A 4 km itinerary, of low difficulty, which crosses the city of Salsomaggiore Terme, discovering the buildings and avenues in Art Nouveau styles that have made it one of the most important Villes d’Eaux in Europe.
Starting from the splendid Terme Berzieri, a balance of art deco and oriental style inaugurated in 1923, the journey that accompanies the discovery of three urban parks begins.
From Parco Corazza which houses the statue of the witch, you get to Parco Mazzini commissioned by Queen Margherita (who often came to Salsomaggiore), up to Parco Tommasini which previously belonged to the thermal baths with the same name, now closed.
Along the way there are also some churches: the church of Sant’Antonio, the Cathedral dedicated to San Vitale and the church of San Bartolomeo.
The Palace of Terme Berzieri, a unique example of thermal Art Deco, is a symbol of European thermalism and of the city of Salsomaggiore Terme.
The monumental Art Nouveau building, registered in the Cultural Heritage of Emilia Romagna, is the work of the architects Ugo Giusti and Giulio Bernardini.
The internationally renowned painter and decorator Galileo Chini curated the decorative apparatuses in which evident elements of oriental Chinese, Islamic and Hindu culture emerge, which Chini picked up from his previous experiences in the oriental world.
Renovated in 2007, the Corazza Park has been home to “La Strega” (The Witch), a sculptural work by Cristoforo Marzaroli since 2006.
The statue depicts an old lady sitting on a chair, leaning forward and with her elbows resting on her knees, probably a witch or a sorceress as some details suggest: the wand and the book she holds in her fingers, the toad, the snake and the crucible at his feet.
The park is the ideal space to stroll through the paths and colorful flower beds, read a good book and relax.
The historic Mazzini public park develops behind the large and modern building of the Terme Zoja; it was built in the early 1900s to offer a pleasant stay to the many visitors of the then already renowned spa town.
Although smaller than the original project, the green area - known in the past as "Parco Regina Margherita" in homage to Margherita di Savoia, who used to frequent the spa town - retains a typical Italian garden, a pond and many trees dating back to the first layout of the park.
A botanical itinerary, called “The queen's trees”, leads to the discovery of the most significant plants.
The original design of the Mazzini park was drawn up in 1912 by the architect Giuseppe Roda (1866-1951), heir to the famous dynasty of Turin landscape architects, inspired by the typical canons of the Liberty period.
The large park of the Civic Court is a public green area accessible from spring to autumn (closed in winter).
The wooded park is equipped with a children's playground.
The Church of Sant'Antonio da Padova in Salsomaggiore, built in 1915 at the behest of Father Giulio da Podenzano of the Capuchin Friars, has its Romanesque-modern line, while inside it is made up of a single nave with four side chapels.
Over the years the temple has been enriched with the bell tower, the side chapels with marble balustrades, the churchyard.
The baroque altarpiece overlooking the central altar and the walnut choir from the 18th century come from the church of the abolished Franciscan convent of San Secondo Parmense.
Inside it is possible to admire several frescoes and paintings.
The Church of San Vitale, built in 1927 and today the Cathedral of the spa town, is worth a visit for its octagonal dome of 19 meters in diameter and 30 meters in height.
The interior consists of a large circular room where you can admire prestigious paintings by the artist Fontanesi.
In the lower part of the religious building is the crypt, dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie.
The Church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo was founded in 1568 by the Ducal Confraternity of the Sacred Sacrament, on the place where a salt pan previously existed.
Subsequently, in particular during the 18th century, the church was modified and today it has markedly 18th century characters.
This small church still preserves its ancient face almost intact, brought back to its original polychromies by a recent restoration.
Inside there are two valuable wooden statues of Baroque style, depicting San Bartolomeo and San Giacomo.