The source - the caves
The Acqua Fitusa spring is located eight kilometers from the center of San Giovanni Gemini, to the right of the old 189 Pa-Ag state road, in an area easily accessible both from the junction to Cammarata and from the nearby Cammarata railway station -San Giovanni Gemini, along the Agrigento Palermo line.
The springs emerge close to a rocky ridge that faces mainly to the east, in the San Crispino district, to the north of the more famous Puzzillo district.
The 'Acqua Fitusa' caves are of particular interest for their geological formation, as well as for their historical importance.
They fall on a territory that once belonged to the Sac. Giuseppe Longo, who towards the end of the 19th century built a building probably destined for thermal treatments, long since abandoned.
The waters are found inside caves that date back to the stone age and where traces of human life were found.
The caves, particularly those of Contrada Puzzillo, have never been adequately explored, but many lithic artifacts and the artefacts found suggest that they were inhabited in the Epipaleolithic period.
During some exploration, fragments of clay material, smooth and painted ceramic, were also found.
The cave consists of a small hallway a few meters deep with an opening in the terminal part that leads into the cave proper.
Once past this opening, you find yourself inside a giant dome. The dimensions of the cave are impressive: at least 20 m high, it has a diameter of about 50 m.
Very beautiful are the typical formations of these places, stalactites and stalagmites that cover the vault and the ground of the cave which assume various colors (white, pink and black).
The waters of the springs, classifiable as minerals, hypothermal, sulphurous-salsobromo-iodic-alkaline, have particular therapeutic properties in the treatment of many skin diseases.
One of these caves is that of the phytusa water, which was explored in 1931 by Mr. La Pilusa, who wrote a report speaking about the characteristics that it presents. "The entrance is located in the middle of a sheer wall about 10 meters above the ground. Near the entrance there are openings but of little importance. From the main entrance which, as it widens, we arrive at a large chamber, made up of limestone boulders. From this large chamber one passes to a narrow tunnel which presents the main corridor of the cave, which must be crossed on all fours, and in some places, even crawling. The sound of the thrown stones is lost far away, giving the sensation of an immense depth. It does not allow the passage of man, therefore it is impossible to fathom it. In the corridor there are several side openings but of no importance. After about 60 meters from the large chamber, the tunnel divides: the left arm gradually tightens until it closes; the right arm, instead, gives access to a series of staircases and passages that present serious difficulties to the exploration. After about 4 meters the arm forks again, presenting a slit twenty meters wide and quite deep. On the right there is a narrow passage that extends for 40 meters and leads into the main corridor, almost at the height of the large chamber. Continuing further north, the corridor widens and takes on the appearance of a rather low and wide vaulted cave. Noteworthy is the discovery of several shards of vases and other objects in worked clay. The tunnel that extends for about 20 meters leads to the stalactite room. It is a large circular room that presents the viewer with the vision of one of the most beautiful spectacles to be admired by the human eye. At the flickering light of the candles, the myriads of droplets suspended at the tips of the stalactites reflect, in a magnificent iridescence, a superb symphony of colors. At the time of the large hall, countless stalactites intertwined in various shapes are attached, from the ground and rocks rise straight stalagmites. The cave has no waterways or even air currents.
Recently the scientific exploration of the Cave of the Fitusa Water has begun, thanks to the Italian institute of Prehistory and the Superintendency of Antiquities of Agrigento. Regarding the chronology, from the coal championships found in the gray state, their origin is obtained around 13760 years ago.
So in our territory, thirteen thousand and five hundred years ago, man lived and lit the fire.
According to the concordant testimony of ancient historians, summarized by Thucydides, our territory, before the Greek colonization, was occupied by the Sicans who had given their name to the island therefore called Sikania, instead of Trinacria.
Cammarata mineral baths (taken from the 1886 book))
Every new bathing establishment is pertinent to a metropolis, or to a small population center, (a sacred place in the human consortium of charity, where the physical conditions of the organism are improved, which combine to constitute the atmosphere in which the process takes place natural of life as the increase of the sciences, the cultivation of the arts of commerce, and the military power) marks the movement of civilization, to which the physical and moral life of a people must be united, the civil progress of an era.
