Terme Berzieri

A Sanctuary of Health

Written by Matthew Burgos
Photographed by Martina Maffini

The royalty of a palace, the artistry of the past, the luxury of the present, and the tales of a monument: these are the legacies that manifest a sanctuary, the home to a healing journey that rejuvenates the impurities of skin and body and purifies the mind and soul.

The oasis of Terme Berzieri nestles in Parma, a city in the region of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy; its thermal baths and spa treatments free the strains of the city life, rely on research to alleviate ailments and mark Parma as a spa town on the map.

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The thermal bath and spa house draws its beginnings from the study and findings of Dr. Lorenzo Berzieri who reviewed and identified the healing properties of the water in Salsomaggiore Terme, a municipality in Parma. The salsobromoiodic water, or the iodine-bromine saltwater, treats rheumatic, respiratory, gynecological, vascular and circulatory disorders, possesses antalgic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory features, and elements of antioxidants, cell turnover and reactivation of the peripheral circulation.

“The construction of the building started in 1901 and finished at the end of the First World War. After its final touches in 1923, a gala inaugurated the grand opening of the architecture with attendees of the high society coming from Italy and several parts of Europe”.

Stepping onto the property of Terme Berzieri, the ingress carves a pathway of tiled stones and welcomes the visitors between fountains, while the front façade announces THERMAE between two crouching and roaring tigers. Below the tableau, four pillars do the heavy lifting and divide the entrance by three. With sunlight glancing across the palace, this first visual impression—a kind of architectural vigor— already begins to siphon away the stress, anxiety and health concerns—even before a single toe is dipped into a thermal bath.

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Terme Berzieri, architecture

Laura Morsia of Terme Berzieri shares the history of this palatial campus: “The construction of the building started in 1901 and finished at the end of the First World War. After its final touches in 1923, a gala inaugurated the grand opening of the architecture with attendees of the high society coming from Italy and several parts of Europe. Since then, Terme Berzieri has been known for its offers of thermal therapy, which Center of Hydrotherapy Zoja now hosts, while Terme Berzieri caters wellness and spa treatments. The ground floor houses thermal pools and the upper floor accommodates the spa, surrounded by the garden view and the artistry of the building’s architects and designers Ugo Giusti and Giulio Bernardini.”

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Terme Berzieri, architecture

On the lobby floor, the name of Dr. Lorenzo Berzieri as the harbinger of the palace remains inscribed with an image of the salsobromoiodic water of Salsomaggiore Terme. At the far end of the hall, the warm lighting washes across the space, infusing a grounding sense of tranquility. Here, two grand staircases split the pathway where midway, towering mirrors in gold frames and ornaments magnify the expanse and wide windows frame the scenic forest-clambered town outside, as the sunlight spills inside.

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