Historic and sublime: QC Terme Hotel at Bagni Vecchi

LUMINOSITY ITALIA

The legendary hot springs at Bagni Vecchi can easily be considered the source of Bormio itself. Since Roman times and even before they have attracted visitors and settlers who traced roaring mineral waters up the alpine valley to luxuriate in their warmth and healing powers.

Some say long ago it even gave the mountain town its name, given to honor Bormo, the Pagan God of Minerals and a healing deity associated with bubbling spring water.

Bormio has since become world famous as a ski resort, host of the World Alpine Ski Championships two times and a hub in the high alps connecting Italy with Austria and Switzerland. It is surrounded by the pristine nature of Stelvio National Park, the largest in Europe. Its waters rise naturally through the rocks of the park.
Bagni Vecchi, Bormio, Italy
The infinity pool offers a stunning view of the Bormio ski area and alpine serenity.

Today the QC Terme Hotel at Bagni Vecchi continues the long tradition of welcoming pilgrims in search of respite. It offers a new infinity pool at the historic site along with renovated baths originally built in 1800 for Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria, whose father Emperor Francis I of Austria commissioned a high mountain road to Lombardy that reaches Bagni Vecchi – the now legendary Passo dello Stelvio, considered one of the most scenic roads in the world.

The baths at Bormio were first mentioned by Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) in his work “Naturalis Historia”. Later, Senator Cassiodorus (c 485-536 AD), a Roman statesman and writer who served in the administration of Theoderic the Great, King of the Ostrogoths and King of Italy, mentioned the aquae bormiae, the Bormio waters, in a letter to his king.

In medieval times the Bormio baths continued to attract visitors who praised the healthy waters. Leonardo da Vinci stayed there in 1493 and he mentioned his experience in the Atlantic Codex: “At the top of Valtellina there is Burmi. In Burmi there are the Baths,” Leonardo wrote. Three years later, the Duke of Milan Ludovico il Moro, Leonardo’s boss at the time, stayed at the bagni as well.
Bagni Vecchi, Bormio, Italy
Frequent shuttle service connects the hotel with its nearby sister property, the Grand Hotel Bagni Nuovi, a 5-star art nouveau masterpiece.

In the second part of 16th century the spa building complex was enlarged.

Home to a fortress, a monastery since the 13th century and sacred site down through the millennia, the hotel in use today, also known as Hotel Belvedere, was originally built in the early 1800s and expanded in the decades that followed. It has 36 rooms and suites as well as three restaurants offering fine alpine cuisine.

The complex at the 4-star hotel property also includes ancient grottos, natural underground steam caves and Roman baths.

The treatment program at Bagni Vecchi is wide and varied, and daytrips to the spa are a good value. The waters are naturally warm (37-43 C), rich in mud content and have the added benefit of spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Here we enjoyed one of the great scenes – the water rich with minerals pouring out from ancient sources, steaming the cool air. Your state of being is translated into a mood: tranquility.

“We try to give our guests something that is the most natural possible, the waters, the stones, the landscape,” says Alberto Pelucchi, director of Hotel Bagni Vecchi. “Our guests are couples, families, sports lovers.”

It also has a shuttle service connecting it to its nearby sister hotel, the 5-star Grand Hotel Bagni Nuovi, an art nouveau masterpiece that was named the greatest ski and spa hotel in the world by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.
Hot springs Bormio
Bagni Vecchi still has ancient Roman baths in operation.

Both hotels are run by the Quadrio Curzio brothers, a noted Lombard family of engineers who are leaders in the construction and wellness businesses in Europe. Next year, they will also open an innovative wellness center in New York City.

But the Bagni Vecchi is certainly the most loaded with history. Attached to its bath complex is a medieval church dedicated to San Martino dei Bagni. It has Carolingian vestiges and was built on the ruins of a pagan temple dedicated to the God Bormo.

In the 16th century the municipality of Bormio used the site to host friar inquisitors and an aura of mystery pervaded the valley for many decades until the late 1700s, when the Bagni Vecchi buildings were occupied by Austrian and Napoleonic troops.

Just to sit in those waters that marked the beginning of Bormio’s history as a spa town, and imagine people taking the waters 2,000 years ago, pampering themselves in the same way we do, when mankind was already enjoying the concept of wellness – it is a sublime way of spending a break in utter relaxation.