Itinerary: Acqui Terme, Monferrato,
Acqui Terme in Piedmont, a town of spas and delicious wines
Monferrato is a geographic area in Piedmont, between the provinces of Asti and Alessandria. Acqui Terme (pic n°2), the pearl of Upper Monferrato, is located in the south of Piedmont, only one-hour drive from Milan and Turin.
The area was already inhabited in prehistoric times, and the city of Aquae Statiellae (the ancient Latin name of Acqui Terme) was founded under the Roman Empire in 172 B.C. The recently-renovated thermal pool and the famous ruins of the 10-kilometer Roman aqueduct (pic n°3) that channeled the waters of the torrent Erro are witnesses of those ancient times.
While strolling around the historic center and admiring Piazza della Bollente (pic n°1), you can breathe the particular air of the town, rich in sulfurous vapors. The smell comes from the Neoclassic-style shrine located in the center of the square, rightly renamed Bollente (boiling)(pic n°5). In fact, the water that flows in here never drops below 73° Centigrade!
Today, Acqui Terme is the largest wellness spa in Piedmont. It has been completely renovated in recent years both in terms of spa facilities and accommodations. Tourists can visit the local attractions of the region like castles or other natural beauties, and enjoy tasting the local food and delicious wines. Even a therapy-related holiday can be enhanced by all of these treasures!
Two spas are mostly dedicated to the hydrotherapy: the first is located in Zona Bagni, with a huge outdoor pool that is open from mid-April to late October while the other is in the town center and it is open throughout the year. The waters of Acqui Terme are particularly beneficial for treating rheumatism, arthritis, and post-traumatic arthropathy, as well as for the respiratory problems.
Acqui Terme is worldwide famous for its wines called "Dolcetto d'Acqui" (pic n°6) and "Dolcetto d'Acqui Superiore" (pic n°4), two red wines that boast a DOC label since September 1972. The two red wines have different content of alcohol. The vineyards are located on the gentle slopes (pic n°1) of the hills that surround Acqui Terme.
If you want to enjoy an unforgettable wine tasting experience, pay a visit to Enoteca Regionale d'Acqui, established in 1981 in the basement of an ancient Roman house. Here, you can learn and taste the wines selected from 87 producers of the area by a committee of experts of the "Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori di Vino" (the Italian association of wine tasters).
In addition to Dolcetto d'Acqui, you can also taste other famous Piedmontese wines, such as Asti Spumante, Barbera d'Asti, Barbera Monferrato, Brachetto d'Acqui, Cortese Alto Monferrato, Dolcetto d'Ovada, and Moscato d'Asti.
Some pics of Acqui Terme:
The vineyards (pic n°1); Acqui Terme (pic n°2); Roman aqueduct (pic n°3); Dolcetto d'Acqui Superiore (pic n°4); the shrine located in the center of the main square, renamed 'Bollente' (pic n°5); Dolcetto d'Acqui (pic n°6);