It was two gentlemen afflicted by various health issues who discovered the therapeutic properties of the karstic Giusti Grotto, in Monsummano Terme (Pistoia). They had decided to test the healing powers of the mysterious cave on their own ailing bodies. Here is what a publication from the mid-1800s reported only a few years after the episode (“Esposizione Universale di Vienna”, Treves, Milan 1874):
“Some of the most eager people to enter the grotto, descending repeatedly and extending their stays, were Giovanni Benedetti from Montecatini, who suffered from rheumatisms in his neck, shoulder and right arm, and Antonio Pacini, who had a sprain in his left foot.”
“A few sessions freed both of them from some of their inconveniences; and soon this was claimed to be a therapeutic miracle performed by the Giusti Grotto, attracting sick people from all over…”
Over one hundred and fifty years have passed since the karstic hypogeum was discovered: in 1849, in a lime quarry owned by Domenico Giusti – father of poet Giuseppe – some workmen had moved a huge stone and discovered an underground cave with spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, temperatures gradually rising from 26 to 34 degrees (in three areas known as “Paradise”, “Purgatory” and “Hell”) and water springing from the ground at a steady 34 degrees.
The Giusti Grotto – described as “the eight wonder in the world” by none other than Giuseppe Verdi – is the largest thermal grotto in Europe to be completely dedicated to wellbeing.
Enjoy your session of underground therapy!