Bagni della Puzzolente [Stinking Baths]
"Puddle or Little Lagoon... which by reason of its great stench, is in Livorno called The Stinking Water... Its stench equals that of Bulicami and Zolfatare... When the bottom of the pool is moved, the mud appears as black as ink, and very bad smelling. There are many acquatic plants, which flourish there, as well as some Frogs". It was thus that, in 1742, Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti explained the reason for the singular name of the place.
In 1844 Pasquale Poccianti designed a thermal establishment in this zone, called "I Bagnetti " (the baths) or "La Puzzolente" (The stinker). The building of the former thermal centre, in neoclassic style, stands at the end of Viale degli Acquedotti, in what was later to become an elegant district. Behind the thermal centre, at the foot of the hill called Colle di Limone, there was a great park, now become a woods. The thermal establishment, frequented mainly by the less affluent classes, was definitively closed in 1897.
In the past, the cold sulphur water was heated by special systems and used for the baths. In 1911, after the closure of the centre, it was channeled and conveyed to the old civic hospital of Livorno. Today, no longer used, it is discharged along the shore of the Acqua Puzzolente stream, not far from Bagnetti's building.
Texts by Graziano Magrini
English translation by Catherine Frost
Last update 23/feb/2008