, pop song ringtones, disturb the enticing tranquil atmosphere. The calming ambience induces people to converse quietly, more frivolity in the pools as we all play like kids amongst the vortices and waterfalls while other areas, like the Hamman total silence is the norm.
I have always delighted in Hot Springs having discovered them first in Italy, my favourites being Bagno Vignoni and Rapolano Terme, south of Siena. A good soak in these Springs is a super way to de-stress, alleviate various aches and pains, increase blood circulation and generally lay back. After all populations world wide have been enjoying the therapeutic benefits for centuries.
The pools in the Asmana Wellness Centre are heated water only but still as beneficial and the Hamman brought back fond memories of my time in Iran. A similar design without the elaborate tiles typical of the ancient Hamman in Iran.
Multi sensory experiences are offered by the Master of ceremonies in the Sauna and Hamman areas. As Asmana describes: ‘rituals of different origin, handed down over time from distant civilizations. Moments when time and space can dilate and allow you to enter a dimension of pure pleasure…..Only by recovering a balance between mind and body sensations and emotions can take you to distant worlds.’ We were already convinced and ready for the trip.
On return from our cultural voyage in the salt and cocoa ceremony we tour the relaxation rooms, like the Fire Room, Salt room, the Temple….with sumptuous cushions, water beds, hanging chairs and swinging lounges, inebriating aromas and lulling music delightfully lure us to explore till we lounge quietly in the Room of Nests to the sweet tweeting of birds.
Our four hours of sensory experiences and relaxation vanishes quickly and we need to face reality, find our wardrobe and embrace the night air of Florence.
The place is magic, accessible by bus from Florence and even being a tourist can be stressful so some time out is well deserved. For more details and photos check the Asmana Wellness Centre website