The Bagni di Lucca Spa facility includes two natural steam caves with a temperature of around 43°C, offering highly effective spa treatments .
The smallest and most impressive is the Grotta Paolina cave, named in honour of Napoleon's sister. This cave is formed by two chambers, each fed by its own thermal source with a different temperature that varies depending on body position level: it is warmer at the torso and cooler at the feet.
The waters at the caves of Bagni di Lucca are rich in sulphur, bicarbonate and calcium. Our spa treatments are very useful for treating rheumatic diseases and for combating stress. A popular legends has it that there is a volcano underneath the Hot Springs and located in the nearby Ponte a Serraglio district, which is responsible for the high temperature of our waters.
As well as being important for spa treatments, the caves also have anti-stress benefits. The natural vapours has strong muscle relaxant qualities and are a natural stress reliever. In addition, the heavy perspiration induced by the cave purifies the skin, making it light, bright and smooth. The thermal caves therefore also have an intrinsic function for beauty treatment.
It would appear that the thermal caves of Bagni di Lucca have been known about and widely visited since Roman times. They are an attractive and distinctive feature of the Jean Varraud establishment, which over the centuries was frequented by many illustrious who would come to recuperate and receive treatment.
In the eleventh century the caves were restored by Matilda of Canossa, while in the sixteenth century they were subject to further renovation works. In the early 1920's the walls were covered with white majolica tiles, giving them their distinctive appearance which is still retained to this day.
The restorations did not affect the historical significance of the caves and were only intended to update the materials and lighting without altering the interpretation of the space. They preserved the most distinctive elements of the caves, such as the marble benches, which have not been damaged by the passage of time.
In order to cover the walls and vaulted ceiling, traditional local materials were used that may also be found in other parts of the facility, such as Carrara, Botticino and Bardiglio marbles.
The lighting is the only element that remains deliberately modern: small floor-mounted spotlights enhance the sinuous contours of the walls, and guide the visitor on their journey to the source of the hot springs. Meanwhile, in the first part of the cave, the light is scattered from inside cast iron pots, set on the pedestals of marble columns.