The area around Rome has a variety of spas and residents and visitors may find it difficult to decide where to go for pampering. Below are some of the options available within reasonable reach of the capital. Remember that thermal baths have medical value so it is possible to access many treatments on the national health service or private health insurance. Consult your family doctor or the spas directly.

Terme di Chianciano

These baths eight kilometres from Montepulciano in Tuscany include the Terme Sensoriali in the beautiful park of Acquasanta. Here the five elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth, are part of a wellness programme to harmonize body and soul.

For e39 on weekends or e36 on weekdays, you are given a four-hour itinerary plus welcome pack and a guided tour of the centre, including the maze of saunas, mud rooms and indoor and outdoor baths. There is a music room, a womb room and various scented rooms where you sit in a chair and just smell the camomile or lime being pumped out of the walls. The idea is that you will be at one with nature through the stimulation of the different senses. There are around 20 different experiences achieved by four routes through the spa, all organised by naturotherapy experts: detoxifying, energising, rebalancing and relaxing.

The basement is a mysterious hub of mud rooms where you can meditate while covered in your chosen type of mud in 20-minute sessions for maximum benefit. A choice of saunas, yoga rooms, music therapy and hot tub hydro massage for the arthritic are also available and there is even a mint shower.

Villaggio Termale is another aspect to the complex, offering painting, archery, golf and mountain bike excursions among other things. There is also a babysitting service and a dog garden.

You need to book well in advance. Towelling dressing gown, slippers and shower cap are provided.

Terme Sensoriali, Piazza Matiri Perugini, Chianciano Terme,, Daily 10.00 to 22.00. Call Centre tel. 848800243. Tel. from abroad +39 057868480. The Terme di Chianciano are 170 km from Rome. Take the A1 Rome-Florence motorway and exit at Chiusi-Chianciano Terme (exit number 29).

Terme di Roma Acque Albule

These Roman baths are not far from Hadrian