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Bertinoro, Italy

Thermal town between rationalism and Roman inspiration

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Castrocaro, Italy

Illusory beauty

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Cesenatico, Italy

Town of holiday camps

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Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria

Between modernism and Stalinist architecture

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Forlì, Italy

Showcase of modernity – a story of contradictions

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Forlimpopoli, Italy

Urban regeneration

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Iasi, Romania

Modern and ancient, side by side

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Labin, Croatia

Industrial mining town in transformation

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Predappio, Italy

From pilgrim destination to site of critical reflection

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Rasa, Croatia

Between Istrian tradition and modern architecture

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Sofia, Bulgaria

Architectural landmarks from two different periods

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Torviscosa, Italy

Town of autarchy and cellulose

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Tresigallo, Italy

Planned town dedicated to agricultural industry

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Traces of two regimes

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Tirana, Albania

A mosaic of architectural styles

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Ferrara, Italy

Rationalist traces in a Renaissance city

Spa building

A place of contradictions

Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole, Italy

The architecture of the spa buildings glorified the figure of Mussolini, while its decorations celebrated the healing waters of Castrocaro. Today, this may create contradictory feelings: the celebration of a violent Fascist dictator on the one hand, and on the hand the celebration of water, the elixir of life.

Celebrating Mussolini

The construction of the spa building integrated the existing thermal structure built in the 19th century (Bagni Conti) and comprised 47 rooms for spa treatments. The M-shaped design is probably due to functional as well as celebrative reasons (“M” symbolising Mussolini). In fact, in the 1930s, the complex was referred to as the “spa of the Mussolini family”.

Celebrating water, health and joy

The most significant architectural and decorative elements of the spa building are the entrance and the entrance hall, accessed from the park. An imposing portico in modernist style leads into the two-floor entrance hall. Splendid metopes (rectangular stone reliefs) dedicated to the motif of healing waters decorate the door framings. It was Tito Chini who decorated the spacious foyer with great attention to detail, harmoniously combining floor mosaics, skylights, balustrades, furniture and two decorative wooden panels. The two panels possibly display the Islands of the Blessed (Isola della Felicità), conveying the motif of joy and health through the image of a paradise on earth.