Don’t let it’s location in the quiet countryside of the Valle d’Itria fool you. Only Men Sauna is Puglia’s premium gay bathhouse spa and sauna.
Currently open every Sunday from 16:00 to 22:00 it is an unexpected venue found in the rolling olive groves of the Valle d’Itria between Ceglie Messapica (5km) and Francavilla Fontana.
It’s modern, comfortable and clean, a surprisingly large venue, fully air-conditioned with a sauna, swimming pool, jacuzzi, massage area, bar, cruising labyrinths with private parking.
The owners promise wellness, escape and pleasure, with “confidentiality and kindness” at your service.
Getting there. The club is listed on Google Maps as ‘Il Ritrovo Club’. It is right next to the Eni filling station. The site is enclosed, but drive up to the gate and it will be opened for you.
First time visitors need to fill out a membership form. Even if this will be your only visit it is obligatory. The venue operates as a private, members club.
As is usual and routine in Italy, where everything is codified, membership involves giving your personal details (name, place and date of birth, address, contact details) and showing an ID document. Don’t get hung up on this however. It is a normal part of daily Italian life.
The cost (Jan 2023) is 30€. You can bring your own towel and sauna footwear. If you don’t the hire for 1 towel + flip flops is an additional 5€.
You will collect a drink card and, if hired, a towel card. The price of admission includes 1 drink from the bar (beer, soft, cocktail, prosecco). Extra drinks are paid for when you leave, so retain the drink ticket even if you don’t use it to prove you have not bought drinks at the bar.
Admission also includes a buffet served after 7.30pm at the poolside dining area. Cold cuts, pasta, bread and fruit.
There are changing areas immediately after the entrance desk, but the main changing area is off the main pool area (on the left opposite the sauna, the bar is on the right). The lockers are included in the admission price, no extra payment is required.
To get there head straight to the back. Through the main space (a dance area). Continue beyond the two staircases that lead to the upstairs area. Continue straight back. The entrances to the bar are either side of the small stage at the back of the main space, via a corridor.
The bar and pool area and main changing areas are right at the back.
The barman will arrange for you to collect your towel and footwear if you have paid - give him your towel token.
This is a clean and modern space. During the week it is a ‘gentleman’s club’ (DreamOn Club) where men go to meet women, and some women go to meet men.
Upstairs (below left) are private rooms, a maze of corridors, well equipped play areas (sling, stocks, S&M rooms, darkrooms, glory holes). No condoms or lube are provided. Access is via the two brightly lit staircases as you enter the main area through the corridor (below right) after the entry reception.
Smoking is permitted, but surprisingly not so very noticeable in the air.
Expect around 50 plus people. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. People will chat with you, and there were out of town visitors, we heard a few people speaking English.
Some people wear trunks or shorts. Most just use a towel around their waist.
The buffet was a surprise. But it is popular and swooped upon when it appears. Many sit at the dining tables provided (with tablecloths and candelabras; this really is a modern, clean and well provided venue and club).
Most stay at least until the buffet. Immediately after the cruising areas upstairs were at their busiest (despite people having fuller stomachs)! Crowds start to tail off after 8pm.
The venue recommend booking to attend by sending a message on WhatsApp +39 378 089 8979. Here’s some text to help!
“Ciao, ho visto il vostro Total Wellness Sunday su Gay Puglia Podcast. Vorrei effettuare una prenotazione per questa domenica / oggi. Grazie.
Hi I read about Total Wellness Sunday on the Gay Puglia Podcast. Can I book for this Sunday / today. Thank you.”
Only Men Sauna | SP26, Ceglie Messapica BR | +39 378 089 8979 | Sunday only, each Sunday (we recommend checking in advance) from 4pm - 10pm | 30€ (towel and flip-flop footwear +5€)
More | visiting Puglia? Check out our definitive gay guide to Puglia.