"it's been a spa town for hundreds of years"

A classic Roman thermal hot spring in Algeria
Public DomainA classic Roman thermal hot spring in Algeria - Credit: Batni
Spa towns take their name from the Belgian town of Spa and became especially popular amongst the upper classes during the 18th and 19th centuries. They have, however, existed for centuries, with Bagni di Lucca being a notable example from Roman times. Spa towns are built up around a rich deposit of minerals which means that the water is particularly good and considered to have healing or beneficial health properties. There may also, or instead, be a natural thermal hot springs in the town. In Italy, spa towns are often prefaced by the words ‘bagni di’ or referred to as ‘terme’.