With an increasing interest in longer, and often multi-stop stays, I wanted to pair a much-loved favourite, Sardinia’s massive Forte Village Resort, with its just-opened sibling, Palazzo Fiuggi. Allow for a 70-minute flight from Cagliari to Rome Ciampino, and then add on a 35-minute drive to Fiuggi, which is also, incidentally, only ten minutes from Frosinone railway station.
Now Palazzo Fiuggi is serious wellness. Whereas you have an outstanding spa, and every sport imaginable plus great food, wine and entertainment at Forte Village Resort, Palazzo Fiuggi is regime, capital R, with style. Forget wine and coffee, though you are offered Benedictine-inspired herbal teas. Minimum stay is seven nights, although they do allow you to have a three-night ‘trial’.
Perhaps you opt for sleep lessons, which must surely have even more effect when you are snoozing in the ultimate Italian palace. The Palazzo’s sleep lessons are overseen by Harvard Medical School’s Dr Paolo Cassano. Just reading about infrared transcranial photobiomodulation and measuring biorhythms to read brain and a multitude of other systems seems soporific. I would suggest that even those who have never experienced a second of insomnia will undoubtedly sleep better.
Fiuggi, source of one of the world’s most good-for-you mineral waters, is historical home of the Forte family, and it was Charles, later Lord, Forte, who built the Palazzo, in 1913: a year later, King Vittorio Emanuele III commandeered it as his summer residence. Today the 102-room Palazzo, fortunately open year-round, is majority-owned by Alliance Group’s President Musa Bazhaev. He is also the controlling shareholder of Forte Village Resort and legendary hotelier Lorenzo Giannuzzi is CEO of both properties, The Palazzo’s GM is Ciro Verrocchi and Sardinia’s Sandro Sergi is interior designer. The 135-square metre Royal Suite has Murano chandeliers and a 145-square metre terrace, but I think I would choose, also on the first floor, to go for the 160-square metre terrace that comes with the (110-square metre) Presidential Suite.
All food at Palazzo Fiuggi is overseen by Heinz Beck, the German who made Italy’s foodies considerably impressed at being the first to gain three Michelin stars for any hotel restaurant in the home of fine cuisine (his La Pergola, literally atop Rome Cavalieri Waldorf, remains one of my favourites, anywhere). Here, in Fiuggi, his proven 1,240-calorie weight-loss diet might start with a breakfast of juice, egg-white omelette with wholemeal toast and strawberry marmalade, and finish with a three-course dinner including hay-cooked chicken with mushrooms and parsnip.
No time for boredom here. There’s a medical lab associated with Rome’s University Of Tomorrow, Tor Vergata. The spa has Dr Barbara Sturm products, indoor fitness goes for that Italian leader, Technogym. Swim, inside or out, in a variety of thalasso and other pools. Cycle or hike the Palazzo’s eight-hectare estate. Deep breath, and time to take another nap.