In Leukerbad, we led an active sanatorium and resort lifestyle, regularly visiting the thermal springs there. After moving to Courmayeur, we decided here to continue in the same vein. I must say that in the region of Valle d’Aosta, from the ancient Romans, only one thermal complex has been preserved in the village of Pre-San Didier, a 10-minute drive from Courmayeur. Unfortunately, with children under 14 years old are not allowed here, so we had to leave our young bathers at home.
The water here is not cooled, because the source Verney for the past 1000 years has been gushing from the depths of the earth with a comfortable temperature for the body of 37 degrees. Rich in iron oxide and calcium carbonate, water is considered extremely beneficial to muscles and bones. In addition, it softens the skin, improves blood circulation, has a positive effect on the nervous system and, as local people say, it is able to relax even the most tired inhabitant of the metropolis.
The history of the term Pre-San Didier began long ago, back in the 8th century, when the Romans learned about the healing properties of the water spurting from the ground. In the future, the resort was chosen by members of the royal family of Italy. Today, the interior of the baths reminds us of old times – the architectural design and interior decoration more resemble the museum of ancient history than the usual pool. The cracked walls of gray stone, dull wooden floors and poor lighting – all designed to remind the visitor that here you are not just an ordinary water complex, but a real temple of health, imbued with alpine cultural heritage. Italians reached their goals – getting inside, really penetrate a special atmosphere and I want to start whispering, as if you were in a museum.
The pools here are much smaller than in Leukerbad. Only three small baths on the street and several baths inside. Everywhere hydromassage jets hit, which can be caught, sitting comfortably on a stone bench or on an underwater sun lounger.
Given the shortage of thermal waters on the ground, even on a weekday there are quite a lot of people here, so I, spoiled by the Leykerbad spaces, did not feel very comfortable in cramping, continually touching someone with my foot or hand in the water. In addition, the pools themselves are at a distance from each other, so you have to run through the frost naked, which is probably exceptionally useful for hardening, but I did not have time to warm up and start to enjoy. In general, I decided to visit the sauna.
Two detached houses on the street with four doubles, heated to different temperatures, for some reason were not very popular and were almost deserted. This is strange, because saunas were clearly made with a soul and with a great love of beauty. The walls are decorated with alpine paraphernalia like old skis and copper jans, mint and sage aromas float in the air, a hypnotizing surf noise pours out of the speakers, and from the huge panoramic windows a magical view of Mont Blanc opens.
At the entrance hung a sign with the recommended time – 10 minutes, but did not want to leave here. I hardly forced myself to move to the next steam room, the ceiling of which was completely covered with bouquets of dried roses. Here the wooden floors were made in the form of sun loungers, so I really wanted to stay here for the night. At the reception, they said that several times a day a sauna specialist comes to the sauna, who arranges free master classes on relaxation and proper bath ritual.
After I went inside the complex, where there was found a myriad of rooms for relaxation. With a panoramic view of the mountains and without, a warm tepidarium in which Roman baths were warm before bathing, a room with pink relaxing lighting, a zone with hanging wicker chairs in the shape of nests, in general, you can sleep and wallow all day, moving from one rooms to another. Many apparently do. Given that the sofas here are all designed for two, from under the blankets here and there stuck out the intricacies of four bare feet.
Next came a spacious buffet with snacks and drinks. A crowd of people in white coats caused an association with some secret society who came to the meeting. From here, vacationers crawled to the next floor – to the spa area, where you can continue your relaxation with a pleasant massage or facial treatment.
For 42 euros on weekdays and for 49 euros on weekends you get a one-time ticket with an unlimited time visit. The price includes a bathrobe, slippers, a towel, as well as shampoo and shower gel for local phytocosmetics Dott.Nicolas. This is convenient, because you can go down to the baths directly from the lift, taking only a swimsuit with you. The price also includes a visit to a buffet with fruits, yoghurts, pastries, coffee and herbal teas.