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  • Former thermal baths "Acque della Salute", Leghorn.zoom in altra finestra

Ex Terme "Acque della Salute" [Former "Waters of Health" Baths]

Near the middle of the 19th century, a rich mineral-water basin was discovered in the vicinity of today's railway station. Five cold thermal springs were found, with temperature of around 14 o C, which were named Preziosa, Vittoria, Sovrana, Corsi and Corallo. The latter, discovered in 1856, was the most famous and the most bubbly: its water was also used in the production of carbonated beverages.

At first a small pavilion, very well frequented, was built. Later, subsequent to scientific studies on the quality of the waters, it was decided to build a big establishment in Art Nouveau style, which, called "Waters of Health", was inaugurated in 1905. The thermal centre, extending over a vast garden area, consisted of a main building connected by porticoes to other buildings, distinguished by a skylight with colored panes of glass, and designed to serve as dance hall, concert hall and reading room. In the building to the left of the central pavilion were the administrative offices and the medical studios; in the one to the right was the room where, from artistic fountains, cold or hot water was taken; the latter was heated artificially. In the park were other pavilions for the various springs and a bottling plant for Acqua Corallo mineral water. Another pavilion designed for a more modest clientele stood outside the thermal park.

In the 1940s the centre was closed due to partial exhaustion of the water basin. The bottling activity continued instead until the Sixties, but, although having become a small industry, it too was closed down due to pollution of the water table. The company then decided to dedicate itself exclusively to mixing, bottling and distributing Coca-Cola, until it went out of business definitively in 1967.

Today, in spite of progressive degradation and the need for restoration, it is still possible to admire the elegant architectural structures of the thermal centre with their decoration scheme.


Texts by Graziano Magrini

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 14/gen/2008