Just spent New Year's Eve with the celebration of a domestic sauna in the garden, since we still have a few more days of vacation, we wont miss the chance to make a trip to a spa in northern Italy. This time we choose the Acquarena in Bressanone, a wellness center that we know pretty well since we have already attended a few times.
Today is Tuesday (January 3rd), we are in the middle of the week, but on the website we have read that given that is still full touristic season, the sauna area is open daily from 11:00 a.m to 11:00 p.m, as it is during Sunday or public holidays.
We decide to go there and back home in only one day, if we do not find much traffic in less than three hours we should arrive. And in fact we leave the house at 8:30 am and arrive in the parking at 11:15.
The parking is full, there are a lot of cars. In fact it is a public car parking and it is not used exclusively by the Aquarena customers. However, we are very lucky and we find place almost immediately, by the way very near to the entrance. We don't buy a ticket for parking from the cash machines because we know that the fee can be payed directly to the Acquarena lodge simply by presenting the license plate number.
We go in and do a little row at the reception: there are many families with children, whom obviously want to take advantage of vacation time to spend together a day of fun and relaxation in the pool. When our turn arrive, we buy two daily tickets for the sauna (which of course also includes use of the pool) paying € 55.00, inclusive of parking (daily entrance costs 26 euro, the same price you pay on Saturdays or Sunday).
By means of the magnetic bracelet that was given to us at the check-in, we cross the first turnstile and move along a short corridor, cornering and slightly downhill. After the curve there is the locker area, with cabins for dressing and cabinets dedicated to pool users.
To gain access to the sauna zone we must continue to the end of the hallway and pass a second turnstile after which there are two doors: one allows access to men's locker room and the other to that of women. Inside the dressing room there are several dozen of lockers to deposit clothing and personal effects.
The opening / closing mechanism is simply activated approaching the magnetic bracelet to the lock (sometimes it can happen that doesn't work, in which case you should go back to the reception to get it re-magnetized or replaced).
We enter then separated, each one in its dressing room for gender, we deposit our clothes, we wear the robes, then we get out of a second port located on the opposite side of the entrance and find ourselves back together on the other side. Here we are in a small hall where in the middle, in front of us, we see the staircase that rising to the first floor, in the sauna area, while on either side of the scale there are toilets and showers divided by gender, women on the left and men to the right. We climb the stairs and enter.
The saunas area of Acquarena is very big and it globally offers a very diversified proposal, perhaps the most complete of all the wellness centers of the Trentino-Südtirol that we have been visited. The inner zone consists of a large main room with a square plan with in the middle the tanks for the Kneipp bath.
On this room overlooking four saunas cabins: a Finnish sauna, used for aufguss, a bio sauna at 70 degrees C, the Turkish bath, recently renovated and the "Salionarum", a cabin where you can enjoy a relaxing sea climate with temperature at 40-45 degrees C. Completing the main room a spacious area with showers and icy water hole and a second showers area which alongside develops a long icy bath, a sort of cold water tunnel leading to the terrace. Following having had a sauna, a dip accompanied with a salutary strokes and then emerge outside to fill his lungs the fresh alpine air is an almost mandatory rite. On the left of the main hall a small corridor leads to a second room, in the middle of which there is a large hot water pool with whirlpool and water games incorporated. On the right for another corridor, which runs parallel to the cold water tunnels, we can reach walking the outdoor area. Just before you go outside you meet the herbal sauna and a bar with a few tables, a small friendly place where you can taste freshly squeezed, centrifuged, soft drinks and light snacks.
The first outer zone is located on the same floor of the central hall, and, as mentioned above, it can also be reached by swimming using the cold water tunnel. It is a medium sized terrace where in the middle, on a bed of white river pebbles, there are sorted two dozens of sunbeds, while on the left, facing south, there is a circular tank with hot water and whirlpool, very popular in the cold winter days. Completing the area a couple of showers and a large Finnish sauna with about forty seats, usually used for aufguss.
The second outer zone instead is a beautiful and large terrace located on the roof of the building and it can be reached via an internal staircase. It is the most scenic area around the site, in fact, here we find another Finnish sauna precisely defined "panoramic" and an additional sunbathing area with sun beds used in warmer weather for a complete tan.
For relaxation spaces abound. In addition to two outdoor areas with sun beds already mentioned previously, the Acquarena has 5 more relaxation areas, of different types and sizes, suitable for any need. You meet the first immediately left of the front door, it is very well lit, given that it is positioned in front of the large semicircular window, facing the garden of the pool below. It is suitable for reading and for conviviality. By this area, after a few steps, you enter in a second room with very soft lighting and controlled temperature a bit lower, a real room of silence for the most total relax and rest. Other beds are located around the large indoor hot tub, this room also is very well lit by a large window, but in case of large number of visitors it gets a little noisy. In the last two rooms, both softly lighted, there are also some water beds. They are on the first upper level, which is accessible from the lobby by the same staircase that provides full access to the rooftop terrace.
On holidays, or as in this case on weekdays high season, the aufguss are performed with hourly cadence, in the period from 12.00 to 21.00. They are held alternately in Indoor Finnish sauna or in the Outdoor one, or in the Panoramic on the rooftop. It may happen, in case of large number of visitors, that they also carry out two aufguss simultaneously.
The program, which is written on a blackboard, is never fixed but is set up during the course of the day, based on the public present and on the "aufguss meister" availability. Noteworthy is the performance called "Die Sonne" (The Sun) which was held at 18.00 in the Panoramic sauna.