Surrounded by rolling green hills, Salsomaggiore Terme lies between the provinces of Parma and Piacenza, in the heart of Northern Italy and the Po Valley, about an hour from Milan and Bologna.
The ideal destination for those seeking a place of relaxation, the exquisitely Nouveau-Deco-style spa is particularly recommended for recovering from city stress with its quiet places, its huge green spaces and its wellness center where you can enjoy regenerative treatments.
A full calendar of events and a wide range of activities proposed by the spa facilities combine to make Salsomaggiore Terme the place to go at any time of year.
The spa façade was built at the end of the 19th century, and in the heyday of Art-Deco the Berzieri spa became the symbol of the city not only for its hot springs but also for its art and architecture.
Constructed in 1913 following a design by Ugo Giusti and Giulio Bernardini, Galileo Chini’s decorations gave the grandiose building its distinctive Nouveau - Deco imprint.
The Berzieri spa is also the a focal point of a Nouveau-Deco itinerary which winds through the city, starting with the Pozzo Scotti, facing the spa, whose structure in glass and wrought iron was placed there in 1912 to showcase the salsobromoiodic water which still flows today.
Continuing along the itinerary, you come to the Palazzo dei Congressi (Conference Centre), the former Grand Hotel Des Thermes, erected in 1901, designed by Luigi Broggi and decorated by the Milanese artists Mazzucotelli and Valentini and subsequently frescoed by Galileo Chini.
In the vicinity of the palace one can still see the Nouveau - Deco modifications carried out on the former Casino Kursaal which is accessed by means of a monumental Berardinelli stairway which ends the Viale Romagnosi.
For those wishing to immerse themselves in the history of Salsomaggiore Terme, we recommend a visit to the Paleontological Museum “Il Mare Antico” ("The Old Sea"), situated inside the Palazzo dei Congressi, where you can admire numerous relics from the Quaternary era, when the city was submerged by the sea.
You cannot leave the spa without visiting the Gavinell Botanical Garden, a haven of tranquillity and natural serenity. Surrounded by greenery, with over 450 species of plants over an area of 12 hectares, the garden is located just two kilometres from the town centre.
For those who would like a gastronomic souvenir of the town “Brutti ma buoni” (“Ugly but tasty”) are recommended; these are rock-like cakes made of egg whites and nuts, just right for any occasion.
Liqueur lovers, however, may also enjoy Camomillina, Nocino, Bargnolino and Limoncino made by Columbus, a historical Salsomaggiore liqueur producer which uses only natural products and traditional, authentic production methods.
In addition to the Salsomaggiore Thermae , the indoor swimming pool of the Hotel Porro and Valentini provides salsobromoiodic water at a temperature of 31 ° C. The Tabiano Spa (4 km) with its sulphurous waters offers traditional types of treatment and wellness facilities.
In the hills, the Salsomaggiore Golf Club (7 km) with its 18-hole course enjoys a spectacular location in the green valley.
The theatrical season at the Teatro Nuovo offers, from October to June, a calendar of events for all tastes. This reaches its climax in the Grand New Year's concert dedicated to the music of Strauss, provided by the Arturo Toscanini Foundation and performed by the Emilia Romagna Regional Orchestra under great conductors. Among the events hosted here is also the famous Miss Italy beauty contest.
Among the rolling hills surrounding Salsomaggiore, it is worth visiting the Castello di Scipione (3 km), the ancient manor of the medieval Pallavicino family which had the function of protecting the area’s many salt wells.
Of great interest near the town are two splendid examples of Romanesque art built between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Romanesque church of St. Nicomedes in the village of the same name (about 5 km from the centre) and the Romanesque church of San Giovanni in Contignaco (2.5 km).