Porretta Terme is located along the Via Porrettana, near the border with Tuscany, in the province of Bologna. Antique documents and Roman ruins, including the mask depicting a lion, which today represents the municipal coats of arms, lead the historians to believe that the Romans, at their times, already appreciated the beneficial and curative properties of thermal waters of Porretta. A local tale tells that, in 1249, a sick cow, immersed in the waters of the Rio Maggiore, returned to its stable in perfect physical condition: this made Porretta Terme famous and for its healing properties became destination for important personalities such as: Lorenzo il Magnifico, Giovanni Visconti Sforza, Bianca Cappello, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, and Louis Bonaparte.
Not to miss:
- the charming Old Town center, the oldest part of Porretta, which developed parallel to the course of the Rio Maggiore;
- the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, in Neoclassical style, which was built in a high position on the ruins of an ancient fort. Here are preserved inside a XVII century wooden crucifix by father Innocent Petralia, a painting of Alexander Guardassoni and an altarpiece of Calvaert;
- the Oratory of San Rocco (originally dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament), important for the organ enclosed in a choir and a beautiful painting on the altar;
- the Convent of the Capuchin friars, consecrated in 1909;
- the Sanctuary of Madonna del Ponte, whose cult dates back to 1249;
- the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, mentioned since the XIII century;
- the Old Castle (or Castle Manservisi), whose original structure dates back to the XVI century and current neo-Gothic alterations date from the XIX century.