Probably dating back to Ancient Roman days, the spa destination Bagni di Lucca enjoyed its heyday in the eleventh century at the time of the countess Matilde di Canossa and became one of the most elegant spa towns in Europe in the nineteenth century.
Bagni di Lucca was a destination for the elite of European tourism prior to the boom of beaches, which meant that this corner of Lucchesia was swiftly forgotten, once referred to by the English as the “Switzerland of Tuscany”. In actual fact, it was the English who first discovered Bagni di Lucca and the healing powers of its waters, loving it so much that it became a second homeland.
Bagni di Lucca became an exclusive retreat for Europe’s nobility and diplomats – traces of the British boom can still be seen today. Lucca’s court and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany welcomed illustrious guests such as the poets Byron, Shelley, Lever, Giusti and Monti, followed in the 1900s by Carducci, Pascoli and Montale; writers of the calibre of Dumas; musicians like Strauss, Listz, Paganini, Puccini and Mascagni; politicians and rulers such as Napoleonides, Queen Margherita, D’Azeglio and Galeazzo Ciano; religious figures like San Luigi Gonzaga and Santa Gemma Galgani, and even Popes Sixtus IV and V.
Contemporary visitors to Bagni di Lucca will find that the spas are just as active today. Nineteen thermal springs still gush out of the Colle di Corsena. Bagni Vignoni boasts two natural steam grottoes, whose temperature varies between 40 and 47°, the heart of the spa complex. As well as being suitable for treatment of metabolic dysfunctions and arthropathologies, the spa waters are also recommended for all those who simply wish to keep fit and healthy. Arthrosis, sport injuries and fractures, discopathies and other pathologies of the locomotor apparatus can all be treated with mud applications. Chronic pathologies of the breathing apparatus and primary airways are treated according to requirements, with aerosol or air sprays, inhalations or vapours. The spa waters have shown to be particularly effective for treating allergic rhinitis in infancy and adolescence. Bathing and hydromassage are available for those who suffer from peripherical vasculopathies and diseases of the skin, as well as for those who wish for a simple cosmetic or preventive treatment. Similarly, massage of the gums may be used not only as a cure for gengivitis but also for the prevention of pyorrhoea and paradontosis. It's also possible to take part in many sporting activities at the spa.
Physical therapy and kinesiology accompany more traditional spa treatments, in addition to sports and fun activities: all in an ambience that maintain the charm of the exclusive nineteenth-century spa resort.