Why you should not miss a Turkish bath (hammam) in Istanbul?
One of the experiences that you cannot miss if you want to discover the real one Istanbul is definitely that of Turkish bath.
Yes, I know: surely you have tried it in some more or less luxury spa, included in the wellness package of a few romantic weekends.
But for this time forget the artificial lights of chromotherapy and the aseptic walls full of steam flavored with essential oils.
You are about to discover the magic of real Turk Hammam, the original!
Don't be fooled, once you arrive in the magnificent eastern city, by the countless signs of “Turkish Bath”, which are often ad hoc makeovers for European tourists. They will be able to offer a relaxing and quality service, but if you are looking for the true essence of Ottoman well-being, you cannot miss the Cinili Hammam, mainly frequented by local inhabitants: a real piece of history still preserved intact since 1640.
Known as “Eski Hammam”, Ancient Hammam, is located in Uskudar, a fairly conservative neighborhood on the Asian side of the city, at 24 Cavusdere Caddesi, where the entrance, as well as the service, is separate for men and women, unlike many Turkish baths for tourists. From the outside, the building may seem spartan, with its hazelnut-colored wall and vintage sign, and indeed this is the atmosphere once you enter: it seems to enter a sacred place, in which silence and respect for tradition reign. .
To welcome you at the entrance, in a sort of blue-tiled patio overlooked by two floors of wooden changing rooms, are usually seated the caretakers, who speak strictly Turkish, intent on drink çay, watching telenovelas or playing backgamon.
When you then set foot in the Turkish bath itself, you cannot help but be entranced: a large room with a circular plan, completely covered with marble, dominated by the typical dome with glass skylights that look at the sky, around which other small rooms wind. , more collections. It is there that he awaits his turn, sitting on the warm marble, sprinkling himself with the body of hot water, alternating with cold water, which comes out of the ancient marble basins, wrapped in a hot steam. You will probably be in the company of some elderly lady who, keeping theOttoman custom of the weekly bath at the hammam, she dedicates herself to a complete toilet, from hair care to corns and nails.
When your time comes, the woman in the center of the room will make you lie down on a marble surface, pleasantly warm, thanks to the underground water circulation system. An interesting experience awaits you: the woman washes you with great energy, from the tips of your ears to that of your feet, first with a exfoliating cloth and then with a soap that will cover you with a very soft foam. The result will be the softest and smoothest skin you have ever had, and the memory of a moment with the flavor of ancient and powerful rituals.
And at the exit, after paying yours 27 lire, about 10 euros, you can also enjoy an excellent çay, watching, very relaxed, an episode of the soap opera on duty.