In Tuscany, a luxe boutique hotel and an apothecary have come together to open a new spa...
In the 13th century the Dominican friars of the Santa Maria Novella monastery in Florence foraged for herbs, plants and flowers to create remedies to use in their infirmaries. Their potions developed a cult following, fanned by the patronage of Catherine de Medici among others, and were made available to the public from the mid-17th century. The Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella remains a Florentine institution, and still sells Queen Catherine's favourite scented water alongside an expansive range developed over centuries.
Now the apothecary has opened its first spa, a partnership with Monteverdi, a luxe boutique hotel in the Tuscan hilltop town of Castiglioncello del Trinoro. Roman designer Ilaria Miani's bare-boned, light-filled spa interiors reflect the company's simple, all-natural appeal. And, this being Italy, almost everything on the treatment menu sounds tasty; the Full Monteverdi, for example, includes a sea-salt scrub of rosemary, lemon balm and sweet orange.
The Spa at Monteverdi, Via di Mezzo, Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Sarteano, Italy