Freedive & Travel - Get Deep at the Deep Joy - 40 in Italy
By PFI Instructor John Hullverson
How would you and your buddy like to freedive in thermally heated waters requiring no wetsuit, in perfectly controlled conditions, to depths of up to 42 meters, while your friends and others watch and wave through a glass windowed cafe at the 5 meter mark? And when you finish your session, imagine rinsing off in the spa and heading down the street for a dinner at one of the local trattorias featuring the renowned cuisine of Northern Italy. Then imagine repeating the process day after day, all the while improving your technique and performance. Sound like a dream come true? Then you need to check out the Deep Joy Y-40 pool in Montegrotto Terme, Italy, about 45 minutes west of Venice and 15 minutes from Padua. The pool, which opened in a specially built annex of the Hotel Millepini Spa in 2014, is a freediver's dream and a place that has to be experienced to be believed. It's the deepest pool in the world and heated by local thermal waters to a super-relaxing 92 degrees. That's the temperature at which your body can stay in water indefinitely without developing a chill.
I had the chance to visit and train there last summer prior to the World Pool Championships in Serbia, and it's an experience I'd recommend to any freediver looking for a relaxing and unique way to train and work on technique. I stayed for 8 days at the very reasonably priced Hotel Millipini and dove for a couple hours every day.
The pool itself is a multi-level tank with 1.5 M, 5M, 8M, 10M, 12M, 15M and 42M sections (See diagram below). There are swim throughs and caves (for the scuba divers) and even a clear glass tubular tunnel running right through the pool at about 3 meters deep. The tunnel connects the locker room and pool entrance to the cafe, bar and pro shop on the other side.
Dive passes can be bought for about $30 for an hour and a half session and if you're traveling alone you can hire a safety buddy for an additional $20.
There's a knowledgeable and helpful staff and a range of equipment they may let you test out, from monofins to dive sleds.
It's a really great way to pack in some very concentrated and focused training with a vacation to one of the most historically significant areas in Italy. If you want to take a day off from training, the Renaissance city of Padua is only a bike ride away and Venice is only 45 minutes by train.
The warm and calm water makes diving comfortable and easy and if you feel up to it, they even have a stationary exercise bike at the bottom of the 40 meter tube!
PFI is thinking of running a course at Deep Joy Y-40 in the next year, so shoot us an emailif you think you might be interested and we'll put you on our "interested" list to make sure you get any updates!
Diver's view of the amazing Deep Joy -40