ABANO, A MEETING BETWEEN HISTORY AND THERMAL CURES

A stay at the thermal springs in the Euganee hills near Padova allows the visitor to combine the classic Spa with avanguard therapies, surrounded by history and whispers of the East.

Abano and Montegrotto are the most important traditional spas which offer thermal spring water and mud treatments in Italy and are among the best known in Europe. This is because their fame has lasted over time due to their constant renovation in each historical period. This is particularly true in our time when thermal centres have become an important part of social life.
The key to their success is the abundance of spring water in loco. In antiquity their curative properties endowed the place with a sacred role and gave Abano the name “Aponus”, named after the goddess of water, who was able to heal and cure pain; then in the Middle Ages, since the various springs drastically reduced the land under cultivation, the area was drained, and studies of the springs in the area made. In this way, a new philosophical and scientific culture started to develop regarding the therapeutic properties of the thermal waters.
Today the therapeutic waters containing salts including bromine and iodine may no longer possess great secrets, but Abano remains a point of reference nevertheless. The university of Padova, for example, constantly monitors the quality of the hotels’ standards and in particular monitors the maturation of the mud created by mixing clay and spring water.
The abundance of springs is the strong point of Abano, because it determines the particular richness of the therapeutic elements. The springs bubble to the surface at a temperature of 90°, which is then lowered for the pool water and for the maturation of the mud. But the water comes up from magmatic depths, where the temperatures are even higher, and only comes to the surface after a long cycle that starts in the Dolomites at a depth of up to 4000 metres. The depth and length of the path the water travels enriches the water with therapeutic substances and determines its high temperature; these qualities together make for the effectiveness of the cure in Abano and permit the heating of the hotels and thermal centres in an autonomous and ecological way. By respecting the environment in this way a therapeutic microcosm has been created, where thermal cures and relaxation are uniquely united between tradition and modernity. Hotel Terme Bristol Buja also offers ultrasound therapies beside the classical baths and mud treatments.
In addition, for some time, Abano has been opening itself to oriental culture. Hotel Terme Helvetia and Palace Hotel Meggiorato offer therapies based on Ayurvedic disciplines, Reiki and Shiatsu combined with massotherapy, lymph drainage and inhalations. For those who wish to experience the atmosphere of Roman thermal rituals, Hotel Al Sole Terme offers a steam bath and an aromatic shower spray in a ‘cold grotto’ using the ancient Roman methods Calidarium and Frigidarium, together with the relaxing Tepidarium.