Stabilimento termale Acque della Salute

"Acque della Salute" Thermal Spa

The "Waters of Health" spa has some of the most important architecture in Liberty style in Livorno


The Spa baths named 'Acque della Salute' were built starting from 1903 according to a project of the engineer Angiolo Badaloni who had also projected the large 'Mercato delle Vettovaglie' in Livorno. The chosen area was at the end of the Viale degli Acquedotti in a strip of town on the east side that was not built up.

In 1854 a spring of salt water had been discovered here that was suitable for treatment of the digestive apparatus. Some of the citizens organised for the spring to be closed inside a small octagonal-shaped temple in order to promote its commercial use. It was so successful that in the first years of the twentieth century the spring was taken over by the Society 'Acque della Salute' which decided to build a proper thermal spa there.
The spa baths were completed in 1905 and immediately became one of the most important centres of attraction of Livorno, which at the time was still one of the capital towns of seaside tourism in Italy. The activity of 'Acque della Salute' continued up to the second world war; in the postwar period the pavilions were transformed into a dance hall, while the activity of bottling the water was further developed.

Badaloni's project was based on three buildings with distinct functions, joined up by elegant colonnades arranged around a garden that faced the road. The pavilions are embellished with a elegant liberty decorative style while from a constructive and technical point of view, they are consolidated with many elements in reinforced concrete.
The building on the left housed the medical laboratories and administrative offices: the pavilion on the right, similar to the first and with an apse, was destined for the distribution of the waters, to which were given the following names - Sovrana, Corallo, Corzia, Preziosa and Vittoria - so as to distinguish them for their therapeutic properties.

Both pavilions have majolica tiles realised by the artist Ernesto Bellandi, inlaid on the sides of the arches of the entrances into the two buildings. The central building, adorned with a large portico with round arches, housed the baths for the thermal treatment in the basement area while on the upper floor there was a large room for holding celebrations and some smaller rooms reserved for recreational activities and a restaurant.
The 'Acque della Salute' (Waters of Health) represent some of the most important architecture in Livorno, taking considerable inspiration from the Liberty influences of the early twentieth century, particularly in certain details such as the wooden fixtures, usually carved with refined floral designs.


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