Somewhere between Ponte Vecchio and the Vatican in the rolling hills of Tuscany lies a thriving intersection of extraordinary wellness, fine wine and rich Italian tradition. The spa culture of Tuscany is one of Italy’s best kept secrets, and for spa enthusiasts around the world, the region is a major spa player—a spring of inspiration and natural resources.

It’s also the home of a social media-savvy man named Luca de Berardinis (Muse Comunicazione marketing agency) who found me on Twitter just 3 weeks ago to set my spa fairytale on fire…

…with a tweet-request for a review of their Tuscan spa resort. Here’s the thing though. He didn’t actually mean to come review. He just wanted me to write about it on the blog. Language barriers aside, dear reader, what a shameful journalist I would be to deliver information without going to experience it first!

I still had 2 weeks vacation left to take this year and no idea what I was doing (I’ve taken 2 days off total in 2010 and worked both those days…#Fact), so when Luca’s little tweet cropped up amongst the overwhelming iPhone giveaway entries (PLEASE let it end already) I knew I had to make this “review” happen.

Fast forward to Facebook friendship (which came before emails), Twitter support across the time zones, and becoming Skype besties… my flight’s been booked, my room (with a Veranda!!) is secured, and in 16 days I’m leeeeaving on a jet plane… if only I could say don’t know when I’ll be back again, because this resort sounds more like a castle on a cloud.

Meet: Antico Casale di Scansano, a 4-Star Spa Resort known for its spa, cuisine, horseback riding and hospitality, in Tuscany’s southwestern Maremma region. I will be tweeting, Facebooking and blogging their best spa treatments (obviously with some Live Spa TV if the Internet situation works out), their various therapeutic indoor and outdoor pools, the local wine cellars, learning how to make Tuscan-style pasta with their chef (tagliolini, gnocchi, pappardelle, oh my!) and many more adventures that Luca insists on keeping as “surprises.” Oh social media, how I love you.

Stay tuned as we get closer to November (I’ll be staying at Antico Casale November 8-12, and Rome/Who-Knows-Where-Else before and after), to learn more about the resort and the region. For example… it’s currently early harvest season, which means the olives are less ripe and produce less oil, which makes for the rarest olive oil of the year, embodying the region’s prized peppery taste. Tuscans treat this as cause for celebration. And celebrate I shall.

If essential oils are more your thing, here’s a dose of what their spa and wellness center offers before you even enter the treatment room, in the words of dear Luca. (Follow him @AnticoCasale for your daily Tuscan tweets – he’s witty and wise to boot.)

“When you enter in the beauty center, there is a small lounge where you can relax, then there is a corridor at the end of it you will find a thermal area with a pool. You can dive into the pool where you’ll find the Dead Sea salts! That will be a very immersive and unique experience!”

At the Beauty Farm:

  • Sauna and Turkish Bath
  • Chromotherapy Showers
  • Outdoor Jacuzzi
  • A new 7 seat Jacuzzi near the relax swimming pool
  • Resting Areas
  • Heated swimming pool with Salts from the Dead Sea
  • Tisane Corner, which offers organic non-processed herbs

That’s all you get for now. If you’ve been to Tuscany (or Rome or somewhere else amazing in Italy)– please send me any recommendations! Tweet and follow me @SPAWEEK (what famous spa brands and traditions were born in Italy?) and @michellejoni (how many pairs of boots can reasonably fit in one suitcase?), or you can get my by email at michelle at

Also, follow along to win luggage filled with authentic Italian souvenirs… details here!


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