Occupation – Maestro di Sauna

Hotel Valserhof, Vals, Italija
Hotel Valserhof – Vals, Italy
Have you ever heard of this profession? It’s not a joke… But it exists!!! I discovered it 15-20 years ago during a winter vacation in South Tyrol, Italy. Then I thought that it was just a weirdo having fun blowing air in a sauna on a group of people…. Of all that, the only truth is that he really looked like a real weirdo.
A year later, I find the same weirdo again and through a conversation with other guests I hear that he works as a Maestro di Sauna in Baden-Baden….
In German they call it Aufguss, which means “infusion” and it is a sauna experience performed by a sauna maestro (just to clarify a bit). All of this could be translated into Croatian as steam jet (I guess, after 35 years abroad, even basic Croatian has become quantum physics for me)
In Italian Gettata di vapore
That “Aufguss” was nothing more than pouring ordinary water on hot stones and then waving a towel. And then I already liked it without additional ceremonies… because that pouring water means it creates more moisture in the air, and waving the towel from top to bottom means that the heat wave is caught and directed at the guests, which turns everything into 15 minutes of crazy sweating.
Since I’m a sauna lover, I’ve been to all possible events when I get the chance.
And now I want to share this last one with you, because it particularly impressed me. So I just arrived that day and after 7 hours of travel and fatigue, they immediately gave me the hotel program for the whole week and among other events, that same evening:
At 17.00 “Aufguss” + Peeling in the Turkish bath
At 18.00 “Aufguss” in Sauna
The maestro’s name is Christian and I immediately understood that it was going to be fun. While he irradiated the hammam and prepared everything necessary, we guests stood in the office like little kids at school and waited to enter. There were about 12-15 of us (because a larger number did not stop).
First of all, he gave us a lecture on the importance of the Turkish bath and the categorical ban on entering with costumes and flip-flops
For the first 5 minutes, he just waved a towel to make them sweat as quickly as possible, then he gave each of us a mixture of salt and coffee, to start rubbing all over our bodies (except for the face and head) and explained how salt removes old particles from the body and coffee at the same time it draws water from the body. Women, I think you envy me now.. We who forever struggle with water retention in the body and I know that you completely understand my happiness.
Bazen "smrti", Hotel Valserhof, Vals, Italija
“Death” pool, Hotel Valserhof, Vals, Italy
So for the next 10 minutes of rubbing and his waving, I think that the worst cellulite would be screaming for help.
Showering just to wash off what was left of the salt and coffee, then going out on the snow, refreshing in the pool with a natural temperature for the bravest (I think it was somewhere around -2) and a serving of fresh sliced fruit. Fruit has never tasted so great as it did after that. Optional warm  soothing drinks or water.
A little nice rest on the swings or on warm water mattresses and already at 18:00 the new “Aufguss” can begin.
Now it’s our turn for the sauna… We’re in line again while it’s being irradiated, now there are 25 of us and we all sit down neatly with our towels. He preaches again that one must be totally naked and without rubber slippers (a couple of them were tried to be smuggled in) because at such a high temperature and high percentage of humidity, they would inhale plastic and rubber instead of perfect essential oils. In particular, he said that he always has the most problems with the Italians and the French when it comes to nudity. I felt like bursting out laughing….and what would happen if the Croats came…(but about that in another blog)
The first “aufguss” ….a ball of  snow soaked in mint (oil) and placed to melt on hot stones, waving and already the first sweating begins. Christian goes out, comes back with beers and starts telling everyone in the sauna that we have to start drinking right away because we will sweat even more, and beer is also a great diuretic… So..!!!!
Infusion again, now with a ball soaked in eucalyptus and waving waving waving. The music is getting louder and louder.
Christian goes out again for a moment and returns with buckets full of crushed ice. The last infusion, I don’t know what oil anymore and while preparing to wave, 3-4 people leave the sauna,  he starts throwing ice at us in quantities so that we rub each other.. Oh, what a pleasure!!! Christian tells us to close our eyes, cover our nipples (because of the excessive humidity they burn a lot) and to sing along with him while waving like a madman…
Is there anything else that needs to be said?? It probably sounds like a Voodoo ritual :)))
I personally cannot wait for the new event with Christian in 3 days, which will also be my last day in the mountain.
If you think I’m crazy, I don’t mind, I can understand you. Until you try something like this, it is impossible to explain and convey the feelings…
It is very easy to learn more about the benefits of sauna and Turkish bath… Get in touch…Write…
In any case, the Aufguss or Maestro di Sauna is the person who leads the different themed sauna events. As the years passed, Aufguss brought something new and improved every year, and I became a regular guest.
Now, every hotel that lives up to its reputation in South Tyrol has its own Maestro and interesting programs that leave you speechless…
Ahhhh…. I can’t wait for next winter!