I was on the road to Chianciano to visit one of the many healing hot springs (termes) of Tuscany.
The drive through the countryside was bellisima—I rolled my window down and let the sunshine warm my face and the wind twirl my hair. This was my time to unwind and prepare my mind and body for the upcoming spa treatments I was about to receive.
Upon arriving, I stopped at a little shop and bought some pecorino cheese, prosecco, and two jars of ribollita (Tuscan soup) for my dinner that night. My spa day had already begun and I hadn’t even arrived yet.
Being a spa writer means more than just relaxation and free treatments. It’s about the adventure and the overall experience. This is part of spa-ing—being aware of your surroundings, enjoying them, breathing with awareness, trying something new. And there are so many new things to try at spas…
The termes in Italy are about healing, not just pampering. Many people will visit a doctor at the terme, get a “prescription” of the water they should take and how often they should take it, and then go to the thermal pools as recommended.
Taking only a bathing suit (slippers and a robe were provided), I was ready for my little adventure. I followed the instructions for “detoxifying.” First, I walked through a path that led me through an alternating hot/cold shower to increase my circulation. Then I went into a sulfur pool, which was warm and relaxing. At the end of this “journey,” I sat in a warm room filled with aromatherapy (healing essential oils) and chromotherapy (healing lights).
Now it was time for the signature treatment. My therapist was Esperanza, a petite Spanish woman in her 50s. In Italian, she told me, “Take off all your clothes and lie on the bed.” This is where therapists at spas in the U.S. leave the room for a few minutes. Not in Italy.
There I lay, naked and cold (being warm and cozy is not always a priority as it is in spas in the U.S.). Esperanza gave me an exfoliating sugar body scrub made with ingredients from the healing waters. When in Chianciana…
Next, Esperanza filled a large bathtub and asked me to get up (naked) and get in. She then poured honey and milk into the bathtub and watched me lounge there. By this time, I was used to her presence.
After 15 minutes of letting me soak in the honey bubbles, she instructed me to get out, dried me off, and gave me a massage with body butter.
Between the healing waters and the exfoliation, my skin felt so smooth. But I also felt lighter and enlightened. Although spa treatments are much different in Italy (and other parts of the world), I found it to be an insightful and relaxing experience.
Do you think you have to have had hundreds of spa treatments to be a spa writer? Penso di no! All you need is an observing eye and an appreciation of details. Spa health and wellbeing are also about awareness and breathing.
Sure, I’ve visited and reviewed too many spas to count, but the real experience and knowledge come with each spa visit. Start there. Catching the details is more important than clinically explaining a facial treatment.
The best spa reviews are not just about the treatment and the spa itself, but also the story behind it—the characters, the mishaps, the before-and-after. Although it’s good to describe the treatment, readers appreciate storytelling.
Just because it’s spa writing, doesn’t mean it’s all relaxation, solitude, and pampering (although that is a big part of it). It’s about being an observant writer that loves to share the details of your experiences—whether it’s an adventure or a discovery.