Books and territory / Water and silk

La piscina salutare in Piemonte ne’ Bagni di Valdieri


Francesco Domenico Barisano

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The population had been knowing Valdieri thermal waters since a long time ago . The first document to ever certify their employ was written in 1588, when the city of Valdieri builds the first resort. Francesco Domenico Barisano dedicates his essay to these thermal resort. He was born in Alba but he later moved to Turin to work as court’s physician. Antonio Depiene, a drawer, portrayer and graver who worked in Turin and his province, illustrates the essay with his engravings.
At the beginning of the essay itself the reader will find eleven sonnets by Domenico Martinengo Coppa, the author’s brother-in-law. Each sonnet is dedicated to a member of the Royal House of Savoy: the first one addresses Emmanuel Philibert prince of Carignano, who was a passionate erudite of various sciences. In 1681 he appoints the architect Guarino Guarini to operate the first transformation of Racconigi Castle. Other than the sonnets, a praise to the author doctor Barisano can be found. The members of the House of Savoy attended regularly the thermal baths, as the sonnets tell the reader. In 1755 Charles Emmanuel III king of Sardinia commands the construction of his own thermal resort in Valdieri, a rough establishment named “il Baraccone” (the big shack).

Qui, dissi, dalle ammollite viscere di quelle rupi nel fortunato Territorio di Valdieri, e Vinadio sgorgano in copiosi rivi le nostre Thermali frà quante in altre parti ne profuse la beneficenza Divina singolarmente ammirate, per il temperamento loro proportionatissimo, incapace per se di que’ gravi accidenti, che altrove bene spesso frodano le ìperanze con funesti eventi.

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