Bagni di Lucca, October 2013
From Lucca we decided to come to Bagni di Lucca. Why? Well, why not? We are in our last week of Italy and decided we like the mountains and the hill towns, and we really like Lucca. Plus Bagni di Lucca has thermal mineral springs. Bagni di Lucca is only about 30k from Lucca.
So we did some googling, and I have to say, as Americans, even though we have lived out of the United States of America for some few years now, this was confusing. We do still like everything straightforward and spelled out.
The best I can figure it there is "Bagni di Lucca Therme". This is the facility that has some sort of control of the grotto where the thermal mineral waters emerge. They have created a little empire and charge to enter the grotto and take the waters. They have also created a whole Spa and Wellness system to go along with the thermal mineral waters. You can of course come with a 'Day Pass' and just take the waters, or take any of a number of spa treatments individually or in packages.
There are also a number of hotels that must be very close by or connected. These hotels can also offer packages that include hotel stays. I read about one hotel that they are connected to the Spa by a tunnel.
We went round and round on the internet trying to figure out what the options are. All our searches brought us back to the same webpage which is apparently the Spa webpage. Somehow or another Tom finally hit on an actual hotel, Antico Albergo Terme, with spa packages. Unfortunately because of the abysmal internet service at the hotel where we were staying in Lucca we had trouble getting and sending emails. So, well we just got on a train to Bagni di Lucca and figured we'd figure it out once we got here.
Our last email to the hotel was to let them know when we were due to arrive, and what package combo we wanted. They had indicated previously that you had to advise them of your arrival to get taxi service (15€) thank you very much.
Well, we got the 11:30am train (3.3€ each) to Bagni - there was no taxi waiting, so we walked out to the bus drop and decided to wait. A bus arrived shortly, but not at the bus drop, so as we were talking to him about our options I noticed a van pull up and drop a couple and their luggage off. Over I trotted, and voila, we had an 11€ taxi to the hotel. We still didn't know if we had a room.
So, we arrived at the hotel, about 12:30, good grief is it high up on the mountain, but oh my gosh the views are incredible. Paid the taxi and entered. The clerk, who speaks perfect English with a Chicago accent, and perfect Italian as well advised us that our only communication to them had been an inquiry, but not to worry, they had rooms available.
So we explored our options and decided to live like we got it! We chose the Superior Suite, with the VIP Spa Option. I'm embarrassed to say what we are paying.
So, lunch was arranged, then we went to the Spa and have our 10:30am appointments for tomorrow. We've spent about an hour in the hotels thermal mineral pool, which I thought could have been considerably warmer, and we had a picnic dinner on our balcony overlooking the valley. Caprese salad, basil, olives, bread, and oh yeah, vino rosso.
Yeah, it would be nice to be able to live like price didn't matter.
Ok, so tomorrow.....
Oh, check this out, they put your room number on your bottles of water and wine so that you can keep it in the dining room fridge! Dang!