THE RANCH ITALY
Following the success of The Ranch Malibu’s seven-week pop-up at Rosa Alpina (now an Aman partner hotel) in Italy’s Dolomites, founders Alex and Sue Glasscock decided to find a permanent Italian home for their results-oriented wellness retreats. The rigorous eight-day, all-inclusive program (from $9,100/person; theranchmalibu.com) is even more challenging when the temptations of pasta, wine, and cappuccinos abound, but with The Ranch Italy’s new home at Palazzo Fiuggi, a wellness medical retreat 50 minutes from Rome, the challenge becomes how to fit in all the extracurricular spa activities offered.
As expected, the Ranch team keeps participants busy with four-hour morning hikes, afternoon fitness classes, yoga sessions, and intense daily sports massages that the program is known for. But eat lunch quickly and there’s time between 12:30 and 2 p.m. to access Palazzo Fiuggi’s expansive facility, featuring an infrared sauna, a Himalayan salt room, a Kneipp path, and thalassotherapy baths with sea minerals and magnesium—not to mention just napping on a sun lounger by the two outdoor pools. Spa treatments, such as cellulite cures and vibration sound healing, can be booked at an additional cost.
Unlike other Ranch programs, this one includes a medical consultation with a Palazzo Fiuggi physician and the opportunity to undergo diagnostic and blood testing. Vitals, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation, are assessed along with a routine physical exam, urinalysis, and electrocardiogram. The biomarkers inform of any deficiencies or underlying concerns and help optimize health and fitness experiences during the stay. Participants are sent home with the results of the exam and access to the Palazzo Fiuggi medical team for any follow-up questions and advice.
The Ranch House is an area of the hotel with distinct California decor that is set aside exclusively for Ranchers. It’s where participants eat their meals, attend morning stretches and afternoon core workouts, and cozy up on a big white sofa with a cup of detox tea. It’s an obvious contrast to Palazzo Fiuggi’s palatial grandeur and opulence, and though at first it may seem like a disconnect, Ranch participants get access to both, which makes for a nice pre or post extended stay in the Palazzo’s luxurious suites and rooms. Though, if arriving a few days early or staying a few days later increases the challenge of sticking to the Ranch’s nutrient-dense, plant-based diet that avoids dairy, gluten, soy, alcohol, caffeine, processed sugar, and animal proteins, participants need not worry. Palazzo Fiuggi’s three-star Michelin chef Heinz Beck, a natural bio-energies and naturopathy expert, has created a menu for hotel guests that combines a balanced calorie intake with nutrients for cellular rejuvenation, turning food into medicine.