The name “dei Papi” – of the Popes – derives from the intervention of a third pope, Nicholas V, who was so impressed by the curative effects of the local waters that, in 1450, he had a splendid palace built here, in order to have somewhere to stay whenever he required treatment. The building had crenellated walls, beautiful cross-shaped windows and soaring vaulted ceilings in the halls and was known as the Pope’s Bath. Later, Pope Pius II remodeled and modernized the palace. Great poets and artists have left us precious references to the baths. Bullicame is mentioned several times in Dante’s Divine Comedy and in particular, in the XIV canto: “As from Bulicame a river comes forth that the sinning women then divide among themselves, so this one flowed down across the sand”.
Michelangelo, passing through Viterbo during one of his journeys to Rome (sometime between 1496 and 1536), was greatly impressed by the beauty of the baths and was inspired to do two pen drawings of them which today can admired at the Vicar de Lille Museum in France.
A twelve-kilometre fracture in the earth’s crust, through which hyper-thermal waters (40° – 58° C), rich in sulphurous salts and calcium bicarbonate, magnesium, etc., are forced by the pressure of sulphurous and carbonic gases. The most important and famous of all is Bullicame – a luminous white mass of calcium.
The Bullicame spring, with its sulfate-sulfur alkali-iron fluoride waters and its 58°C temperature, has always been highly appreciated for its therapeutic properties. These characteristics are attributable to the chemical and physical composition of the spring which make it appropriate (and one of the most highly valued in Hydrological Medicine) for many kinds of therapeutic applications, in particular, in the cure and prevention of chronic disturbances of the whole breathing apparatus, in bone and joint pathologies, skin complaints, genital complaints and dysmetabolic diseases. Treatments using these waters are highly beneficial for all these complaints. The splendid 2,000 square-metre monumental pool is fed by water from this spring.
Natural springs with different chemical and physical compositions are present within the grounds of the Terme dei Papi and are utilized in the therapies of a variety of medical complaints besides the ones already mentioned, and which include gastroenterology, angiology and stomatology. The Pope’s Bath, for example, with its carbonic-ferruginous properties is used in the treatment of peripheral vasculopathies.
Suggested accommodation for this area : VITERBO FLAT
Info and web address : http://www.termedeipapi.it/