Imagine swimming in a thermal outdoor pool, at the foothills of the Italian Alps. The crisp alpine air contrasts with the warm water. It is a magical experience. This is indeed the idyllic QC San Pellegrino Terme spa.
These thermal springs were popular since ancient times. Rumour has it that even Leonardo Da Vinci was a fan. So I jumped at the opportunity to visit the spa during my trip to the romantic city of Bergamo, which is just a stone’s throw from Milan. After all, who am I to doubt Leonardo Da Vinci, right?
About QC Terme San Pellegrino Spa
Within an impressive space of 6,000 sq.m. (about 65,000 sq. feet), the QC Terme San Pellegrino Spa offers a wide range of body and face treatments. From jacuzzi pools to Japanese baths, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, man-made indoor waterfalls, massages, beauty treatments, aromatherapy sessions and much more.
Furthermore, the spa is conveniently close to Bergamo and its international airport. It is also not far from Milan either, which is ideal for a day trip.
Back in the day, people thought the water was “miraculous”. Even physicians would prescribe it as medicine for various illness. They would even mention specific quantities for patients to drink.
As time passed, people started bathing in the thermal water instead of drinking it. Eventually, at the start of the 20th century, San Pellegrino Terme became very popular with European aristocracy. In fact, in 1906, the town got its very own luxury hotel and casino, to please its high-profile guests.
However, these days the casino belongs to the town of San Pellegrino and hosts official events. Moreover, with its rich Art Nouveau decor, it is also a popular venue for wedding celebrations.
The QC San Pellegrino Spa philosophy
The main goal of QC San Pellegrino Terme is to provide wellness via all the senses, even smell. With this in mind, the thermal waters are the main focus of most treatments. However, the spa also puts an emphasis on aromatherapy, with fragrance oil burners in every corner.
So much so, that there is a whole room dedicated to the sense of smell. It is called “Olfactory Path” and has four pillars, each representing a smell and a season. In other words, there is a pillar for each of the four seasons and each one has a different fragrance.
The journey of the S.Pellegrino mineral water
The journey of S.Pellegrino mineral water starts at 700 meters below the surface. In particular, it flows from natural springs at foothills of the Italian Alps, in Val Brembana. Indeed, it takes a total of 30 years for it to reach the surface. As a result, this long journey makes the water naturally rich in mineral salts, calcium and magnesium.
Finally, when the water arrives at the bottling facility in San Pellegrino Terme, it gets an addition of natural carbon dioxide. Because of this, the water gets its signature bubbles and slightly bitter taste.
A tour of the bottling factory
Given that San Pellegrino Terme is also the source of the mineral water by the same name, the bottling factory of is also nearby. Apart from the bottling process, at the factory I also saw the S. Pellegrino museum, which tells the brand’s story.
The company was found back in 1899, at San Pellegrino Terme. In fact, in just one year, they had already sold 35,343 bottles of S. Pellegrino water. Finally, just two years later, in 1901, the thermal spa opened for business.
Nowadays, the S. Pellegrino sparkling water is at the tables of the best restaurants and hotels around the world. Also, while in Italy, don’t miss the chance to drink a San Pellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverage. Not only they are made of real fruit juice and S.Pellegrino sparkling water, but they are delicious too. I really miss them indeed. Especially Chino! This drink is made from Sicilian Chinotti (a kind of citrus) and has a bittersweet, refreshing taste.
For one thing, in Italy, food is a big deal. It goes without saying then, that my trip wouldn’t be complete without a proper meal.I had the classic Lombardian menu at local restaurant. Namely, casoncelli pasta with truffle, pork fillet with a side of polenta, tiramisu for dessert and, of course, lots of S. Pellegrino sparkling water.
QC Terme San Pellegrino
Viale della Vittoria, 53
24016 San Pellegrino Terme
Telephone: +39 0345.20102
S. Pellegrino website: sanpellegrino.com
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the San Pellegrino Group and QC San Pellegrino Terme but all opinions are my own.