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Hotels We Like

Grotta Giusti

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I've heard of some pretty spectacular spas, but nothing like Grotta Giusti Natural Spa Resort. A nineteenth-century villa set in a private park, it's the very picture of elegance, but the real draw is the ancient grotto underneath it. 

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Part of the Monsummano Terme, near Florence and Pisa, the hotel boasts both a modern wellbeing center, complete with thermal pools and hydro-massages, and a large underground grotto.

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The caves have three zones, amusingly named Paradise, Purgatory and Hell. As you pass through them, the heat and humidity intensify, though it never exceeds 34°C. The steam of the thermal waters is said to benefit all kinds of ailments.

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It's a totally natural underground thermal bath, discovered in 1849 when miners noticed steam escaping through a hole in the ground. Since then, visitors have spent hours detoxing there among the stalactites and stalagmites. RM

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Images: Grotta Giusti

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