Friday, March 2, 2012

A Day in the Bathes

02/29, Wednesday
Rapolona Terme, a 30 minute train ride, is one of several towns that has natural hot bathes. Sergio recommends Sangiovani Terme Rapolona (STR) because his family frequents it. Not knowing exactly where It is, we wander into the old town only to discover it's the opposite direction. All is not lost...Sandy decides to get a hair cut there, and is very pleased with the result. Again, my non-verbal signs work to get a good end-result. Now, we both have shorn locks, Dick from the day before.

It's a 2.4 km walk to STR. We are expecting something like a Japanese hot bath at a ryokan/inn. There is one similarity...people sit in a pool of hot water that comes from deep in the earth. Everything else is different, which just shows that different cultures find different solutions to the same needs.

STR is a fine place with lots of nice accoutrements. We enjoy the relaxing nature, and pretending we are Romans in the 6th century. In fact, we are greeted by a young Italian woman, Francesca, who spent an exchange year in Kansas City; and her mother from Arezzo, where she and her husband operate an agritorismo, Casa Pippo. Francesca has an American boyfriend, Leo, she plans to visit in May.

And, an American woman from Tampa, Florida, stops to say hello. She is pet sitting in a town near Florence. Our conversation with her reminds us to check about housesitting through ATC.

Today is a little cloudy, but we try the two outdoor pools/bathes that are much cooler temps. The sun finally appears and the views from the outdoor pools are grand. It's fun to see people totally relaxing and of course it is't crowded. We sit outside and eat a sandwich and play some cards. We are nice and relaxed and tomorrow we will probably feel like 20 year olds after the restorative powers of the baths! One can always hope!

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