Romagna and its Riviera have always been among the most important tourist destinations. The roots of this phenomenon go back as far as the 19th century, even though it obviously changes its shape. Today Romagna is no longer just the "amusement factory" full of discos and clubs. The Riviera has grown mature. In 2013 an English journalist wrote about Rimini as follows (and by extension of the whole Romagna):
English tourists often neglect the hinterland of Rimini, yet you can find everything you want from Italy: culture, sunshine and many old villages scattered in the hills.
Today's holiday means living an experience made up of many ingredients and among these, wellness is increasingly sought after when it comes to planning a holiday. But what does it mean to experience a wellness holiday? It means experiencing wellness in all its aspects, living an active holiday, discovering the territory and its gifts, from food and wine to art and culture, and enjoying the quality of life that you can live there.
And it is in the sunny Romagna that we find our homeland, the heart of Wellness: the Wellness Valley.
The Wellness Valley Project
Born in 2002 from the far-sighted mind of Nerio Alessandri, the project starts from the territory and its excellence.
The Wellness Valley is the initiative that aims to make Romagna the first international district of expertise in Wellness and Quality of life starting from the enhancement of human, social, historical, artistic, natural and gastronomic heritage of the territory.
The President and founder of Technogym has involved the main stakeholders of the region together with the Wellness Foundation aiming to promote Wellness.
Wellness allows the person to achieve his or her own balance through the combination of constant physical activity, healthy nutrition and a positive mental approach.
Wellness was already written in the DNA of Romagna made up of gentle landscapes, good food and people devoted to hospitality. Alessandri has made it emerge by enhancing it in a very specific place, the Wellness Valley. Here you can enjoy a different holiday experience, with wellness as the right mix of eating well, sleeping well, feeling protected, relaxing and being active.
All this has been translated into a well-defined tourism product, Wellness Valley - Romagna Benessere, the result of an accurate certification process of the Wellness offer in Romagna. In order to become part of this circuit, the structures must meet specific criteria which are then verified by a qualified certifier.
In the Wellness Valley you can live a wellness experience at 360°: hotels, beaches, cities of art, wine and food itineraries, sports, spas. Anyone can make the most suitable holiday for their needs but always with wellness in mind.
A holiday in the Wellness Valley
TREK&BIKE: active discovery
The best way to explore a territory is to abandon the car and the most popular roads and rely on one's own legs or on a bicycle. The Wellness Valley, with its plains, hilly slopes, natural parks and historic sites, is perfect for this type of active discovery.
Romagna is historically a region dedicated to cycling, as evidenced by the great champions born in this land by Ercole Baldini to the "pirate" Marco Pantani. Another example is the bicycle paths, an unparalleled presence in Italy: 8000 kilometres for enthusiasts, between roads and dirt tracks, of which 2,000 exist in the Wellness Valley.
Cycling routes are the most varied, from road and off-road routes to immerse oneself even more in the beauty of the territory at the slow pace of cycling: from the hills to the cycle paths with a sea view, passing through the villages rich in history.
You can also walk through the wellness valley on foot, just equip yourself and choose the right itinerary. For this reason, the guide TREK & BIKE is available, created in collaboration with the LAGs (Local Action Groups) and the APT of the Emilia-Romagna Region: the routes described reach all the main sites between the coast, the hinterland and the Apennines.
Not only sand
Thinking of the beaches of the Riviera Romagnola only as sand, sun and sea would be limiting. In fact, in Rimini many bathing establishments have joined together creating the Wellness Beaches : from June to September more than 1000 events focused on nature, health and harmony.
Yoga, pilates, postural gymnastics, Feldenkrais and Tai Chi are just some of the activities proposed, all in the name of balance. The oneness between our body and mind and that of the surrounding nature is represented by the sea.
In addition to wellness disciplines, you can never miss the physical activity and so our best beaches are equipped to provide an unrivalled sporting offer, such as at the Fantini Beach Club of Cervia with its 10 sand playgrounds as well as basketball courts. However, the possibilities do not end here. You can also practice water sports such as sailing, surfing, swimming and diving.
