Dr. Luigi Rovetta was a theorist of scientific naturism. In 1920 he founded in Ronco di Ghiffa, in a property with a park belonging to counts Morocco, a special place, the Casa di cure naturali Dr. Luigi Rovetta. There, patients could recover in a pristine landscape and re-establish the right balance between body and environment. The resort, that included more than eighty rooms with running water, was made up of a building dedicated to the cures and provided with modern equipment. The tonic therapy was based on the administration of special herbal teas, helio- and hydrotherapy, gymnastics, mud baths as well as on a proper diet.
The resort advertisement on the pier of the Ghiffa harbor
The entrance in a postcard of that period
Outside view of the building with the airy verandah and the terrace
The guest rooms were located upstairs. Above the windows and on the ceiling, natural scenes were painted, with landscapes depicting the lake, the countryside and a blooming pergola. The guest apartments were furnished in a floral design, according to the style of that period.
A view of the inner terrace of the resort, with the porch covered with wisteria
The lobby area with the grand staircase and the wrought iron balustrade
The nice music room with the upright piano
The elegant dining room was decorated with wall paintings in the ceiling roses and in-between the windows.
The small oratory
The verandah and the large corridor, with wall lamps and heating
The park surrounding the building stretched about four hectares as far as the slopes of the Sacro Monte of Ghiffa. From the building, a stunning view of the lake could be enjoyed. Cycling champion Fausto Coppi and boxer Primo Carrera were guests of Dr. Rovetta.
The large paths in the park allowed patients to take relaxing walks
For the entertainment in the park, there was even a bocce court.
From the building one could enjoy a beautiful view of the lake
The large terrace was provided with deckchairs for the heliotherapy
A picturesque corner on the terrace of the building, with chairs, benches and a small table
Under the umbrellas, guests could read the newspaper or play cards
Besides concrete practice, the physician was also the author of several publications. As early as in 1920 he printed with publisher Almasio in Intra his Vademecum per attuare a domicilio la cura depurativa e ricostituente della casa di cure naturali Dr. Luigi Rovetta (Handbook to carry out the detox and tonic treatments of the Casa di cure naturali Dr. Luigi Rovetta at home) and from 1926 he published the monthly “Natura e scienza per la salute” (Nature and science for health) and “Rivista bimestrale della casa di cure” (Two-monthly magazine of the resort). In 1940 Dr. Rovetta also wrote Verso il naturismo scientifico (Towards scientific naturism) for publisher Airoldi, in which he described all the treatments, followed in 1944 by Naturismo: cure naturali (Naturism: natural treatments), again with Airoldi.
Both books showed the multiple practical possibilities offered by natural treatments. Rovetta’s theories were innovative ones and were also studied by his contemporary colleagues. Medicine, hygiene and nutrition were the mainstays of naturism, a school of thought that was already widespread in the 18th century. According to Belgian physician Jean Baptiste Luc Planchon, who published in 1778 his book Le Naturisme ou la nature considérée dans les maladies et leur traitement conforme à la doctrine et à la pratique d’Hippocrate et ses sectateurs, naturism was a doctrine that lets nature act instead of intervening artificially. “Nature” was that of man, which is able to cure a sick body.
By the middle of last century, the property was sold to Stock, that kept it closed and neglected it until the hotel constraint expired.
The front page of “Natura e Scienza per la salute”, the monthly published by Rovetta from 1926
In 1940 Dr. Rovetta published his book “Verso il naturismo scientifico”, a study on natural medicine and its applications.