Dive-in to discover how to craft your own wellness-infused travel adventures in Italy.
So, you want to know more about wellness in Italy?
It’s not surprising!
After all, everyone has heard of la dolce vita, the slow and relaxed pace of life that underscores how Italians spend their days.
In the context of Italy, it doesn’t take much to seek out wellness. It’s engrained in the lifestyle, making it the ultimate wellness destination.
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Wellness and well-being are cultural norms in Italy. Italians know what wellness is, because they live it daily.
It’s present in the way they eat, the way they travel, and the way they live.
Italians believe in slow food and slow living.
From their daily trips to local markets, to the long Sunday lunches and leisurely strolls (passegiata), there’s not a corner of life untouched by well-being.
This exact lifestyle is what drove me to move to Italy in 2001, happily leaving my 60 hour workweeks behind.
Having whole-heartedly embraced the lifestyle, it’s changed my life, definitely for the better! And over the years I’ve come to value & appreciate it even more.
Now it’s an important part of my well-being.
Regularly traveling up and down the boot, I’ve learned and experienced quite a bit over the years.
Much of it has focused on the sweetness of turning everyday moments into memorable occasions. Because, let’s face it, Italians are certainly masters of this approach!
So, in the spirit of giving, today I am sharing some of that goodness with you.
Italy & Wellness Travel
The abundance of natural resources along with a deep food tradition and more thermal spas than anywhere in the world; make Italy an ideal place to reboot, recharge and take part in activities that support well-being.
Which means Italy is a perfect match for wellness travel, or travel associated with the goal of maintaining or enhancing one’s health.
In truth, Italy is full of dedicated wellness spaces and hidden corners to reset.
At heart, wellness travel is as simple as incorporating wellness based activities into travel plans. To enrich your travel experiences and enhance your health & well-being.
Crafting Your Own Wellness Travel in Italy
So, what might wellness travel look like in Italy?
Imagine pampering yourself with a few days of wellness at a spa hotel in Tuscany? Or mixing wellness into your gelato eating and museum hopping with a swim in the ocean or a walking food tour?
Sounds idyllic, right?
According to the Global Wellness Institute, most of us opt for infusing wellness activities into travel versus taking a dedicated wellness vacation.
That’s exactly what we’re talking about here today. Infusing your Italian vacation with a little bit, or a lot, of wellness. Whatever works for you.
Wellness drives the content here at T & I and my everyday approach to travel is one of cultivating well-being. Wellness is a priority in my life, so extending it to travel has been a natural evolution for me.
So, wellness is always there, yet in a personalized way that meets my needs and makes me happy.
Funnily enough, while my life’s work has revolved around health and wellness, living in Italy has taught me how to really live.
7 Ways to Find Wellness in Italy
Well-being is so intrinsic to Italian way of living, that it’s not hard to travel that way too.
In fact, with just a little intent, you can elevate your experiences towards wellness.
Let’s take a closer look at 7 simple ways to infuse some wellness into your Italian adventure. These ideas will move you from dreaming about well-being to experiencing it on your next trip. Guaranteed!
Plan to Infuse Wellness
Find joy as you kick off your adventure and plan with intention.
Research your interests and then include locations and activities that support health & well-being.
For example, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, why not consider accommodation immersed in nature. If you’re looking to rejuvenate, consider some spa time. Or if you want to experience the vibrant food scene, take a cooking class.
You get the idea.
Match your dreams with what locations can offer in regards to wellness enhancing experiences.
Also, don’t forget to tap into your network as you research.
Find out what adventures others have experienced that may align with your wants, needs & desires. Sometimes the best ideas come from word of mouth.
Recharge The Mind & Body with Outdoor Pursuits
Italy offers amazing opportunities for outdoor adventures and physical activity.
With an extensive coast line, lakes and mountains; outdoor activities can be found every season and in every corner of Italy.
From windsurfing and scuba diving to cycling and rock climbing, there is something for everyone.
Headed to the city? Don’t worry, just lace up the tennis shoes and explore at a leisurely pace! Or look to the countryside near by to work in a nature based day trip or weekend away.
Want to know what I mean? Here are just a few examples:
Just a two hour car drive from Venice lands you in one of the most beautiful valleys in The Dolomites, in the famous resort town of Cortina, which is a wellness playground!
If Florence is on your list, the countryside beckons at its doorstep. Rent a car and head to the rolling hills for horseback riding or a walk through the vines.
And if Sicily is on the agenda, just dive into the crystal clear waters for some snorkeling!
Mindfully Savor Local Foods
Pizza, pasta, fresh mozzarella and so much more. Thank goodness, Italian food is both healthy & delicious!
But, don’t just eat, but engage with your food experiences. Deeply.
Italians tend to eat fresh and seasonal whole foods, which has helped to preserve the culinary diversity and traditions of each region.
So, look for places that specialize in local and seasonal menus like an osteria or a trattoria. Dive into pumpkin dishes in the fall and enjoy artichokes in the spring. Eat with the season and enjoy the authentic dishes that each region offers.
Then just take your time, mindfully be present and savor every bite!
Leave Free Time in Your Itinerary
It can be tempting to jam pack an your itinerary as there are so many places to go, things to do and not near enough time to scratch the surface.
Nonetheless, a jam packed schedule just leads to pressure to keep up the itinerary and that can lead to stress.
Who wants that on vacation?
So, what’s the solution to downshifting?
Leave a few pockets of time here and there to wander, get lost or go where the moment takes you.
This will allow you feel more relaxed. And hey, how else are you going to have that unexpected adventure?
Let Nature Inspire You
Italy is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. In fact, there’s more than enough to inspire you for a lifetime.
In truth, nature and culture go hand in hand in Italy. Making it easy to renew your mind & body in natural spaces.
With the lakes, mountains, valleys and everything in-between, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Italy.
Places like Cinque Terre where the mountains meet the ocean restore your mind & body as you hop from colorful village to village, eating your weight in pesto & gelato.
While the lakes imbue blissful summer relaxation as you boat from villa to villa. And The Dolomites are perfect for a scenic road trip.
Want to go one further and really connect with nature? Try campeggio (camping). Don’t underestimate the beauty of this immersive and budget friendly way to go.
Blissfully Relax at a Spa
If you are looking to recharge or rejuvenate your well-being, set aside a day to destress at a spa. Or do one better and book accommodation at a spa hotel.
From hammams and saunas to holistic treatments and natural thermal therapies: there are many unique options to help you meet your health goals.
Wondering what’s on the menu?
- Head to Tuscany for thermal spas, they have more than any other region
- Opt for a hay bath in The Dolomites
- Explore Emilia-Romagna, known as The Wellness Valley ,the entire region is dedicated to promoting health & wellness
In addition, spas are often located near outdoor pursuits, making it convenient to take advantage of other wellness opportunities while you’re there.
Be Sure to Embrace Italian Time
The pace of life in Italy seems to run at a more leisurely pace than other countries.
It’s one of the reasons people travel to Italy, the lure of a relaxed lifestyle.
Yet, it’s also true that things in Italy are not always fast or efficient. What can you do?
Be sure to slow down and take in every minute.
And when things start happening on Italian time, just breathe and appreciate the opportunity to fully experience Italy.
I guarantee you that you’ll long for it when you’re gone, hiccups and all!
Whether you look to partake of that calming spa experience, walk the countryside, enjoy a mouthwatering meal, or mindfully take in “la dolce vita”… there is a little bit of wellness waiting for everyone in Italy.
Go on, book that trip now and find your wellness in Italy.
It’s a country made to be experienced with all of your mind, body & spirit!