Gioberti says that civilization of its nature equal to any other strength, perfects itself and fills its own gaps.
The mineral waters of Cammarata, province of Girgenti, barely recall any mention in the stories.
After so much forgetfulness in the extended and charming area of the licoplatani (1), a picturesque valley, now the establishment of the sulphate-alkaline waters rises, to which many infirm skin diseases occurred, producing prodigious and rapid healings.
The 52C. D. Giuseppe Longo, owner of the lands, and of the waters, eminently praiseworthy for social well-being, taking advantage of the happy occasion of the Cammarata railway station, open to eight minutes away on foot, so that it can be accessed in three hours from Palermo , and in two by Girgenti, he thought of turning his waters to the best of the sick, and set up a bathing establishment there.
We are pleased to transcribe the opinion of a competent medical authority on the matter of the sulfur-alkaline water plant of Cammarata, published in the New Gazette of Palermo under no. 146, 8 May 1884.
Cammarata mineral baths.
In a campaign of Cammarata from remote times a mineral water gushes forth copiously, to which they have recourse at all times (vulgarly Platani). many sick people from nearby places, and they regained their health; nor could it happen otherwise, that water being sulfur-alkaline like the healthiest of Sicily, and of dry land. This gave birth to the owner of the water of Cammarata, the worthy don Giuseppe Iongo, the happy idea of raising a meter high from the spring to an elevated place, and with an extended horizon an establishment capable of receiving well those of Sicily, who wanted to restore their poor health in healthy waters. Already on the ground floor there are four bathrooms, which have been working for a year, and some other very elegant ones will be finished in a few weeks. Upstairs there are various rooms in order and from here not much will be given the last coat to the CD.
In addition, starting from a spring of very clear drinking water of a high place, the plant will be widely supplied for all the uses of life, and for the aid of care in the case of very delicate skins, which need to make the water less strong. mineral.
The owner who does things right has given the task to competent men for a very small quantitative examination of the waters so that the customers of the establishment know which elements they trust; and since he does not want anyone to move from his home without any hope of finding health in the waters of Cammarata, an enemy of announcing them as the panacea for all diseases, he has undertaken conscientious clinical observations, in order to determine which diseases they find beneficial, and which not.
In this study he requested the competition of prof. of dermatology of our University; knowing from experience, the waters of Cammarata, like most of the minerals, carry their healthy action mainly on skin diseases.
In these observations we also want to establish the practical and rational way of choosing, and combining the various modes of care; that is, of the bathrooms, of the drinks, and of the mud anointings.
The well-deserved owner and founder is also proposed to place a carriage and cart service at the station of Cammarata at the arrival of each train from Palermo, and from Girgenti, so as to transport men and furnishings up to the establishment. - In this regard, we like to let you know that the Longo plant is a few kilometers from Cammarata, but from the railway station of this name it is so close that you can reach it in five minutes on foot: so whoever leaves from Palermo with any ordinary train arrives at waters of Cammarata after just three hours of comfortable travel, and after two and a half hours starting from Girgenti.— So our readers do not arch their eyelashes for the announcement of the cart, let us know that the finished rooms will be provided with all the needed (except linen, which every bather will bring with him for his own peace of mind); however, if some meticulous or leisure-loving individual wished to bring any mattress or other with him, the provident Longo had the station find the means of transport ready.
For a future to come, Don Giuseppe Longo has two projects which will bring to completion what will be suggested by the experience of practical men's councils. The first project is to enlarge the current building up to three times to add other rooms for housing, bathroom, a beautiful dining room to be able to function as a Restaurant, and a living room that collects bathers, and amuse them with billiards and the piano.
The other project is to build a small house with all the comforts of life in the heights of the farm a few minutes away from the baths, in a healthy position with an enchanting horizon.
It seems to us that the new Establishment must have a fortunate future, bringing together all the conditions that recommend it: and we believe that we are praising the solemn, praiseworthy priest, who, instead of enjoying the comforts of life in the age advanced in which it finds itself, it spends time, thoughts, and a part of its heritage for the benefit of suffering humanity and civilization.
The establishment's medical surgeon is Mr. cav. Giuseppe Biancorosso.
