Inside the Verdura Spa
20 January 2016
Set in a beautiful coastal location amid fragrant olive, orange and lemon groves, Verdura Spa is an oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation in the heart of Sicily. The flagship of the new Rocco Forte Hotels spa concept – developed by Irene Forte – our Mediterranean sanctuary offers the full range of unforgettable new initiatives, including Rocco Forte Rituals using Forte Organics, Rocco Forte Fitness, Rocco Forte Nourish and Rocco Forte Health.
Verdura Spa is inspired by the philosophies of Sebastian Kneipp, who pioneered a new approach to natural medicine and alternative therapies. Diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis in 1947, the German priest was told his condition was incurable, but three years later he shocked the world by defying traditional methods and healing himself.
Kneipp’s success story set in motion a new era for natural medicine. He developed a five-pillar philosophy based on five elements – water, plants, nutrition, exercise and balance – which, when combined, inspire self-healing and promote overall wellness.
Water: harnessing the art of hydrotherapy
With four outdoor thalassotherapy pools, a steam room, Finnish saunas and a 25-metre pool, the opportunities for hydrotherapy at Verdura Spa are endless. Following Kneipp’s lead, water treatments are carried out to strengthen the body’s self-healing power. Therapists perform a variety of techniques using temperature compresses, steam baths and hydro massage baths. Guests can also take themselves on their own journey and follow a thalasso circuit through the four outdoor thalassotherapy pools and the indoor wet rooms.
Plants: the natural powers of phytotherapy
Kneipp theorised that every plant has a unique effect on the human body. Modern science has backed this up, with findings showing that selected herbs and plants have healing properties. Verdura Spa’s specially created range of spa products, Forte Organics, uses a carefully curated selection of natural ingredients chosen for their health and healing benefits, many of which are grown within the resort.
Nutrition: healing from the inside out
In order to achieve overall wellness, it’s important that guests also look to nutrition. With Kneipp’s teachings in mind, Fulvio Pierangelini, Creative Director of Food at Rocco Forte Hotels, has created a collection of healthy ‘Rocco Forte Nourish’ menus. Inspired by the produce grown at Verdura’s on-site organic farm, the menus are packed with fruit, vegetables, fish, olive oil, whole grains and herbs.
Exercise: actions with reactions
It’s not a new theory that daily exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle, but it’s an essential part of Kneipp’s philosophy. As such, Verdura Spa has introduced an action-packed fitness programme to suit all types of guests. Work out with a trainer in the spa or take part in the al fresco group classes, such as sunset and sunrise yoga, tennis coaching, cycling and jogging through the resort’s olive, orange and lemon groves. Fitness enthusiasts can also venture outside of the resort to Torre Salsa Nature Reserve, one of Sicily’s prime hiking locations.
Balance: harmonising the soul
The final stage of Kneipp’s five-pillar process targets mental health, as he believed intensive rest phases were essential in the overall healing process. This is particularly appropriate considering fast-paced modern lifestyles. Verdura’s ‘Spa for the Mind’ reading programme adds the finishing touches to the journey. Created in partnership with School of Life, the collection of books aims to help readers reflect, replenish and relax through words of wisdom targeted to each individual’s needs.
Kneipp’s five pillars are covered during three- and six-day Rocco Forte Health programmes, an all-encompassing health and fitness retreat that’s exclusive to Verdura Spa.