Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours
One of the premier spas in northern Italy, the Miramonti Relilax Spa is in the little town of Montegrotto Terme, about 90 minutes west of Venice. A jazz aperitif welcomes us to the beautiful resort,
where most of the guests have come for “the cure”, which includes medical advice and directions for treatments ranging from mud baths to the thermal waters steaming inside and out, an annual event for many Europeans. We sample the delicious nibbles and sip our prosecco while listening to the excellent duo, Beppe e Francesca, and then stroll the spacious lobby, checking out the pre-historic remnants found during the resort’s construction, an elegant bath chair now in use as a display cabinet, and the many inviting seating areas.
Signor Braggion, the justly-proud owner, leads us in to dinner, and we choose a window-side table that will be “ours” for the next three nights. The tempting buffets of antipasti, salads and desserts would be enough for us, but a menu awaits us on our table, with several choices for each of the three courses. Kirk, who enjoyed more of those pre-dinner nibbles than I did, chooses a light main, but I go for the tagliata – luscious and fork-tender sliced beef, both accompanied by wine from the family’s vineyards. Every bite, from the buffets to the served dishes, is outstanding. How can ANYONE be on a reducing “cure” while here??
After that fabulous meal we need to walk a bit, so explore the grounds – can’t wait to soak in that steaming pool tomorrow!
…and then walk into the little center of town, passing several more thermal hotels on the way. During the last two annual sessions of Viaggiandum Est, a Venice-based Cultural Travel conference, we were lodged in the adjacent town of Abano Terme. We much prefer Montegrotto Terme, closer to the dramatic Euganaen Hills, with more historic charm in the old center.
The next day Giovanna shows us around the Miramonti Relilax grounds and the spa. The facilities are divided into a medical area, providing a variety of treatments utilizing everything from fango (mud) to the thermal water springing up from far beneath us (which is so hot that it has to be cooled down for the pools!), and a benessere (well-being) area that gives an instant peaceful ambiance.
And then we’re on our own… what bliss to sit by the indoor pool for as long as we want,
slipping in for a dip every now and then,
swimming to the steaming outdoor pool and paddling from one hydro massage area to another – aaah!
Although these thermal spas were originally designed for medical stays, as described above, some of them have had beauty/well-being spas added on in recent years, and Miramonti is certainly one of the best – we recommend a relaxing stay here highly!
The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.