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The bathsBagno Caldo or “Jean Varraud”

Its the oldest building of the thermal spa its orginal building was simply made it contained two baths (one for men, one of women), the waters flowed directly from the spring. In 1291 the Republic of Lucca authorized the constrution for lodging for the poor nearby.The old perimeter of the bath can be seen with the two rooms not in use today. The entrance of the building was higher than the attuale one, the road was lowered in the Baciocchi era, when Elisa decided to expand the building. The first casino was opened in Bagni Caldi, above the thermal spas when the inflow of tourists from abroad was high. Lots came to Bagni di Lucca to be cured by the waters. In the beginning of the 16th century, the building was enlarged with the start of the use of the cabes and showers which were known as being efficacious. The method used was that the water flow was to fall from a certain height into tanks that had small pipes that the water came out of aimed onto the sore part of the body giving it a heated massage.Until the middle of the 16th century only one spring was used it was called Doccione and was the hotest, but in the middle of the 800’s another spring was discovered called Fontino and the water was piped to a few small underground baths for the poor, which today runs into a small cave. The temperture of the air inside the cave of Bagni Caldi is around 45°C/113°F. The water from the Doccione flows also with smaller springs (Fontino,S.Lucia, Orecchiaia) on the bottom of a natural cave, that goes to two caves that uses the vapours of the waters to make an orginal sauna. The springs also deposit lots of mud which are used for the mud baths. Georg Christoph Martini on his trips in Tuscany (1725-1745) writes:

“The first and oldest spa situated in the north called Bagno Caldo because of the high tempertures of its waters. It’s divided into three rooms, not all that clean and with small domes for ceilings, to let out the vapours. In the first room was for men with a deep cave 5 or 6 armlengths partly natural and partly artificale from where hot water drops, the heat is unbearable. The second room was for women, and the third was a room with baths called Docce, in here theres a marble tub that runs along the wall with different openings with wooden tubes that premits the water to fall down like rain on the patients. In the same room there’s a a small tub made by the Earl of Bamberg.”

At the beginning of the 19thcentury the establishment was radically restored, Elisa Baciocchi ordered he enlargement of some of the structures and the demolishment of the others the works were controlled by the architect Lazzarini. In these new establishments of 1837 the first roulette was used before the official opening of the casino in 1839 at Ponte a Serraglio. Bagni Caldi was known as a Curing Center with facilities for tourism. Maria Adriana Giusti wrote “that reconstruction of the Baciocchi era created an image of a tourist village, in which health and enjoyment were in ratio with nature.” In 1922 the french industrialist Jean Varrud financed a small cave. From after the war no main changes have been made. Today this establishment is returning to its antique splendor with new restoration and new services being offered. They are opened nearly all year round and its possible to have a series of cures under the health service and to forefront beauty treatments. There are two natural vapour caves: Grotta Grande and Grotta Paolina (this is supplied with water of the Fontino) its called Paolina in honour of Napoleones sister who often stayed here. In the establishments Jean Varraud and Casa Boccella there are immersion tubs,mud-theraphy,natural vapour caves and inhalation.

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