Calabria has a number of spas, though not well known. With the exception of the renowned and busy Guardia Piemontese Spa, (Terme Luigiane) few people imagine that this region offers more Northern European sort of tourism such as thermal resorts and sky facilities, all within the relatively confined space of the coasts and mountains of Calabria.
The best known as we have said, is Guardia Piemontese in the province of Cosenza.The first therapeutic use of these waters goes back to 1446, as indicated in a letter from S. Francesco di Paola to Simone degli Alimena. Undoubtedly , the health-restoring qualities of the waters were already known to the inhabitants of the area, but confirmation came only much later when the Waldensians, fleeing from northern Italy and France, set up their colony there, doing their utmost to keep their territory, already protected by sea and rock, isolated or even hidden. Perhaps the sad episode of renewed repression and persecution caused it to experience further migration and so the fame of the waters spread.
Today Guardia Piemontese has modern facilities and accomodation is available for those who prefer a stay at the seaside village one km away. The Luigian ( from Luigi Bourbon who was keenly interested in these waters ) or Guardia Piemontese baths are especially suitable for the treatment of osteoarthritis, nose, ear, and throat diseases, lung trouble, gynecological problems and skin diseases.
The hill-top town, at 500 m. is interesting to visit for its maze streets within the walls.
Praia, Maratea and Paola are also quite near. Further north, still in the province of Cosenza, is the Spezzano Albanese Spa.
Here, in the 15th century, Albanian Greek-rite refugees fled to escape persecution by the Muslim Turks. Though documents mention earlier periods, the Spezzano springs were discovered to be of medicinal value only at the beginning of the 1800s.These waters are especially good for hypotonic gastritis,constipation, fractures, liver trouble and gynecological disturbances. Unlike Guardia and Cassano, here besides mud applications, inhalations and baths, mineral waters are also available.Located in an agricultural area, Spezzano is very close to the Sila, Rossano, Sibari and the Pollino, all artistic or tourist centres.
There are other spas on the province of Cosenza at Cassano allo Ionio, easily reached by motorway, with visitors from the north exiting at Frascineto and from the south at Spezzano.
The Cassano Baths or Sibarite Baths are especially good for respiratory ailments and rhinogenous deafness, as well as other disturbances. Cassano is a modern town which developed with the return of the emigrants. Its climate is very pleasant, being near the Pollino and the Ionian Sea.
The Caronte Baths at Lamezia Terme are in the Province of Catanzaro. Doctors often prescribe the various types of baths, mud applications, massages, inhalations, aerosols, humages, endotympanic insufflations and mud packs for the treatment of chronic polyarthritis, chronic catarrh and allergies of the respiratory system, skin diseases and deafness.
The baths are located in the Fertile Sant' Eufemia plain, behind woodland and only a few km from the sea, in a lovely position with interesting excursions into the surrounding areas.
The Antonimina Baths are located in the province of Reggio di Calabria, 8 km from Locri. Treatments for arthrosis, skin diseases and gynecological disturbances is available. The surrounding area is very beautiful indeed, and Locri, only a few minutes drive away, is an important archaeological centre, while in the hills elegant Gerace is of great artistic value.
The Galatro Spa. Its waters are rich in minerals and this gives them a high therapeutic potential.
Located one km from Galatro, one of the most 'ancient Calabria,the waters flows through a narrow gorge of the mountain Livia, the iodine salt of sulphurous water springs S. Elijah, whose beneficial effect was found between the eighth and ninth centuries.
The first who made use of and pointed to the virtues' and recoveries obtained were the monks of St. Basil, who lived in the monastery of St. Elias, whose ruins still exist in the locality of the same name.