The graphic surface of the land, a district called Fitusa Water, where the Baths Establishment is located, is about 275 meters above sea level, c lies on beds of compact limestone, alternately stratified c covered by tertiary soils. The same area of the sulphurous soils of Casteltermini.
We observe many rocks above steep, granite, that is formed of crystallized minerals, grouped in bulk, or a large deposit of fine grain bituminous stoneware.
The configuration of the district offers the observer between the various prominences, so-called accidental depressions of fertile and very pleasant soil, the eastern side of the hill the hibiscus, which is the last part of the chain of hills, which descend from the majestic mountain of Cammarata.
There are troglodyte caves, and unequivocal signs of great cataclysms, and of ancient dwellings.
The various rooms, equipped with all the comforts, are tall, spacious and cheerful.
The influence of the valleys, and the various hills, and the direction of the winds make the climatic conditions excellent.
In the summer months the daytime temperature in the shade is pleasant, and the average variations in heat range from 22 to z6 degrees Celsius.
The spring, very close to the Establishment, due to its physical constitution among dense limestone layers, cannot meet with cracks, cataclysms for the succession of times and seasons.
There is a device to heat the water, which in less than twelve minutes makes it hot, c the water transmitted in a large tank, well covered. with tubes it descends into the tubs, which are almost all of marble, where it is possible to make a mixture of warm natural glue.
The plant is rich in good drinking water.
of the plant was made in April I885; and ended prematurely due to the dire circumstances of the Asian cholera in the two September of the same year.
Method of using sulfur-alkaline water (I).
The immersion in the baths can be done with the natural heat of the water, which in the hours a. m. it's almost warm.
sensitive subjects will be able to make the mixture with hot mineral to their satisfaction.
Increasing the temperature of the liquid also increases the absorbent power of the skin.
The average duration was 3o minutes.
Many young subjects have prolonged it with relief for almost an hour.
Water for soft drinks does not cause problems, on the contrary it is very useful as an excellent alkaline water.
Clinical magazine on water efficiency
In making public scrutiny the scrupulous observations on the sick, received in the bathing establishment of Cammarata in the summer months of the year 1885, the way to go is not long.
As a brief indication of the first year, for the moment a summary exposition of the only culminating diseases is produced, which felt the beneficial effects from the baths, from the drinks, and from the local use of mud; such as they resulted from clinical observation.
Therefore it is necessary to order them in three categories; that is, dermatosis, rheumatism, and scrofulous affections.
The living being has an immediate relationship to some of its parts, such as the skin, with the environment.
The mud or sediment of mineral water has been used with success in the halls of the Palermo Dermatological Clinic by the distinguished prof. G. Prophet.
In making public scrutiny the scrupulous observations on the sick, welcomed in the bathing establishment of Cammarata in the summer months of the tSS5 year, the way to go is not long.
As a brief indication of the first year, we now try a summary exposition of the only culminating diseases, which were affected by the beneficial effects of baths, drinks, and local use of rank; such as they resulted from clinical observation.
Therefore it is necessary to order them in three categories; that is dermatosis, rheumatism, and scrofulous affections.
The living being has an immediate relationship to some of its parts, such as the skin, with the histological environment in which you live, which gives the beings (Verncuil) the subsistence material.
The integumentary surface, active in the functional task, and in the material turnover, organ of a typical anatomical compage, disregarding tapine topographic and functional differences, accessible to the touch, to the low, which temperature, and excitable to the various morbid causes, is frequently passionate by various efflorescences, now widespread, now isolated.
If we want to judge by the facts, observed with care, the sulfur-alkaline waters have produced good effects among skin diseases, in the herpes, and especially in the tonsure herpes under the ordinary forms of herpes vescicolosus, erythema maculosa, eczema marginato with eruption with circular plates with chronic course; and in the itchy forms that are widespread and partial to the hands, ears, and forehead.
The sick could not mention the causes, as they are not well known to science.
But they were lymphatic, and with vulnerable skin.
