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Like Ischia but not Ischia?

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
45 posts
Like Ischia but not Ischia?

Hello,

I’ll be travelling to Italy on my own (female) at the end of this month. I’ll start my trip in Cinque Terre then onto Pisa - Florence - Bologna - Rome.

As I’ll be doing lots of sightseeing, I’m really keen to include some relaxation. I’d particularly like to soak in some thermal baths for a couple of days and do nothing but lounge.

Because of this, I originally had Ischia pencilled in as it seems like the perfect location. The trouble is, however, getting there is turning into too much of faff as I’d need to go from Rome - Naples, taxi to port, ferry to island, bus to hotel. It’s quite pricey to add on to the end of my trip and so I’d like to save it for my next Italy trip when I’ll focus on travelling around the south.

Can anyone recommend a thermal spa that is easy to reach from Florence/Bologna/Pisa/Rome?

8 replies to this topic
Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
45 posts
1. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

Or Cinque Terre!

Edited: 6:43 am, June 10, 2018
Level Contributor
1,255 posts
34 reviews
2. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

What about Montecatini Terme?

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Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
45 posts
3. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

Thank you for replying, Stuart. I had a look at Montecatini, the reviews on TA of the main thermal baths are pretty disappointing so that left me concerned that I might make my way out there to be left a little underwhelmed. Especially as I’d be travelling by train.

Have you been? Is it worth going to?

County Durham...
Destination Expert
for Sorrento
Level Contributor
4,905 posts
39 reviews
4. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

Hi

Montecatini Terme, what a good idea. We stayed there and went inside the main spa where a pianist was playing but we never used the spa. It looked good, set in nice gardens and Montecatini Alto was a delight to walk around, reached by funicular.

Eddie

Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
32 reviews
5. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

Elba island, definitely.

Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
32 reviews
6. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

p.s. I wrote my answer quite hastly without reading properly and I see only now that thermal baths are what you're looking for. No thermal baths on Elba island, but you have a similar geographical layout, and although it's not as atmospheric as Ischia, still you have lovely small towns and beautiful coves and sandy beaches.

By the way, besides Montecatini, you could consider Viterbo, just north of Rome, which has several thermal baths nearby, and it's nonetheless one of the most beautiful historic Italian towns. Many beautiful sights nearby, from hamlets and small towns like Civita di Bagnoregio, Soriano nel Cimino and Sutri to Renaissance villas and follies like Palazzo Farnese, Villa Lante and the Monster Park at Bomarzo. Not to mention the Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve and the lakes of Vico and Bolsena. Definitely a treasure trove, also quite off the beaten path.

If you're fascinated by decadent places, you could consider Porretta Terma, near the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, located along the regional railway connecting Florence to Bologna. Once a popular resort town, it's quite off the radar now, but still has some perks. Also it's located in a beautiful area from the naturalistic standpoint, you can make many excursions and day hikes from there. It's very close to Montecatini as well, and other interesting places, like Riola and Marzabotto.

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
45 posts
7. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

Wow! Thank you so much!

I had never heard of Elba Island and now that I’ve looked into it, I definitely have to visit! It looks incredible and perfect for some relaxation.

Viterbo looks beautiful too. Seems very easy to do on the way to Rome from Florence.

But then Poretta Terme looks amazing as well and has availability at a beautiful spa hotel, Helvetia.

Oh gosh, there’s just too many places to visit in Italy. I don’t think a lifetime is long enough to see everything I want to see there :)

Thank you so much, I’ve got a few options to consider now (but want to do them all).

Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
32 reviews
8. Re: Like Ischia but not Ischia?

You're welcome! Just to add another option, consider also San Giuliano Terme, Pisa's "neighbouring" spa resort town.

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