Merano, deservedly called the pearl of South Tyrol, is the ancient capital of the Tyrol. It is a true paradise of mountains, spas, wellness and traditions; few places in the Alps can sum up the true essence of the mountains like Merano. Merano is certainly a cultural town with many prestigious monuments, but it owes its fame to the thermal baths.
Merano’s thermal baths are a small angle of paradise that are famous all over the world. The town is located in a uncontaminated landscape at the foot of the South Tyrolean Alps and, right in the center, you can find a spa known for their excellence for health and wellness that deserves to be seen. The thermal baths are one of the most prestigious spa in Italy and among one of the oldest in Europe. If you want to spend a holiday full of rest and relax in every season, this can be also a reason to plan a trip to Merano and its surroundings.
Merano’s thermal baths: the history of wellness
Merano’s thermal baths extend over an area of 8000 square meters, with 25 indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a park of about 50,000 square meters. Between the spa and the hotel you can find Piazza delle Terme (Thermenplatz): a large space that hosts musical events and various nightlife activities. This square connects the spa to the historical centre of the town.
The history of thermal baths identifies with that of Merano, which has a temperate climate that has always been suitable for patients suffering of various respiratory diseases.
After the break of spa tourism due to the outbreak of the First World War, a geologist discovered radon in the water that flows from Monte San Vigilio in 1933. He thus made it possible to transform a simple health resort into a well-rounded spa. Today, it contains therapeutic applications with mud baths, whirlpools, inhalations, mineral water treatments and large pools.
Benefits and services of the thermal baths
There are endless possibilities to choose from to enjoy the beauties and services it offers in its renowned facilities.
Who do we recommend this trip to? To those who have the desire to switch off, relax and be lulled by the different waters. To those who want to alternate the warm atmosphere of the saunas with spa treatments. And to those whose desires include massages, personalized therapies and so much more.
The benefits of these thermal pools are uncountable: if you suffer from joint pain or respiratory diseases, the thermal waters help the body to function better and they strengthen the immune system. They also help to heal the body by involving the mind with beneficial relaxing atmospheres.
But, what are the greatest benefits that can be obtained by these treatments? The most well-known benefit is related to respiratory diseases: inhaling the vapours fights against sinusitis, otitis, but also asthma and bronchitis. Sodium bicarbonate and sulfur – which theses waters are rich with – are recommended for diseases of the osteoarticular system, such as arthrosis and cartilage problems. The thermal waters help purification, regularity and prevent calculosis. They are also beneficial to the functioning of the thyroid. Another major benefit of spa treatments is a strengthening of the immune system.
We would like to remind you that a trip to Merano, in addition to being beneficial to the body, is also good for the mind. Going to the spa means disconnecting from your daily routine and allowing a few hours for relax, that will guarantee you prolonged overall wellbeing.
Which are the ideal seasons to enjoy a trip to Merano with a good cost/benefit ratio? Both autumn and spring. But in summer months instead, you will find immersed in the green oasis of the thermal park, that includes the marvelous garden with many secular trees and the imposing peaks in the background.
Piazza Terme 9, I-39012 Merano, South Tyrol
Opening hours: 9am – 10pm Monday to Sunday
+ 39 0473252000
Not just spa: what to see during your trip to Merano, South Tyrol
When physical wellbeing is combined with beauty, history and hospitality, a holiday becomes a special and involving experience.
The temperate climate and the quiet atmosphere that surrounds this place, makes it an ideal destination for quality tourism. At the beginning, Merano attracted an older age group, but over time it has renewed itself and developed proposals and services that have caught the attention of young people and families with children.
A trip to Merano offers the possibility of combining thermal spa treatments with a series of visits and activities that satisfy all the type of tourists.
What should you see on your trip to Merano?
The history of these valleys is very old: in late antiquity the castrum maiense developed here. It was a fortified settlement in the area from the Fortress to today’s San Zeno Castle (Zenoberg).
St. Valentine of Raetia and St. Corbinian of Freising were buried in the town’s Chapel between the 6th and 7th centuries. Also from that glorious era, we recommend a visit to the impressive Ortenstein Tower, also called “Pulverturm” or “powder magazine” because it was used to store explosives starting from the 16th century.
In Merano you can visit the Provincial Museum of Tourism – “Touriseum”, housed in the rooms of the Trauttmansdorff Castle. Near it you can find the wonderful Botanical Garden, one of the most beautiful and cared throughout all Italy.
Merano has also a small Jewish community, whose history can be appreciated by visiting the Jewish Museum, the Synagogue and the Church dedicated to the Russian Orthodox cult. This last one is housed in Casa Borodine; it was completed in 1897 and designed by the architec Tobias Brenner.
The Kurhaus of Merano
The town of Merano, considered a health resort since the 19th century, has a long tourism tradition. Many illustrious guests have spent their holidays here, including the Empress Sissi, the writers Franz Kafka and Gottfried Benn.
The Merano Kurhaus was built in 1912 by the architect Friedrich Ohmann. It is considered among the main tourist symbols of the city. As well as housing the Theater in der Altstadt in a former boiler house, today it hosts numerous international events, including the ‘Merano Wine Festival’ and the ‘Merano Music Weeks’. Inside there is a commemorating plaque of Andreas Hellrigl, one of South Tyrol’s most famous chefs.
Ohmann – who was a Jugendstil architect – designed the rotunda and the great hall of the Kurshaus like a creature. He also personally designed the interior decorations, accessories and every single detail, including the silverware provided for the building.
The outbreak of the First World War prevented the grandiose project from being completed in its entirety. Today, this imposing building offers space for thirteen rooms and after a restoration – in the 1980s – it can accommodate up to 1000 people.
What to see nearby
- Castelrotto (1 hour by car)
Castelrotto is located at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi and it is included in the Italian Touring Club’s association of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”. Here you can immerse yourself in a magical world of walks, hikes, enchanting views, ski slopes and winter snowshoeing.
- Tessa Group Nature Park (1 hour by car)
Tessa Group Nature Park is a nature conservation area in South Tyrol, established in 1976. The nature park is part of the Natura 2000 European ecological network, the aim of which is to protect natural habitats, animal and plant species.
- Tirolo (17 minutes by car)
Tirolois the ideal destination for a holiday with itineraries for all levels, but it is also the ideal destination for culture lovers.
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