One of the prettiest towns in the Monferrato area of Piedmont is Acqui Terme.
Piedmont is dotted with beautiful towns. All you have to do is follow the sign posts and you won’t be disappointed!!
The drive from our hotel, La Villa was stunning. Rolling hills covered in vines, old stone buildings and beautiful hill top towns beckoned.
Acqui Terme has been an important town since being founded between the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C. Named Aquae Statiellae by the Romans it became a thriving trading town and many important structures were built, including the aqueduct, part of which still stands today. It was not until the 17th century that the city became famous for its thermal springs but after the World War II, these deteriorated and it is only recently that a major restoration of the city has taken place. Roman history never ceases to amaze me!
Coming from a country that is just over 200 years old, it is hard to imagine towns that have existed since the first century B.C!
The River Bormida divides the town in two, the old town and the new town. A central meeting point is Piazza d’Italia which lies on the edge of the old town. Cafes overlook beautiful flower gardens and the steps of water that flow from the waterfall.
Cobblestone streets lead from here through the old town which are lined with elegant shops, homeware stores, fabulous food shops and inviting restaurants.
By wandering through the narrow streets, we came upon the local market. Vendors move from town to town for each of their specific markets days. They are friendly, offering tastings of the local cheeses and meats. Castelmango, made in the small village of Castelmango, is still one of my favourite cheeses.
Another turn took us to this shaded beautiful piazza.
Acqui Terme is famous because of its thermal springs. Infact, Acqui Terme means thermal waters. These waters reach the surface in Piazza Bollente. Here a marble edifice, La Bollente has been built. You can see the steam rising from the waters which are usually at a temperature of 75 degrees Celcius. Of course I had to test the water and can vouch for it being very hot!
Treatments are available at two major spa facilities here. Unfortunately our stay was not long enough to indulge in these theraputic waters but maybe next time!
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