Empress Sissi and Otto von Bismarck travelled to Bagni di Mezzo, one of the most visited health spas in the German region.
Image gallery: Bagni di Mezzo - Bad Lad
Between San Pancrazio village and Lake Alborelo rise the houses of Bad Lad, another district of the municipality on the way into the Val d'Ultimo. You can see the lake of San Pancrazio just below the Ultimo Road: It is one of the reservoirs in the Ultimo Valley, which are located between the head of the valley and Lake Quaira at an altitude of 2,250 m and generate electricity. From Bad Lad, on the other hand, small roads branch off and lead you to two impressive places.
One of them is located on the banks of the Valsura river just below Bad Lad. Actually, it was just a small farm that stood like numerous others in the middle of the meadows around San Pancrazio. However, when a flood in 1882 submerged numerous buildings and washed them away, this one was preserved. Only afterwards it became visible that it was built on a large block of stone. And this is how the "Häusl am Stoan" (House on the Stone), which is unfortunately not accessible, still presents itself today: as a small farmhouse enthroned like an eagle's nest on a large boulder.
In a small side valley stands the ensemble of Bagni di Mezzo (Mitterbad): the bathhouse and coffee house, the Villa Waldruhe, a bowling alley with shooting range, and a chapel. Thanks to its healing springs containing iron and magnesium, it was one of the most popular health spas in the German-speaking countries. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Empress Sissi and Otto von Bismarck stayed here for a cure, as did Franz von Defregger and Thomas Mann, who finished his novel about the Buddenbrooks in Bagni di Mezzo in the Val d'Ultimo valley. For them there were marble tubs, while the normal population bathed in tubs made of wood...