The name of the town comes from Roman “Salso Maiore”, showing how saline water has been, since ancient times, the foundation of the wealth of this important town in the northern Italian province of Parma. Although known since Pre-roman times, it wasn't until 1839 that the curative properties of the waters (here and in nearby Tabiano) were discovered, and the spa town developed around them. Today is one of Italy's most prestigious resort spas.
Visitors to modern-day Salsomaggiore will find plentiful parks, gardens, swimming pools, a golf course, and many cultural and artistic events, as well as a thriving thermal spa centre, boasting a line of beauty skincare products made from the spa water. The town is very close to the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome, certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, with plenty of opportunities to discover by walking the stunning countryside surroundings.
The Municipality of Salsomaggiore Terme is a Founding Member of EHTTA.
First the celtic tribe of Galli Celelati, and later the Romans, settled in the hills around the town to extract the precious salts for many centuries. Romans t left several archeological evidences, among which the famous Tabula Patronatus by Virus Valens stands out.
However, it wasn’t until 1839 that Doctor Lorenzo Berzieri, a local general practitioner, discovered the curative properties of the waters here and in nearby Tabiano. A licence for the use of the mineral water, given by the Duchess Maria Luisa in the year 1847, signed the beginning of the history of the health resort.
Berzieri's name graces the “Liberty”-style thermal centre, the “Terme Berzieri” built in 1923 by the architect Ugo Giusti, richly decorated inside and out by the ceramist Galileo Chini, with multiple symbols from oriental and occidental philosophies.
The contributions of ceramist Galileo Chini were crucial to give Terme Berziere its particular art decó flair.
This multi-talented artist decorated the water palace with multiplicities of symbolisms attained from oriental and occidental philosophies and motives with references to Assyrian-Babylonian and Byzantine architectures, revised after the style of Klimt and the Viennese Secession.
The cold (16ºC) hyper tonic salty waters of Salsomaggiore have its origin millions of years ago: they are extracted from 800 metres to 1200 metres deep wells, at a density of 16° Baumé (150 grams salt per litre water). The high percentage of sodium chloride, iodine and bromine, besides many other mineral salts, amplify the therapeutic benefits of the spa water. The typical rusty colour is due to the presence of ferrous minerals that oxidize in contact with the air.
At the thermal centre, which welcomes all the family, the water are used to treat chronic inflammations of the osteo-articular, gynaecological, vascular and respiratory systems, as well as gum diseases and cellulite problems, offering a wide range of tretments and techniques.
Salt-bromo-iodine water baths are one of the most important, also used for beauty and wellness treatments. Due to the high mineral and iodine content bath are also suitable for children. Mud applications are recommended for rheumathism, as they increase the analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. Inhalation treatments are indicated by disorders of the primary airways and bronchial pathologies, selected between inhalations, aerosol, nasal douches or irrigations. Specific treatments by catarrhal otitis and rhinological deafness, like insufflations and crenotherapeutic Politzer using sulphuric gas
Both Berzieri and Tabiano Thermal Baths have their own line of skincare beaty products, originated at the spa's Institute of Cosmetic and Pharmaceutic Research: they are the result of accurate studies and long tradition.
Since the 1920’s, the Società Anonima Regie Terme, aware of the extraordinary properties of the salt-bomo-iodine spa water, has extracted mineral substances and mineral salts from the healing waters to formulate specific pharmacological, hygienic and cosmetic products. Nowadays, the spa company produces complete lines of dermatological cosmetic products for face, skin and body care as well as for mouth hygiene, involving natural science like phytotherapy and aromatherapy.
The Conference Centre, a former hotel located at the heart of the spa park, is another Art Decó gem in Salsomaggiore. Taverna Rossa (the Red Tavern) is one of its stunning historical halls.
The Respighi Spa, in Tabiano Terme, specialized in inhalation treatments
The Tourist Office of Salsomaggiore is located within the the Warowland Gallery, a characteristic building in new-medieval style
La Strega (The Witch) bronze sculpture at Corazza Park
Terme Berzieri - front façade
Terme Berzieri - interiors
Chini's decorative details at Terme Berzieri