Water treatments in Pre San Didier
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Water treatments in Pre San Didier

In Leukerbad, we led an active spa lifestyle, regularly visiting the local thermal springs. After moving to Courmayeur, we decided here to continue in the same spirit. I must say that in the Valle d’Aosta region from the ancient Romans, only one thermal complex was preserved in the village of Pre San Didier, a 10-minute drive from Courmayeur. Unfortunately, they are not allowed here with children under 14 years old, so we had to leave our young bathers at home.

Water here is not cooled, since Verney spring has been flowing from the bowels of the earth for 1000 years with a temperature of 37 degrees comfortable for the body. Rich in iron oxide and calcium carbonate, water is considered extremely beneficial for muscles and bones. In addition, it softens the skin, improves blood circulation, has a beneficial effect on the nervous system and, as locals say, is able to relax even the most tired resident of the metropolis.

The history of the term Pre-San Didier began a long time ago, back in the 8th century, when the Romans learned about the healing properties of water from the ground. Further, the resort was chosen by members of the royal family of Italy. Today, the interior of the bathtubs reminds of old times – the architectural design and interior decoration more closely resemble a museum of ancient history than a regular pool. Cracked walls of gray stone, faded wooden floors and scanty lighting – all designed to remind the visitor that here you are not just an ordinary water complex, but a real health temple, saturated with Alpine cultural heritage. The Italians have achieved their goals – getting inside, you really are imbued with a special atmosphere and you want to start whispering as if you were in a museum.

There are much fewer pools here than in Leukerbad. Only three small baths on the street and several baths inside. Everywhere beat jets that can be caught comfortably sitting on a stone bench or on an underwater deck chair.

Given the scarcity of thermal waters in the area, even on a weekday there are quite a lot of people here, so I, spoiled by the Leukerbad expanses, did not feel very comfortable in cramped conditions, now and then hitting someone with my foot or hand in the water. In addition, the pools themselves are at a distance from each other, so you have to run naked in the frost, which is probably extremely useful for hardening, but I did not have time to warm up and start to have fun. In general, I decided to visit the saunas.

Two detached houses on the street with four steam rooms heated to different temperatures, for some reason, were not very popular and were almost deserted. This is strange, because the saunas were clearly made with soul and with great love for the beautiful. The walls are decorated with alpine paraphernalia like old skis and copper jugs, the aromas of mint and sage are floating in the air, the hypnotizing sound of the surf is pouring from the speakers, and the huge panoramic windows offer a magical view of Mont Blanc.

At the entrance there was a sign with a recommended time of 10 minutes, but I did not want to leave it. I hardly forced myself to move to the next steam room, the ceiling of which was completely hung with bouquets of dried roses. Here, wooden parties were made in the form of sun loungers, so I really wanted to stay here for the night. At the reception they said that several times a day a bathing specialist comes to the sauna, who organizes free workshops on relaxation and proper bathing ritual.

After I headed inside the complex, where a certain myriad of rooms for relaxation was discovered. With panoramic views of the mountains and without, a warm tepidarium in which Roman baths warmed up before taking a bath, a room with pink relaxing lights, an area with hanging wicker chairs in the shape of nests – in general, you can sleep and wallow all day, moving from one rooms to another. Many, apparently, do so. Given that the sofas here are all designed for two, underneath the rugs here and there stuck intricacies of four bare feet.

Next came a spacious buffet with snacks and drinks. A crowd of people in white coats caused an association with some kind of secret society that came to a gathering. From here, vacationers crawled to the next floor – to the spa area, where you can continue your relaxation with a pleasant massage or facial treatment.

For 42 euros on weekdays and for 49 euros on weekends, you get a one-time ticket with an unlimited time visit. The price includes a bathrobe, slippers, a towel, as well as shampoo and shower gel of local Dott.Nicolas phytocosmetics. This is convenient, as you can go down to the baths directly from the lift, taking with you only a swimsuit. Also included in the price is a buffet with fruit, yoghurts, pastries, coffee and herbal teas.

At the weekend, the complex is open until 23.00, so many tend to get here in the late afternoon, not only to take baths, but also to admire the endless alpine starry sky.

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