The Terme Berzieri, a world symbol.
The Terme Berzieri were built starting in 1914 by the architect Ugo Giusti, who introduced the Florentine artist Galileo Chini to Salsomaggiore Terme. A painter, decorator and ceramist, Chini was at the height of his international success: he was engaged as the official decorator of the Venice Biennale and commissioned by the King of Siam to create the decorations for the Throne Palace in Bangkok.
Oriental influences marked his work at the Berzieri Thermal Baths, where he signed the two paintings on the walls of the central staircase, and also in other buildings in the city, such as the Grand Hôtel des Thérmes (now the Palazzo dei Congressi).
The inauguration of the spa complex, named after the doctor Lorenzo Berzieri who was the first to realise the therapeutic potential of Salsomaggiore's water, took place on 27 May 1923, and it was immediately recognised as a symbol of thermalism in the world.
Starting from the critical reading of Rossana Bossaglia, who defined the art of Terme Berzieri as "rich Déco", Salsomaggiore will be the heart of cultural initiatives centred on the figure of Galileo Chini, and with the involvement of national and international scientific institutions and museums.
The exhibition Galileo Chini. Gold and the Orient. Decorative Alchemy for "The Most Beautiful Spa in the World", revealing the artistic monumentality of Salsomaggiore, curated by Maurizia Bonatti Bacchini and Valerio Terraroli, will be held from 27 May to 17 September 2023.
The exhibition will tell the story of Chini's artistic genius through large paintings, preparatory drawings and ceramic objects. It will be a selection of works, also unpublished, in dialogue with the decorative apparatuses and subjects of spa iconography.
In addition to the Berzieri Thermal Baths, a place strongly characterised by references to gold, other monumental buildings in the city will be involved, such as the Palazzo dei Congressi, the Corte Civica Tommasini. The recently restored Corte Civica Tommasini will be enhanced by multimedia effects created by Marco Stucchi and Elena Bastianini.
It will be a diffuse itinerary capable of involving and exciting visitors, of immersing them in the history and art identified with the spa town.
Also on the programme are exciting guided tours that will take visitors to the symbolic places of Art Nouveau.