Are you the kind of person who just has to enter a pool with a splashy, cannonball jump? Perhaps you’re a more disciplined diver looking to up your skills. Whether you’re an amateur diver or a record-holder, the world’s deepest pool, known as Y-40 Deep Joy, is worth your attention. Unlike your neighborhood or gym pool, Y-40 Deep Joy offers an experience unlike any other.

What Is the World’s Deepest Pool?

The Y-40 Deep Joy, the world’s deepest pool, is located in Padua, Italy, on the grounds of the four-star hotel Terme Millepini. The Y-40 truly is the world’s deepest pool: with a depth of 130 feet and surface area of 70 by 60 feet, the pool is as deep as a 14-story building is tall.

The Y-40 Deep Joy is included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s deepest pool. However, depth is not the only incredible feature of this stunning pool. The nickname “Deep Joy” represents the experience its architect, Emanuele Boaretto, wanted all swimmers to feel when they entered the pool.

Though Boaretto consulted with record-winning divers and other specialists when designing the pool, his aim was the creation of a peaceful place for athletes and ordinary people to enjoy the healing power of Padua’s natural mineral water. That’s right: instead of filling the pool with chlorinated water, Boaretto used the availability of thermal water from Padua’s natural Euganean Thermal Basin.

Since the Y-40 Deep Joy is filled with thermal water, it remains at a constant temperature between 90 and 93 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that divers visiting the pool need not wear wetsuits… and that’s just the first thing that sets this pool apart from others. The Y-40 Deep Joy offers much more to experience than just diving.

What Is It like to Swim in the World’s Deepest Pool?

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The world’s deepest pool provides a unique environment for anyone. Built on the grounds of a mineral spring, caves and small pools offer the opportunity to enjoy what some believe to be healing mineral water. The pool was designed with a sense of calmness in mind. In fact, the entire hotel focuses on creating an ambiance as soothing as gentle ocean waves. For example, a glass tunnel at the pool’s deepest level allows anyone to walk through the pool’s deep blue water without getting wet. Grounds filled with mineral pools and gardens charm visitors and the views of Padua’s valleys and foothills stir the heart.

Though there’s something for everyone on the grounds of the Terme Milepini hotel, three groups of people are likely to enjoy the Y-40 Deep Joy pool the most:

  • Athletes
  • Relaxation-focused vacationers
  • Diving students

Athletes

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Obviously, competitive divers and other athletes use the pool for practice. Olympic champions George Bovell III, Luca Dotto, Stefano Figini, Domenico Fioravanti, and Filippo Magnini, among many other record holders, have trained at the pool. In 2017, Guillaume Nery stunned the world by completing a free dive to the pool’s bottom in one breath.

You don’t have to be a record-breaking diver to feel the difference between the Y-40 Deep Joy and other pools. The Y-40 Deep Joy provides a unique environment for free divers and scuba divers to train their bodies for the intensity of deep diving. The pool provides clear visibility for scuba divers. In addition, it allows them to learn new ways to manage pressure on their ears and other physiological challenges faced while diving in the open ocean. The warm pool water also permits divers to practice without the restrictions of a wetsuit.

Total Relaxation

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With its location on the grounds of a 4-star hotel and spa, the pool attracts its share of vacationers whose aim is total relaxation. Surprisingly, the world’s deepest pool–known for hosting some of the world’s most hard-core professional divers—is also a very unique, soothing environment. The pool includes caves at its higher levels, allowing for playful exploration in a pool filled with mineral-rich water known for healing. With free entry allowed Tuesday through Saturday, you’re just as likely to encounter a famous champion diver as you are a fellow spa-goer.

Newbies to Advanced Amateurs

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The fame of the world’s deepest pool attracts many visitors to the Terme Milepini hotel. These amateur divers are eager to make the most of their experiences and time at the Y-40 Deep Joy. Knowing this, the hotel offers several opportunities for visitors to interact with professional divers.

