Having spent a couple of hours relaxing at the spas of the Villaggio della Salute before going to sleep partly mitigated the stress caused by the vicissitudes of our arrival. We are therefore calmer and more rested in the morning and go down in a good mood to have breakfast at the Panoramico restaurant. The goal is to take advantage of the entrance provided by the promotion (room + water park) at the Naturist Oasis of Zello, which is just 3 km from the village and which we would like to reach by bicycle. Since the overnight stay is only for one night, we settle our bill and ask for information on how to access the Oasis whose opening hours are the same as those of the water park, from 10:00 to 19:30.
Kindly the lady at the cash desk leaves us Sergio's phone number, the contact person on the spot. Let's call right away and Sergio, who we would later discover to be the true naturist soul of the oasis, provides us with useful information and advice, informs us that the place is very isolated and there is no possibility to buy food, we will only find spring water for drink, so we go back to the restaurant to buy a couple of sandwiches.
The Oasis of Zello
From the Villaggio della Salute we go up the provincial road for 1.5 kilometers until, near the bridge over the Sillaro, we find a dirt road on the right. We can't go wrong because a large sign indicates the direction to take to reach the oasis. The road is partly unpaved, not really easy for bikes as there are often large stones on the roadway, but if nothing else, the steepest sections of the climb have been paved with concrete pours that make it more practicable for both cars and for us who wanted to experience the climb by bike. Despite the pedal assistance of our 2 Atalas, the effort is really great and we have to stop a couple of times, but finally we reach the goal.
It's almost 10:00, Sergio is already on the spot and welcomes us as a sublime host, he shows us where we can leave the bikes in the shade, he explains the rules of the place, how to use the swimming pool and whirlpool, where the bathrooms are and the showers and how to use the sunbeds that he himself sanitizes one by one every evening at closing.
The oasis, which is located at about 400 meters above sea level, is obtained from an ancient farm, and has three large lawns used as solarium shaded in part by tall chestnut trees. A sauna has been created inside the stone farmhouse of the 1200s which, unfortunately given the Covid restrictions, is not functional. We plan to return to try it someday after the emergency is over, the stone walls give it a touch of rustic naturalness that suggests excellent and relaxing sessions. Immediately behind the farmhouse a tensile structure was erected in the shadow of which there are some tables where guests can have their meals.
Our stay in the Oasis
We start the day with a nice refreshing swim in the pool. It is a tank of about ten meters in length by 3 or 4 in width filled with thermal water heated to 33 ° C, theoretically the same temperature as the water of the large swimming pool of the Villaggio della Salute even if, being outdoors and constantly exposed to the sun, the temperature is often kept a little lower. The restrictions imposed by Covid allow access to the tub in addition to a maximum of nine people simultaneously.
Then we move on to the whirlpool. Here the rules allow access to one person at a time or, at most, to two people in pairs as long as they are family members or cohabitants. In addition, to avoid cloudiness of the water, to get into the tank you need to have your body clean of tanning creams and oils, so if you have a shower and wash well with soap first.
Our day continues until evening in full relaxation and full tan, interspersed with frequent showers and swimming pools, but also with pleasant breaks in the shade of chestnut trees during the hottest hours.
The naturist walk suggested by Sergio is also very pleasant and, from a path that goes up into the woods, allows you to take the high panoramic tour of the oasis and enjoy an enviable view of the Sillaro valley below.
The second day
The naturist Saturday at the Oasis of Zello was positive, the non-exaggerated turnout of the public allowed us pleasant moments of relaxation. In the evening we go down to Castel San Pietro Terme where we booked a room at the Castello hotel, a 4-star hotel that pleasantly surprised us for the value for money (€ 69 for a double room, including two breakfasts) and above all for the care and attention sanitization during check-in and check-out.
In the evening, on the advice of the hotel clerk, we have dinner at a typical La Cicceria restaurant where, of course, they prepare grilled meat and other local specialties.
On Sunday morning, after breakfast, we stop at the Coop supermarket to buy some food, then we go back up to Zello, but this time we go up by car.
The day promises to be very hot and in fact in the hottest hours the sun doesn't really stand. The turnout is also clearly higher than the day before, some arrive alone, but most are couples of all kinds. The limit of 9 people in the pool is often reached and therefore we are unable to take frequent baths. We remain however until 18:00 then we head home.
The first post-Covid holiday weekend ends like this: we have discovered a new possible destination for our future wanderings, a small naturist oasis where you can relax freely at the gates of Bologna.