Once you've reached Salsomaggiore Terme, just an hour from Parma and a 20-minute drive from Fidenza, you will be in sight of one of Italy's most famous spa facilities.
The name of this resort town in Emilia has always alluded to the thermal waters that flow there. These waters were renowned as early as Roman times and since 1839 have been consistently used in body and wellness treatments.
The town affords a number of spas, and the Terme di Salsomaggiore actually comprise two: the Terme Zoja, for spa treatments, and the Berzieri facility, a stunning Liberty-style building housing a modern wellness centre.
The star attraction of all the treatments available at this spa is the distinctive, rust-coloured sodium chloride, bromide and iodide-rich water with health benefits to treat a variety of disorders.
To make the most of the wellness that they bring, the Terme di Salsomaggiore uses as many as four different types of thermal water. In addition to the sodium chloride, bromide and iodide-rich, hypertonic water, this facility makes its own exclusive Acqua Madre [mother water], Acqua Madre Decalcificata [decalcified mother water] and Acqua Salsobromoiodica Deferrizzata [sodium chloride, bromide and iodide-rich, de-ironed water], which are obtained using a concentration process that is carried out on the sodium chloride, bromide and iodide-rich water itself.
When used in thermal water treatments, such as inhalations, mud therapy, rehabilitation and balneotherapy, these waters can provide countless health benefits. They can help boost immune defences (owing to their anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties) and can regenerate the body by encouraging cell renewal, for example.
After a thorough medical check-up, guests at the Zoja facility are directed accordingly towards a specific treatment based on their specific health needs. Those suffering from gynaecological disorders, backache, headaches, vasculopathies or venous insufficiency will find relief in the therapies available at this spa.
As you leave the Terme Zoja behind you and head a few hundred metres away, you will come across the Berzieri Wellness Centre, thought of as Salsomaggiore Terme's shrine to Liberty-style architecture, which dates back to 1923.
This monumental facility marks the beginning of a journey through Galileo Chini's art, with his decoration of the building's façade and interior, embracing the elegant stylistic features of art nouveau and combining them with Eastern influences.
The East is precisely the inspiration behind one of the three areas that make up this wellness centre, which is open all year round. The east wing of the building houses the swimming pools for the Mari d’Oriente experience: a space exclusively for relaxation, where you can try multiple massaging water jets and a neck massage in the larger pool, the vascular therapy system in the medium-sized pool and the aromatherapy bath with underwater music in the smaller of the three.
The west wing is all about physical fitness, offering anti-cellulite treatments, aromatic baths and a Turkish bath.
Lastly, the middle section of the spa is exclusively for couple treatments and also features the beauty centre where you can enjoy face and body treatments such as massages with thermal salt, as well as many other kinds of massage techniques.
Wellness packages are also available.