Travel Spotlight

Postcard From: Italy’s L’Albereta Resort

I just returned from a long weekend at the luxurious L’Albereta Resort, which is located near Lake Iseo and an hour outside of Milan. This summer, the hotel will host visitors traveling to the lake to see the latest installation from world-renowned artist Christo. In June, Lake Iseo is set to hit the international scene when Christo launches The Floating Piers, an ambitious art installation that will link two islands to the mainland. From June 18 to July 3, visitors will be able to traverse the lake on top of 200,000 floating cubes swathed in dahlia-yellow fabric. One of the lake islands, Mount Isola, the biggest of its kind in Europe, has a particularly charming village with churches, Roman ruins and pedestrian-only streets. As the light changes, so will Christo’s piers, from yellow to golden to reddish when wet. The June opening is timed to coincide with the last two days of Art Basel, about 250 miles away.

But this special property draws devotees year-round. Home to the restorative Espace Chenot Health Wellness Spa, L’Albereta provides an indulgent escape, and after a long weekend there, I left feeling rested, recharged and glowing.

Located in the sparkling wine region Franciacorta, the 57-room country villa is focused on whole-body wellness, whether it’s through exercising, energy-boosting spa treatments or a revamped nutritious diet that can be enjoyed at the hotel’s restaurant overlooking the gardens. Guests can sign up for one of two regimented meal plans (either 600 or 1,200 calories a day), or alternatively enjoy leisurely meals at Leone Felice Bistro, which serves mouth-watering pastas, grilled fish and wine—this is Italy, after all.

The medical spa uses Chinese medicine and western techniques to eliminate toxins from the body and re-boot energy pathways. A staff of doctors, dieticians, osteopaths, personal trainers and aestheticians work together to assess and tailor the optimal program for each client whether it focuses on weight loss, anti-aging, general fitness or other health or beauty issues.

Having requested the anti-aging program, I spent day one with a doctor who quizzed me about my lifestyle, general health and family history. I had a few medical exams to test my blood, heart rate and the presence of minerals and heavy metals in my body. When I complained about tendonitis in my arm, my doctor suggested I meet with one of the osteopaths on staff who splits his time between L’Albereta and his personal practice, where he treats top-ranking golfers and athletes.

The treatments are all performed by the knowledgeable staff, who work with guests for the duration of their stay, easing them through the more complex experiences. Each day I soaked in a hydro-jet bath with fragrant essential oils and a beautiful view of the gardens. Afterwards, an attendant lead me to the next treatment room where she painted a green mud body mask on me, wrapped me in a cocoon and laid me on a waterbed to relax and let the minerals absorb. In my daily massages, the masseuse placed his hands and suction cups along ancient Chinese meridian lines to boost circulation and remove toxins from my body.

While the spa itself is a highlight, L’Albereta offers plenty of additional activities. The hotel is located two hours south of Lake Como and between Milan and Venice. Bordered by beautiful vineyards that extend down to the lake, L’Albereta is located near the ancient hillside town of Bergamo, which is a treat to explore thanks to its 16th-century Venetian walls and funicular. Additional off-property excursions can be arranged to the Riva boat factory, the Beretta gun museum, the annual May vintage car race from Breschia to Rome and to the opera in Verona.

Published onMay 2, 2016

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