Those who love to pedal to the rhythm of music can subscribe to classes of Group Cycling while those who want to devote themselves to more relaxing activities can choose gymnastics or yoga.
Holidays as fitness rejuvenation
Wellness Valley with its 12 thermal resorts is also ideal for all those who think of the holiday as a special moment to dedicate to their health and beauty. Surrounded by unspoilt parks or hills or cities of art, the common thread of these structures is the excellence of the offer.
In addition to the traditional rehabilitation routes in the Wellness Valley spa you can find wellness and beauty centres that offer the latest news in the field of beauty and anti-age. The products used for beauty treatments are based on natural extracts at zero km for authentic and sustainable wellness.
Romagna beyond the beaches
If we think that the major centres of Romagna have two thousand years of history, it is easy to understand how this land is rich in priceless treasures. There are 9 monuments inscribed in the World Heritage Site, most of which are present in Ravenna, but also the other cities of art such as Rimini, Cesena, Forlì and Ravenna offer historic artistic gems.
Heritage such as the bell tower of San Mercuriale and the Cathedral with its cloister immersed in the garden outside are certainly worth a visit to Forlì. Cesena houses the Malatesta Library, the only example of a convent humanistic library perfectly preserved in the building, furnishings and library equipment. That is why UNESCO has included it under its protection.
Rimini, a city dating back to Roman times, offers extraordinary artistic evidence of its origins such as the Surgeon's House, Tiberius Bridge, the Arch of Augustus and the Malatesta Temple, which contains works by Italians painters famous all over the world, from Giotto to Piero della Francesca.
The historical and scenic beauty of the Wellness Valley is also evident in its villages, fortresses and castles that from the top of the hills have been turning their eyes to the sea for millennia. Here living Wellness is real and the quality of life is certified by the international network of Good Living Cities and the Slow City Movement.
The art of eating well
The identity of the Wellness Valley is strongly linked to the territory and therefore you can not ignore the good food. The land of Romagna has always been generous with its inhabitants and rich in excellent products: today it boasts 41 DOP and IGP certifications, as well as 15 Slow Food presidia.
Nutrition is a fundamental component of Wellness; food conveys health and wellbeing but good food is an art form. Pellegrino Artusi, the famous Romagna man of the past, was well aware of this fact. Pellegrino Artusi is the acknowledged father of Italian cuisine, author of the treaty that founded Italian gastronomy:"Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well".
Today its memory is kept alive by Casa Artusi, a real centre of gastronomic culture, almost a temple that spreads the culinary verb: food, even the simplest, must be prepared with art because only in this way it will be healthy.
Events not to be missed in the Wellness Valley
There are countless events animating the Wellness Valley throughout the year, every occasion is the right one to celebrate wellness and activity. Sports events for professionals and others, events that involve everyone, touching on the multiple aspects of Wellness. The calendar is full, we only mention a few of the main ones.
In spring - great cycling with the Granfondo Nove Colli, an appointment not to be missed by all the professionals and lovers of cycling. In the last edition 12 thousand participants from 48 nations compete on the roads of Romagna.
In May, Wellness is celebrated in all its aspects with the Wellness Week. The Wellness Week and healthy lifestyles promoted by the Wellness Foundation: 10 days dedicated to Sport, art & culture, nutrition, physical activity and health with over 300 events throughout Romagna. A great showcase in which the region offers the best of itself in terms of quality of life, an intense period in which you touch with your hand, you breathe in the Wellness.
Another celebration of wellness, more in the sense of sport and physical activity, is Rimini Wellness, which has always been the international stage for novelties and new trends in sports and wellness at 360 degrees with side events that involve the whole Riviera Romagna, including Wellness Valley.
In the Wellness Valley we have everything to transform Wellness into a real life experience or simply a holiday.