La Nuova Sardegna

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Thermal waters, treasure from the volcano

by Mauro Tedde
Thermal waters, treasure from the volcano

Casteldoria's facilities need to restart, beneficial effects for health and territory

14 settembre 2023

Another very important resource of Anglona is the thermal springs of Casteldoria in the municipality of Santa Maria Coghinas, they could be beneficial not only for health but also for the economy of the entire territory. The thermal waters, which rise along the main fracture lines of volcanic rock and near lava outcrops, reach temperatures ranging between 40 and 70 degrees and are therefore the hottest in Sardinia. Well known since antiquity for their salty-bromine-iodine waters that gush out at 70° at the exit of a porphyritic gorge almost at the level of the Coghinas River the Casteldoria hot springs are wonderfully immersed in a very evocative natural setting, between river, sea lake and hills covered with lush Mediterranean bush consisting mainly of wild olive trees, cork trees and other typical varieties such as mastic, alaternus and cistus, and practically at the foot of the imperious fortress of the same name that dominates much of the Gulf of Asinara. Its thermal waters were already appreciated in the time of the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, so much so that some scholars have even ventured to locate right here, on the slope facing the sea of Monte Ruiu and on the terminal part of the Coghinas River, the famous cavern of the Cyclops Polyphemus described in Homer's Odyssey.
The waters of the Casteldoria hot springs rise at a depth of 2000-3000 meters through volcanic rocks from which they absorb valuable mineral salts and intense heat. In fact, they gush out at a very high temperature, which is why the properties of the waters are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and decongestant, immune system stimulating and muscle relaxing. Casteldoria's thermal mud is also special because it consists of a solid part (clay), a liquid part (salsobromoiodic water) and a biological part (microorganisms and biomaterials). In order for the thermal cures to be effective, the mud must reach “maturation”, and this process takes place in special stainless steel tanks where the mud for about 6 months is kept in continuous contact with the thermal water made to flow at a constant rate at a temperature of 60°. The temperature and chemical elements of the thermal water thus influence the development of special microorganisms that modify the chemical and physical structure of the mud, causing it to acquire the therapeutic properties that make it among the best in all of Europe. In addition to mud therapy treatments, balneotherapy treatments for skin care, inhalations and aerosols curative of the respiratory tract are practiced with these waters.
In short, a natural resource that has always raised many expectations from the municipalities that insist around the spa area especially after the Province of Sassari, which owns the entire area and the spa, spent about 15 million euros to revive the entire complex. Even the so-called “Anglona Road” (which, however, is still stopped at the second Osilo-Nulvi lot inaugurated a few years ago) had been conceived and designed to approach the Sassari capital and also its hinterland closer precisely to the Casteldoria spa, with the intention of revitalizing it. In September 2009, the company ATI Hotel Taloro and San Consulting entered into a contract with the Province of Sassari for the management of the spa, and in October 2010 the Directorate General of Health authorized a rehabilitative spa medicine center in the facility, which was institutionally accredited to provide 700 treatments per day and 30 daily rehabilitation services. Unfortunately, the crisis due to the pandemic caused enormous consequences to the activity of the spa, which had to close its doors several months ago and there are still no signs of its possible reopening.

«A real pity as well as a real damage to the economy of the entire territory - argues the mayor of Santa Maria Coghinas Pietro Carbini - but I am sure that together with the other institutions involved (Province and Union of Municipalities Anglona) we will find a way to create the conditions to intervene the definitive determined way and for the reopening of the establishment. Of course it is – the first citizen continues – that it will still take time but this time there should be no more mistakes because the spa is an wealth and an asset of the whole community that could create immense opportunities».

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