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Thermal history of the island of Ischia

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The thermal waters of the Island are well known and used since ancient times.
Already the first Euboeans settlers (eighth century AC), as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds at the site of Pithecusa and kept at the Archaeological Museum of Villa Arbusto in Lacco Ameno, appreciated and used the waters of hot springs on the island.

The Greeks used the hot springs for restoring spirit and body and as a remedy for healing the aftereffects of war wounds (in pre-antibiotic age!) By attributing to the waters and vapors that bubbled up from the earth with supernatural powers, not by chance at each spa town stood temples dedicated to deities like Apollo at Delphi.
Strabo, greek historian and geographer, mentions in his monumental work the geographical island of Ischia and the virtues of its hot springs (Geograph. Lib. V).
If the Greeks were the first people to know the powers of hot springs, the Romans praised as a tool of healing and relaxation through the creation of public Thermae and the many safe and profitable source of the island (as the votive tablets found at Source Nitrodi Barano of Ischia, where stood a temple dedicated to Apollo and the Nymphs Nitrodi, guardians of the water) without lavish settlements;
In fact, on the island has not been found, as instead in Rome and other ancient spas, majestic ruins of the Baths probably volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, which frequently have violently shaken the cliffs.
The decline of the power of Rome coincided with the abandonment of the use of bathing even in Ischia: there are indeed traces of water in use in the Middle Ages.
About spas and hot springs we can actively talking in the Renaissance and a decisive impulse to the modern medical spa was given by Giulio Iasolino, a physician from Calabria, a professor at the University of Naples, who towards the end of 1500, fascinated by the climate and the phenomena of secondary volcanism (fumaroles and hot springs), realizing the therapeutic potential of half spa, carried out a thorough survey of the sources of the island (for the first time is the richness of the isle and hydrogeological), he identified the composition of the water and performed detailed observation about the effects of the same disease that afflicted many of his contemporaries (in describing the source of Castiglione, one of the most famous of the time, Iasolino expresses his enthusiasm for the thermal waters: “We see every day operations and under this water so wonderful and beautiful you really have to believe to be given by heaven for the salvation of men”).
With the publication of the treatise "De Rimedi Naturali che sono nell'Isola di Pithecusa; hoggi detta Ischia" Professor Iasolino freed the thermal waters of Ischia from the magical aura which until then had conditioned the use. After the experiences of Iasolino the early '600, whereas many cures were obtained with the use of baths and treatments in Ischia, quite expensive, could afford only nobles and rich merchants, a group of Neapolitan noble philanthropists did built in Casamicciola the "Pio Monte della Misericordia", "thermal establishment (for the time) the largest in Europe", to allow even those who did not have adequate economic opportunities to enjoy the therapeutic qualities of the local hot springs.
From 600 to half of the 900 were built near the most famous hot springs and many accommodation establishments that made the island of Ischia a renowned international care and stay where they were to treat diseases of the body, and not only , celebrities such as Giuseppe Garibaldi, after the battle of Aspromonte, Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, Arturo Toscanini.
Since the sixties, thanks to the foresight and entrepreneurial intuition of Cav. Angelo Rizzoli, the island of Ischia and its waters are open to the large number of tourists and an intense scientific activity devoted to the spa to the rank of alternative therapies to drug therapies for the treatment of many diseases which are accurately described by Iasolino.

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