As a conspicuous morbid localization the parasitic sicosis (Gruby) is observed on the upper lip, trichomicosis nodosa (Ilobner), which, following the penetration of the micro-organ into the hairs and follicles, has for clinical features visible, a pathological relevance with the bearded part of the cheeks , cd is often the consequence, or the terminal phase in the (herpes tonsurans.)
The morbid process, sufficiently in the revealed external appearance, was chronic. A local eczema, as in the folliculitis barbac (Kobnet) had to be valid for a stimulus, which operated in the peri-follicular conjunctive tissue, as a cause of sycosis.
Local mud poultices are a valuable means of treatment against this eruption of red, hard, painful knots with scattered, recent, and resolving pustules.
The opportunity to appreciate the sulfur-alkaline waters and the local use of the mud, among the chronic dermatoses, in the eczema of the neck, the nape of the neck, the hair with clear notes of diffuse and point-like redness has not failed.
Eczema, a very frequent cutaneous affection, of exact local origin in the plurality of cases, not sometimes combined with alteration of the nervous system in the centers, or in the peripheral nerves, which depend on it, which has relations with psoriasis, but which is not considered as identical morbid process, as Campbell wanted to show, in spite of the examples in support of his thesis by the clinics of Butkley and Wayler, and the authorities of Garrod, of the 31urchi¬son, and of the Paget, was also observed extended to the face with thickening of the epidermis and of the coinage.
The dermatosis, especially in a soldier, reached its clinical climax with its humidity, gave a mood, which was a quivering serum filter.
With the baths, the drinks, the local use of the mud the subject reached the desired cure in 20 days.
It has had to study the human mange with its three orders of symptoms; very common disease in disinherited families, and due to the presence of acarus. In three forms of mange the valid etiological influences that favored its transmission were the contagions repeated with the mangos. the; eruption was extended to various points on the surface of the body, with annoying itching. The therapy was entrusted exclusively to the hot baths, and to the anointings to filming mud.
In the scrupulous evaluation of the facts, very much the sulfur-alkaline waters, and the mud among the innumerable acaricidal substances: they have not even remained posthumously.
Many subjects, both men and women, were in the last summer season due to the sultry heat troubled by prurigine, not the severe form (prurigo Agria Feroz hebra), but of the prurigus parzialis with very showy rash, of very small red nodiccini, similar to chronic urticaria , without typical localization; however, in some cases of prurigin of ancient origin the symptoms of chronic dermatitis were visible.
Prurigine was observed without any hereditary disposition.
The sulfur-alkaline baths are effective for the cure of prurigo; but we must not make use of them (aposi) so fleetingly, as happens in places of treatment.
Shingles were recovered with mud baths and anointings. The sick had not suffered any similar illness.
You cannot close this article without talking about fissures, or lacerations, or slit-shaped excavations in the symmetrical shape on the palms of the hands; some deep down to the minting with bristling and bleeding margins. He was a sick person from the province of Caltanissetta. He reached the cure with mud poultices.
The largest number of diseases was represented by muscular rheumatism and chronic joint disease.
All the causes of rheumatism were cold, and usual irregularities of the breathable skin. Some people had lived in cold-humid and not very sunny houses, of which such clinical cases there were many.
A monial lady, who for three years before had suffered acute rheumatism of all the joints, and who in the following years had been subjected to the same painful attacks with the appearance of articular fluxes, and had become completely paralyzed.
When she was received in the plant she could not be bent, and her legs could not flex. With the hot baths he could go out with his own legs, and eat like in a healthy state, with his own hands.
baths were useful in sciatica, and in migraine.
A woman, among the various patients, was caught following a skin chilling from sciatic back right; the pains spread to neighboring tissues date from five months, and were deaf and gradually more intense. There appeared to be, besides the common rheumatizing note, due to anatomo-pathological cause, a diffuse peripheral neuritis (Filets and terminal nerve networks).
The forms of migraine eliminated the concept of a deep lesion in the Cryptal centers (tumor development).
The headache was continuous, due to a simple rheumatizing cause.
for the sick they had suffered vague rheumatoid pains.
Behind so many favorable outcomes we can affirm the healthy influence of water in chronic rheumatism.
So far skin diseases and rheumatism have been studied, it remains important to know how sulfur-alkaline waters behave in scrofulous processes.
