The Five Star Massage

An intelligent and empathic method is born on the Amalfi Coast. Conceived, developed, and patented by two partners and friends from Positano, this treatment is a journey that awakens and brings the body and mind back to a new connection.

By Anna Volpicelli 

Floating in the air while remaining anchored to the earth. Or better, to a bed. The innovative Five Star method is a new massage technique that combines functional stretching with body manipulations. A patented system was created on the Amalfi Coast by Stefano Imbimbo, a rehabilitation technician, and Valentia Fusco, a sports masseuse with a holistic focus. “We have been working together for about 13 years – Valentina tells us in the wellness area of Hotel Margherita where two Five Star facilities are located – Five years ago, from intuition, this idea was born. We were offering our massages at Villa Tre Ville in Positano. An American gentleman booked a massage of an hour and a half for 15 days for him and his wife, asking us for exclusivity. He was a rather robust gentleman, so some movements were not easy. After the fourth session, given the difficulty, Stefano decided to pass a cloth from one side to the other of a tile of the gazebo to allow the gentleman to put his leg inside. Our massages today, as in the past, were done by covering the client’s eyes. At the end of the session, the American gentleman asked Stefano to repeat the same treatment the next day because the benefits had been remarkable. He felt great.” 


After careful thought, study, and research, the two partners experimented and developed their method. “To realize this project, we worked with a series of professionals, including a doctor, who followed us step by step in the conception of the movements and the structure,” says Stefano. The Five Star massage is a wellness experience where, in a wooden structure that resembles the shape of an isosceles trapezium, one lies down on a massage table placed at the center. At the corners, through a system of rings, are hung some clothes on which, during the massage, the masseuse puts the client’s feet, legs, arms, and head. “A carpenter friend patiently built this structure, a key part of the patent obtained five years ago.” 

Stretching out with the Five Star method, courtesy of the Positano Massage Team

Beauty inside out

Between Praiano and Positano, about nine hotels and villas allow their guests and extremes to enjoy a Five Star experience. These are Hotel Margherita, Grand Hotel Tritone, Hotel Onda Verde, Villa Ca’P’a, Hotel Eden Roc, Villa Magia, Villa Tre Ville and a couple of private villas. “We have designed several facilities that we give on loan to the various hotels that have ways to offer a Five Star massage experience. Our procedure involves performing the massage outdoors, where clients are constantly covered. Because the Amalfi Coast is a unique place globally, it was important to us that those receiving the message could also enjoy the beauty of the landscape,” Valentina explains. 

The method

Suitable for everyone, the massage starts at the back. “You get on your stomach, and your feet and legs are placed in the cloths. It gives the pelvis a chance to release all the tension. From here, we start doing back manipulations to release tension. After that, we turn supine once finished, and the various limbs, legs, arms, and heads are all placed on the various sheets. The posture is extremely relaxing and effective on the whole back because you are perfectly aligned. The suspension of the limbs allows us to move the body with greater ease and perform a deep massage,” explains Stefano. Rounding out the wellness derived from Five Star is the oil with soy and almonds explicitly made for the treatment by the Rizzo Pharmacy in Positano. “With this massage, we went beyond the classic menus usually offered in spas,” says Stefano, “This is because we work differently with the client, trying to customize the treatment according to their needs and requirements. 

The deep massage of the legs and the back, courtesy of The Positano Massage Team

Empathy First

Dialogue is essential in this practice. “For us, it’s crucial to make the person who will receive this experience understand the journey they will take. So, once we listen to the needs, we tell the person what will happen in an hour of massage, what we will do, and then they, if they want, will tell us at the end how they feel,” explains Valentina. In addition to the various treatments, Stefano and Valentina are also involved in training. “Every year, especially in the winter season,” explains Stefano, now in charge of training, “we teach the Five Star procedure and method to several girls and boys who will then work with us. The courses are held at Villa Rizzo in Salerno, where we train both the team that will join us in Amalfi Coast and the staff of the Villa”. Five Star is an experience that rebalances, re-centers, and re-harmonizes through an intelligent and empathic method.


Positano Massage Team: tel. +39. 338. 486. 5338,

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