While Acqui Terme is in the heart of Piemont, Italy, surrounded by some of the most famous vineyards, Acqui Terme is also known for its hot sulpher springs. After all, the name “Acqui Terme” means “Thermal Waters.” The hot sulpher springs, which bubble up at 167°F, date back to the Roman town Aquae Statiellae. You can head into the center of town where the little pavilion known as La Bollente (“the boiling source”), designed by Giovanni Ceruti in 1870, is a central attraction to locals and visitors alike.
The natural thermal waters rise up from underground in two places in Acqui Terme – The Bollente, which feeds the spa at the Grand Hotel, and on the other side of the Bormida River at the Lago delle Sorgenti (Lake of Hot Springs).
We began our trip at the Grand Hotel Nuove Terme. Built in 1891, the hotel includes a 1,000 square meter spa with a thermal swimming pool (96.8°) with a waterfall and hydro-massagers, two saunas, a Turkish bath, a solarium and seven beauty and massage rooms. We made this our home base and after a long flight, the best way to begin the trip was to take a dip in the hotel’s Roman Baths.
After three days of eating and drinking, we traveled across the to the other side of the river (only a few minutes from the center of Acqui Terme) to spend the afternoon at the Lago Delle Sorgenti Spa. Opened October 2010, this spa is more modern and new-age, compared to the older Grand Hotel. Set aside a few hours to spend here as the best treat is the 12-step “path” to relaxation.
Step 1: Start down the path of Anti-Stress
2: Enjoy the warm waters (95° F) of the Roman Pool. Float, swim, sit…whatever you want to do, you will start to reflect and relax. The Roman Pool includes “waterfall” whirlpool jets and is the perfect setting for the “Himalayan Floating Sounds”, a ritual created specifically for the Spa, which is executed with the Tibetan Bells in alternation with the Water Qi-Gong.
3. Stop by the Falls Lake Lounge to rest.
4. The Moving Water Pool has massage jets and you should spend a few minutes at each jet. This pool is so peaceful and relaxing as the light comes in through the glass walls and as you look out at the Lake of the Springs.
5. After the Moving Water Pool, spend a few minutes outside around the Lake of the Springs and inhale the rising smoke .
6. Head to the garden-terrace where there are two large whirlpools with thermal water at 95° F.
7. Spend a quiet moment on the sun-terrace in the garden area around the wellness bar Taste & Nature .
8. Spend 5-15 minutes in the Finnish Sauna, a “dry” sauna where you will be surrounded by the aroma of essential oils: lavender, rosemary, mint, or exclusive blend used for treatments.
9. Shower with warm water and then with cold water before entering the Volcano of sources.
10. Relax again in the garden-terrace.
11. Enter the Steam Bath, which is rich in beneficial geothermal properties. A therapist will enter the room to perform the ritual of “Environmental Harmony,” playing Tibetan bells and creating hypnotic music that soothes the body and mind.
12. End the journey in the Gong Lounge where a therapist performs the Planet Gong . The musical vibrations of the instrument is calibrated to the orbital frequency of the planet Pluto and induces a process of purification and holistic re-harmonization .
If you follow this path, you will feel reinvigorated and rejuvenated and ready to go explore the wines and food and Acqui Terme.