Among the scrofula affections, which are affected by a quite remarkable good of sea baths, scrofulous conjunctivitis was observed in three boys, among which one belonging to the wealthy class.
Splendid it seems a case, where the scrofula found the conditions favorable to its development in an imperfect nutrition.
In a small patient with a spondylitis, or dorsal deviation, which has a predominance in childhood, the conjunctivitide marked a diathermic manifestation with copious proliferation of anatomical elements, extended to the cornea.
The morbid form of the conjunctivitide emphasized, according to the dermatological doctrines about their division, the eruption, which wants to be the very clear note of the scrofula.
The baths and the drinks were sufficient to give a very happy result: to say disperse the dark red color of the conjunctiva, which had lost its smoothness and homogeneity, and of the hateful impression of light, photophobia. The cornea regained the state of transparency, to which the function of the eye is inexorably linked.
The baths and soft drinks favored the adhesion of certain subcutaneous fistulas which had become refractory to local surgical treatments, in subjects with scrofula disposition, consecutive to small cold abscesses of the cellular tissue at the back, and under aponevrotics (Denonvillicrs) without primitive lesion of bones, and not accompanied by fiogistico work.
In the alteration of the ganglia of the scrofulous individuals (scrofulous adenite) with hardening of the tissues, so-called cutaneous fungal ulcers; and in chronic simple adenitis of lymphatic ganglia, characterized by indolent swelling in various lymphatic glands without footprints of scrofula or syphilis.
Syphilitic dermatoses such as roseola and acne have not yet been observed; not even the most frequent manifestations of constitutional syphilis; for these and other dens other diseases, taking advantage of the reasons that will come from clinical science, we will try to follow with care the new facts.
For now we are not going on with the analysis of the observations, beyond those, which have been remembered among the most important, although the narrowness of the same space has not allowed us to refer to them in full, shown to demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of the sulfur-alkaline waters of Cammarata.
It seems to have reached out about the diseases, which have given the opportunity to carry out such appreciations the modest purpose set.
the Establishment, even though it is in its infancy, cannot despair with the evidence of the facts a growing confidence, and from the aesthetic point of view it will not leave room for strong criticism.
We do not find now, what to report from the Experimental of Florence 2877, phase. 7, a magazine des scenses medicai «on the beneficial influence of sulphurous waters; ie the result of a work by G. Senac-Lagrangé, Paris.
1 Sulphurous waters are tonic. They come to produce a tonic effect because of the exciting and irritating action. Locally, their action is replacement. Being able to be a tonic for all tissues, and for all systems they reach the general result, the re-establishment of forces.
2 In a more direct and immediate way they act on nutrition, and, rearranging the disassimilation. 1; urea, like ,. organic detritus, takes the place of uric acid, c of urates.
3. And by bringing their action on tissue nutrition, they act secondarily on their physical and vital properties.
4. This mode of action is observed in the manifestations of chronic diseases, known as general or constitutional, scrofula, arthritis, syphilis in the pulmonary scrofula (tuberculosis), the elements not yet affected acquire a particular resistance due to the influence of these waters. The severity of the injuries, the resulting fever, are not always a contraindication to the use of water.
In arthritic bronchitis, bronchitis with congestion, with emphysema, with cardiac dilation, the pulmonary vesicle regains its elasticity, provided that the lesion has not exceeded the second degree, the same occurs in the central organ, the heart ".
The establishment will be open every year from April 1st to the end of September.
the prices of the bathrooms, including linen for those who request it, are the following: For those who live in the Establishment.
Warm bath. . . L. >> 50
>> Hot. . . >> 150
For those who do not live there.
Warm bath. . . L. 100
>> Hot. . . L. 150
The gentlemen who would like to stay in the plant will find very decent rooms on the ground floor, and others on the first floor furnished with everything; those who want to bring with them what they need can do so.
To lodge in the Establishment a prior request to the sac. D. Giuseppe Longo in Cammarata, in order to avoid the case of the lack of available rooms.
There is a breakfast and lunch service at fixed prices.
Those who want to prepare food from the nearby Municipality of Cammarata will find all the comforts.
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