Thermal Baths of San Giuliano, the former Baths of Pisa
The baths of San Giuliano, known already to the Etruscans and the Romans, were rebuilt during the course of the Middle Ages. In the early 15th century, Ugolino da Montecatini recommended these waters for the treatment of various disorders. After a period of decline, the baths were rebuilt in the 18th century, under the government of the Regent, Francis Stephen of Lorraine, and soon became one of the most important thermal centres in the Grand Duchy and a fashionable place frequented by prominent Tuscan and foreign families.
The eighteenth-century revival of thermal centres was accompanied by a number of scientific studies on mineral waters. One of the most significant of these concerned the waters of San Giuliano. In 1750, in fact, the physician Antonio Cocchi published in Florence a treatise (Dei Bagni di Pisa) in which the waters were analysed from the chemical viewpoint and in relation to their therapeutic properties. As recorded by a memorial stone from 1908 found at the baths, the scientist Giuseppe Orosi, director of the Pisa School of Pharmacy from 1865-66 to 1875-76, began here to conduct the first chemical research. During the 19th century the baths of San Giuliano – along with those of Montecatini and Bagni di Lucca – developed still further, both as therapeutic centres and as resort towns, becoming favourite places to stop in the refined, cultured grand tour of the 19th century.
Today the thermal baths, which over the course of time have welcomed illustrious guests, scientists, authors and artists, continue to be a place of relaxation and wellness.
Texts by Graziano Magrini
English translation by Catherine Frost
Last update 15/gen/2008