4-4-2011 This beautiful old building, designed by Angiolo Badaloni (also responsible for Livorno's indoor market), used to be the central part of the Terme del Corallo spa complex created by the Acque della Salute company in the early 1900s around a source of saline water which was found to be particularly beneficial for digestive ailments. The complex became a popular spa resort and was used as such until the Second World War. After the war, it was used as a dance hall.
In 1968 a fire badly damaged much of the complex, and in 1982 it was overshadowed by an eyesore of a flyover that takes traffic over the railway line.
The building was one of Livorno's finest examples of the architectural style known as the 'Stile Liberty', or Art Nouveau. It is now one of its most prominent examples of urban decay.
The buildings were purchased by a group of Livornese businessmen in 2005, and plans for redevelopment were made. But the future of the complex is still uncertain. In 2007 the whole area was sealed off, and in 2009 it was acquired by the city council. In 2011, while attention seems to have switched to the building of new apartment blocks just behind, the old spa buildings still lie abandoned.
Click here for Facebook group Salviamo Le Terme del Corallo