Modern architecture in Castrocaro
For those who stay at the Terme di Castrocaro it is recommended that they visit the architectual examples of Rationalism, an artistic expression developed in Italy in the 1920s with the aim of creating a style that was more in line with the regime of that era. The territory of Forlì, being the home of Benito Mussolini, is full of examples of Rationalist architecture and is home to a well organized urban museum in the town of Predappio, birthplace of the Duce.
At the time, special attention was devoted to the town of Castrocaro Terme. At the beginning of the 1930s, the real attraction was the Spa Center, very much appreciated for its entertainment and luxuriant vegetation. To make the surrounding bleak hills green again, the ‘Bosco Littorio’ (Lictor Forest) was created by planting 1,200 Canadian poplars for 2 km along the valleys.
Today, the Park of Terme di Castrocaro is a splendid garden of majestic roads and enchanting hidden spots. Eight hectares with over sixteen kilometers of pathways extend out through fascinating age-old sequoia forests, along with evergreen oaks, common oaks, Himalayan cedars and many other trees, flowers and officinal plants.
A park to be discovered, enriched by a botanical path, where it is a pleasure to go jogging, or, in summer, swim in the freshwater pool or play miniature golf.
But the urban remodeling of Castrocaro did not stop with the Park.
Based on the idea of the Duce’s brother Arnaldo Mussolini, in 1936 the State purchased the whole spa and inaugurated a new season of magnificence for the ‘Royal Spa of Castrocaro’, which would become the main source of profit for the village. Between 1936 and 1938, under the supervision of Engineer Rosario Pappalardo, the new Spa facilities were built.
Castrocaro had nothing less than the major spas abroad and could host ‘highly distinguished’ international clients. The painting and ceramic decorations of the new buildings and outbuildings were entrusted to the competence and skillfulness of the Manifattura Chini from Borgo San Lorenzo.
The Grand Hotel was often used as guest-quarters for the party officials and authorities waiting to be received by the Head of Government in the Castle delle Caminate.
Coming from Forlì, as soon as you reach Castrocaro, you can also admire the outside of Palazzo Piancastelli, which is today the headquarters of the Spa management.
The building was built in 1781 by Bartolomeo Conti and thoroughly restored in 1938.
The impulse to modernize the ‘old and a bit Romantic’ town of Forlì was felt by the first Podesta, Count Ercole Gaddi Pepoli, who provided the town with an instrument for mastering its own transformation: the general town planning scheme published in 1927 and based on the project by Engineer Luigi Donzelli from Bologna.
The old town was overwhelmed by a significant and increasing number of buildings that replaced the previous urban fabric judged as decaying, without taking into account the historic stratification of urban elements.
The idea of a new ‘forma Urbis Fori Livii’ put forward by the Fascist Regime, was indeed accompanied by the architectural transformation of whole areas of the town.
Rationalism can be admired in particular in three areas of the town of Forlì: Viale della Libertà, the road connecting Piazzale della Vittoria to the railway station, Porta Ravaldino and the town centre.
In each of the abovementioned areas important buildings can be found.
Exhaustive bilingual description plates lead visitors through the monuments.
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