Italy: Montecatini Terme I. – Healing Force Springing out From the Earth
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This area and the beneficial effects of water spraying from under the earth have a long history. Already in the times of ancient Rome they were well known. The first documented written reports of the thermal baths date back to 1201. The official history of the thermal baths began when the scholar Ugolino Simoni da Montecatini explored the nature of the mineral water in one of his works (De Balneorum Italiea Proprietatibus and Virtutibus, 1417). He writes about baths where when the peasants dip, their joints and backache are cured. The second baths described was scrubbed and the third bath was mentioned in the work.
The construction of the thermal baths itself took place only in the second half of the 18th century under the auspices of Grand Duke Pietro Leopold di Lorena. In 1773, the first Bagno Regio was built. In the following years, Leopoldine (1775) and Tettuccio (1779) were built. The Grand Duke ordered the construction of the "Bibite gratuite" building, where they could use the beneficial properties of the water even poorer.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the village at the foot of Mount Montecatini became the town of Bagni di Montecatini (today Montecatini Terme). The mud therapy did not return to fashion until 1928.
The period between the 19th and the 20th century, called the Belle Époque, is the time when the Montecatini Terme has reached the peak of its glory. This period was reflected in the artistic and architectural design of monuments, buildings and works of art in Art Nouveau style. It was a period of great prosperity and glory in the city. I traveled through the elite of intellectuals and aristocracy not only from Italy but also from the rest of Europe. Let us remember at least the composers Giuseppe Verdi, Rugger Leocavall, Giacomo Puccini, and Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II.
To date, thermal baths are still working to increase their glory. The luxury they offer proves not only a long list of celebrities that have used the services of local facilities but also the number of films and commercials that have been filmed here.
From the depth of the earth, four springs of healing water - Rinfresco, Tettuccio, Regina and Leopoldine - are used in thermal complexes. The minerals contained in this water allow for a wide range of procedures. The main ones are drinking treatments, inhalations, mud treatments, physiotherapy, rehabilitation and balneotherapy.
Their effects are demonstrable and are mainly used in diseases of the liver, gall bladder and duodenum, kidney, urinary tract and digestive system. They also have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, bones, muscles, joints, skin, lungs and airways. They also contribute greatly to stress and anxiety problems.
The thermal baths of Montecatini Terme are an oasis of harmony and comfort. They offer space for those who like to enjoy the spa all over the place. The complete spa package combines the traditional benefits of thermal water and mud with the latest wellness and cosmetic methods, such as massages, beauty treatments, weight loss and relaxation. That is why we can not miss a special cosmetic assortment.
The center is a spa house. The building of Terme Excelsior baths was built in the style of Liberty (1907). The façade of the building forms architectural elements in the form of Corinthian columns, garlands and wreaths. The characteristic feature of the building is an open gallery inspired by the Florentine Renaissance. There are round arches with columns with embossed busts that render renowned personalities of the history of the spa. The building consists of two parts. The historical part is associated with a modern part (the 1960s), made of cement construction with full windows.
If you continue to rush the city, you will come to the house of Terme Leopoldina (1775) and right behind it in the heart of the Thermal Park you will get to the hidden pavilion Tamerici (1903, Giulio Bernardino). Two Tuscan Renaissance arcades bring you to Salone delle Esposizioni, whose ceiling walls are decorated with frescoes (Luigi Arcangioli, Galileo Chini). The complex consists of four buildings linked by overlaid corridors. His style evokes the Middle Ages, but polychrome refers to the Eastern world. The unifying elements include ceramics, stone tower decorations, lions, rosettes and polychromatic majolica. All the elements were made in the studio of Galileo Chini (1910). Chini Hall is also interesting for us.
The shadows of the surrounding park trees lead you to the monumental white façade of Terme Tettuccio (1779) baths, which was rebuilt by architect Ugem Giovannozzim. Interesting is the Gallerie delle bibite, which serves as a drinking couch and is decorated with seven ceramic panels depicting the stages of life (Basilio Cascello, 1927).
In the beautiful halls and pavilions of the spa houses, you can enjoy concerts or exhibitions in addition to the healing power flowing from the ground. They are also used for conferences and meetings.
The parks are an integral part of the spa. They activate the psyche and contribute to increasing the healing effect of the spa. There are also various fitness programs and outdoor activities in the parks.
But we do not end up with the spa, we will move to the city center at night next week. On the way, we will follow the golden marks in which are the names of the famous figures and the year they visited.
Text and photos: Mgr. Anna Nociarová
Edited by: Infoglobe
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