The thermal complex of Castrocaro Terme is a splendid example of beautiful Art Déco perfectly merged with modern architecture, almost leading us to forget the terrible ideals behind the regime, which built it. Still today, international guests enjoy the healing waters of the unique spa resort.
Castrocaro thermal complex: Marriage between Rationalism and Art Déco
The thermal complex of Castrocaro Terme is unique in Italy, combining rationalist architecture and the decorative style of Art Déco. It was Tito Chini, who decorated the buildings with ceramics and paintings, celebrating water, life and games.
Between 1936 and 1938, the new luxurious spa complex added to the existing thermal structure built in the 19th century. Three buildings were constructed and decorated: the Grand Hotel, a spa building (Palazzo delle Terme) for thermal treatments, and the festival hall (Padiglione delle Feste), all immersed in a vast and lush park. With elegantly decorated interiors, luxurious exteriors of terracotta, travertine and marble as well as modern facilities, Castrocaro gained international reputation as a spa resort.
Modernisation, recreation, and grandeur
Castrocaro Terme and Fratta Terme are the only hot spring resorts built from scratch under the Fascist regime in Italy - both in the province of Forlì. In fact, Mussolini devoted great attention to the modernisation of the province of his origins. The Fascist leader carried out a number of measures, among which the valorisation of the spa resorts (tourism programme).
Moreover, the thermal complexes were part of the social and health programme, supposed to regenerate the Italian population. However, the thermal complex of Castrocaro was designed for high society, offering a place for recreation and diversion. It hosted an international clientele, as well as political leaders to be received by Mussolini.
Known as the “spa of the Mussolini family” (“le Terme dei Mussolini”), it was a place aimed at displaying the power and grandeur of the regime. Furthermore, it was part of the construction of the Mussolini myth in the province of his origins.