The Sant’Andrea Bagni spa and a dive into the surrounding nature
On the hills that rise up between Medesano and Varano Marchesi, just south of Parma, lies Sant’Andrea Bagni, a hilltop spa resort nestled among oak and chestnut groves.
It is a truly unmissable holiday destination for travellers who want to immerse themselves in nature and the treasured thermal waters.
The Sant’Andrea Spa, all-round wellness
What makes the Sant’Andrea Spa so special is that in just one hydrothermal basin, it contains all the mineral waters needed for balneotherapy, inhalation cures for the respiratory system and internal hydrotherapy.
A total of eight natural waters flow from the depths of the rock and reach the surface of the spa along a kilometre-long underground journey.
It was perhaps the Romans, great exponents of thermal cures, who first discovered the qualities of the waters of the Rio Fabbro river. Ever since then, people have never stopped enjoying its fantastic health benefits, although the modern spa centre dates back to the late 1800s when an Art Nouveau-style building was built to accommodate visitors.
Today, the spa offers a thermal pool, two vascular paths with whirlpools, specialist examinations, rehabilitation therapies and internal hydrotherapy, dermatological and arthritic and rheumatic treatments.
Or you can simply bathe in the thermal waters to enjoy a moment of deep relaxation.
The Taro River Park
Just next door to Sant’Andrea Bagni you can find the 2,000-hectare Taro River Park, which protects an area favoured by birds for nesting and stopping during migration.
You can enjoy a spot of birdwatching or travel along one of the many pleasant, easy-going nature routes on foot or by bicycle just a few kilometres from Parma.
A visit to Fornovo Taro
The small medieval village of Fornovo Taro lies between the Po Valley and Lunigiana.
During the Middle Ages, pilgrims on their journey to Monte Bardone along Via Francigena would stop here.
We recommend visiting the town centre to explore Villa Carona and the Romanesque parish church, one of the most renowned churches in Parma, with its narrative friezes and sculptures and a façade that depicts the seven deadly sins.
The castle of Varano de’ Melegari
Near Fornovo Taro is the ancient village of Varano de’ Melegari, dominated by a castle built on a cliff from which the entire Ceno valley could be ruled.
We also highly recommend visiting the church of San Martino, the castle of Rocca Canzone and the village of Piazzano.
Only a stone’s throw away is the 9th-century Baptistery of Serravalle, which is one of the oldest Romanesque buildings in the area.