Monteverdi Tuscany Spa by Ilaria Miani: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Beauty/Spa
An entire medieval hilltop village is now a hospitality complex offering a culinary academy in a former schoolhouse, suites outfitted in furniture custom-made on-site, and a jet pool inspired by ancient Roman baths. In fact, the simplicity of the entire Monteverdi Tuscany Spa resembles a centuries-old thermae. Cement stairs hug rugged rock outcroppings leading to a black granite plunge pool framed in iron and glass. Sunlight dapples the gray plaster walls of a heated underground pool, and bare travertine marble wraps the hammam room.
Designer Ilaria Miani had the pools carved into a cliff, excavating 26 feet to create grottolike spaces for classical hydrotherapy rituals. “Roman thermal constructions demonstrate a great sense of space and attention to natural light,” says Miani, who looked to baths in Pompeii and Istanbul for inspiration. “They immerse you in the surrounding landscape.”
More than 30 local artisans worked to bring the village’s pastoral aesthetic to the creation of the 2,000-square-foot spa, a process that involved adding three floors beneath former stables. Though burrowed in the earth, oversize windows afford restorative views of the clay hills and beech forests of Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia.