Rationalist architecture in the Castrocaro Terme spa

The Castrocaro spa, an example of modern architecture in Romagna

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Revered by wellness and relaxation enthusiasts for its beneficial properties, the sulphurous water of Castrocaro Terme, rich in sodium, chloride, bromide and iodide, flows down from the lush green hills of Romagna, not far from Forlì.

At the end of a restorative day at the spa, it is well worth stepping outside to discover the history of this small town. Alongside Predappio and Forlì, Castrocaro Terme is, in fact, living proof of rationalist architecture, an artistic movement that emerged in the 1920s, but which all too soon fell into the hands of the Fascist regime and was used as a political tool.

In the wake of the urban renewal under way in Benito Mussolini's homeland, the Parco delle Terme in Castrocaro was completely transformed and 1,200 poplars from Canada were planted in the parkland. This park has since become the town's public garden, covering eight hectares, which include a botanical itinerary.

Castrocaro's urban renewal did not stop at the park, though. After the state acquired the spa complex, construction began in 1936 to build the town's new rationalist-style spa centre with decorative features by the Tuscan painter Tito Chini, which was destined to become Castrocaro's star attraction.

To complete your journey into rationalist art in this part of Emilia-Romagna, you must pay a visit to the open-air urban museum in Predappio and make a stop in Forlì, where the Modern Architecture Bike Tour will take you to see key examples of the town's twentieth-century architecture. The three must-see spots for modern architecture are Viale della Libertà, Porta Ravaldino and the old town centre.

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Last update 26/02/2020