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Orsara Bormida is one of the oldest villages in the region. The Castello at the top of the village was originally built around 1196.
In Roman times, Orsara was known as Orsaria, which literally means “land of the bears”.
The village has 420 inhabitants. At an altitude that climbs from 220 metres to 332 metres, it has stunning views across the surrounding vineyards to the distant mountains.
Acqui Terme is our local small town, just ten minutes’ drive away, and famous for its thermal baths that date back to Roman times. During the Belle Epoque, Acqui was the most prestigious spa centre in Europe.
In the heart of the historic centre is the boiling water fountain that gushes out sulphur-bromide-iodine water at 74.5°C. Near the thermal baths, there are the ruins of the Roman Aquaduct that dates to the 2nd century AD as well as the ruins of the Roman Baths. The Paleologi castle now houses the Archaeological Museum with exhibits from the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron and Bronze ages.
In the cathedral you can see the Triptych of the Bermejo. In the Church of San Francesco there are some remarkable paintings: the Conception of our Lady by Moncalvo, The Adoration of the Magi by Raffael Soleri, and Our Lady with Baby Jesus between St. Francis and St. Anthony of Padua by Beccaria. In the Church of the Addolorato there is a Lombard School fresco Deposition from the Cross as well as two 16C paintings. In the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta the triptych of our Lady of Montserrat, in the Chapter house, dates back to 1480.
The Spa at Acqui Terme
A contemporary beauty and fitness centre complements the traditional spa springs and thermal baths. Mud and therapeutic baths, rehabilitative swimming pools, vascular hydro-gymnastic and many other treatments are recommended for all kinds of problems including rheumatic pain, rhinological deafness, physical re-education and many more. You can buy a la carte or book anything from a two day weekend to a two week course of treatment. It is one of the most comprehensive spas around and has something for everyone.
Photos: Top: Our village
Second: The castello in the next village of Tresobbio
Third: The boiling water fountain in the main square of the historic centre of Acqui Terme
Bottom: Part of the antique market in Acqui Terme