Palazzo Fiuggi is the kind of wellness center that makes you want to don a leisure tracksuit and pretend you’re an Italian billionaire. The Palazzo is one of the newest medical wellness centers which quietly opened up in 2021 outside Rome. Instead of a stampede, however, it’s still flying under the radar, even after Oprah raved about it.
Palazzo Fiuggi is a relatively new wellness center that opened in 2021 in a historic Italian palace in the town of Fiuggi. Fiuggi is renowned throughout Italy for having healing waters, so the area is no stranger to wellness hotels. Palazzo Fiuggi by far though is the most luxe of all the options, set right within the charming town. Fiuggi is old school, where on Sundays almost the entire town is shut down, so it’s also the perfect place to detox for the week. Rome though is about an hour or an hour and a half with traffic away which makes it relatively convenient for pre-and post-trip fun.
There are medical centers and medical spas. Then there are medical wellness spas done Italian-style. The latter is how I would categorize Palazzo Fiuggi, in the very best way. The first reason is the obvious, and that is you’re in the Italian countryside town of Fiuggi. The next reason is that a lot of the guests are local Italians, who add a unique flair to your experience. Some you will find smoking on the terrace, others will talk during your yoga class. But the point is that they are fun and full of life. Unlike a place like SHA where people take it super seriously in their mindset, Italians have a joie de vivre, especially when it comes to wellness.
With all this, the Palazzo Fiuggi program is wellness done in the most elegant way. I didn’t realize it, but my usual hard-charge attitude needed to get softened for the week. Sometimes that’s what really gets you results, and a month later, I’m still seeing progress in my health.
Their approach to analyzing your fitness is one of the unique aspects of Palazzo Fiuggi. They have scientific equipment that analyzes your mobility, posture, and pattern of movement as if you were a professional athlete. It allows the team to better tailor your fitness program, so you workout smarter, and not necessarily harder.
Of course, I have to compare Fiuggi to SHA, and I will say it’s an “and” situation, versus an “or” for most people. The two programs could not be more different, even though they do have some of the same or similar treatments. Fiuggi is as if you’re floating through life, versus SHA which is more hard charge. Which program is best for you just depends on what you need for where you’re individually at in life.
The building is from 1913 and has been operating as a hotel, but they did a gut renovation on many of the common areas. They retained the classic charm though and even restored the frescoes in the dining room. Palazzo Fiuggi leans hard into the spa aspect of the experience, which is reflected in the beautiful facilities. There’s a unique Thalasso experience where you cycle through three pools. The first is an oil, mineral, and magnesium-rich pool that’s dark brown like the mud of the Dead Sea. The second is a salt-rich pool of clear water, and after a shower, you take a cold plunge. It’s something you should try at least once during the stay, to see if it’s for you. It wasn’t for me, personally, so I skipped the second treatment, but I am glad that I gave it a chance.
The treatments are also more luxurious and spa-like than other facilities like SHA. The hammam room, where they do a proper scrub as if you’re in Morocco, is nothing short of beautiful and luxe. The gym is also unique, where they call it a Movement Lab. Besides having top-of-the-line equipment and every exercise you could want in a light and airy room with 20+ foot ceilings, they have Murano chandeliers. Because like I said, this is wellness and fitness, Italian-style.
Besides the renovation of many of the common areas, they did a full gut renovation of the rooms. The hallways, grand staircase, and decor are a little disjointed and could use more polishing, but that will come with time. The bathrooms though are nicely done and overall they’re elegant. The standard rooms are average in size, so if you want to really settle in, splurge on a suite.
The food at Palazzo Fiuggi is by three-star Michelin Chef Hans Beck, and it’s exactly what it says it is. Fish, porridge, eggs, meat, and even pasta, because after all this is Italy. What you won’t find though is wine, booze, or coffee. You receive a menu each day that outlines your meals and calories for the day. If you’re on a rebalance-like program, don’t expect to lose weight as it’s about 2000 calories daily. For Optimal Weight, the calories are around 1200-1300, so also don’t expect to slim down quickly if your diet is already clean. They also have two days of liquid on a weight loss program that I heard was brutal.
I’ll cut to the chase with the food; you will be hungry if you’re dramatically changing your lifestyle. One of the girls was so hungry she started crying during our yoga class. I think part of the issue with the food is that it’s simple and familiar. You know that you’re eating a lot less as you have a frame of reference to compare it to. This isn’t a bad thing as when you go home, you have an apples-to-apples comparison of what portions should look like. However, you feel like you’re on a diet at Fiuggi. To compare it to SHA however, I was always satiated because the food was so creative and unique from my normal diet. Some people don’t like fancy food so Fiuggi will hit the spot.
The Best Tea Cart
The food program really redeemed itself with the gorgeous tea cart that was available after dinner. If you ask really nicely, you can have the tea cart at lunch too. They have everything from detox, slimming, relaxing tea, and at least eight or so other varietals. I lived for that tea cart and savored every single sip.
This is the optimal medical spa to bring your mom, girlfriends for a nice detox weekend away or yourself to slow down life for a moment.