Beginner free dives that require no free-diving experience at all start at $80. With this package, novice divers will be guided into the basics of free-diving and provided with plenty of time in the pool under the eye of a professional. For those with prior free-diving experience, workshops led by famous divers such as Umberto Pelizzari, Marina Kazankova, Federico Mana, and Miguel Lozano are available.

Other unique workshops include scuba diving, underwater photography, night diving, and even “mermaid” classes—for children and adults!

Dive into the World of Deep Joy

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If you’re lucky enough to get the chance to visit the world’s deepest swimming pool, you’ll want to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In order to truly “dive in,” do your best to reserve a room at the Terme Milepini hotel itself. Since Padua is close to Venice, the world’s deepest pool is in the middle of a tourist-heavy part of Italy. While it might be tempting to shop around online for cheaper accommodations, trust us: if experiencing the world’s deepest pool is your draw to Padua, then do yourself a favor and book at the Terme Milepini. Basic two-day packages can run for approximately $170-$260.

Before booking your vacation, check with the hotel to see if any special events will be taking place. Terme Milepini and the Y-40 Deep Joy sometimes offer special pool events with underwater lights and music. If you’re interested in creating your own event, the hotel offers many options, including spa day parties or an underwater photo-shoot in the Y-40 Deep Joy pool!

Thermal Waters

The world’s deepest pool is filled with Euganean thermal water, but this water—which some believe to have anti-inflammatory, healing properties—is utilized throughout the entire hotel. The hotel features a special relaxation-focused path that leads you through a series of caves and whirlpools filled with Euganean thermal water in a variety of temperatures. Some people believe that moving from cool mineral pools to warmer pools and back will detoxify your body, leaving you invigorated.

Emanuele Boaretto intended for the Y-40 Deep Joy and the Terme Milepini hotel to serve the dual purpose of supporting athletes while bringing a sense of peace and relaxation to all visitors. With this in mind, the spa at Terme Milepini uses the natural minerals of the Euganean Thermal Basin in relaxing spa treatments that connect back to the land surrounding Terme Milepini.

Spa

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While the spa at the Terme Milepini hotel offers a number of customizable treatments, the primary treatments center on three themes:

  • Earth
  • Air
  • Water

Earth

Just as the thermal water at Terme Milepini traditionally is thought to have healing properties, the smooth, cool clay also found in the region is considered powerful. In the earth-centric treatments, mineral-rich clay is applied to the back, legs, stomach, and arms. As it dries, it causes perspiration, which is believed to remove impurities from the body.

Whether or not impurities actually are removed from the skin in this treatment, the tightening of the warm clay provides a soothing sensation. After the clay is dried, it’s washed from the body. A warm soak in a mineral water bath follows.

Air

Terme Milepini’s offers a unique inhalation steam therapy. In this treatment, gentle steam penetrates the face and airways with the goal of treating allergies and undoing the damage done by pollution from cars and other sources in our daily lives. The body is able to take in the natural benefits of the Eugenean water more efficiently when the water is heated to steam and then inhaled.

Water

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The water therapy treatment involves soaking in a bath filled with the Euganean mineral water mixed with ozone. The ozone creates a natural bubbling effect similar to a hot-tub. The water temperature in this treatment is quite hot: it can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This intense heat, combined with the effect of the ozone and the water’s anti-inflammatory qualities, aims to relax very sore muscles.

Another water-focused treatment is Watsu. This treatment takes place in the swimming pool. In Watsu (think “water shiatsu”), a guide holds you in a floating position to stretch and massage your muscles. The weightless feeling of a floating massage is unlike any other treatment you’re likely to come across!

Conclusion

The Y-40 Deep Joy pool gained fame with its impressive depth. However, the world’s largest swimming pool wasn’t nicknamed “Deep Joy” without reason: joy was built into it from the start. When visiting this impressive pool, be sure to set aside time to take in the healing and relaxing environment shared by record-breaking athletes and ordinary people alike.

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