It all started in 1889, when Procopio, a Venetian deep sea diver, equipped with a diving suit and special pumps supplied from England, dived to a depth of 20 metres into lake Garda. In the area around Catullus' villa, in Sirmione he was the first person to reach a hot water spring which had been known to exist for three centuries.
After several attempts, Procopio succeeded in planting a long tube into the rock face. From the end of this tube, a jet of hot sulphurous water gushed to a height of 5 metres above the surface of the lake garda. It was a momentous achievement, this was the first step in the long and difficult process of laying 300 metres of metal pipes, which at last carried the precious thermal waters to Sirmione.
In 1900 the first Spa Establishment was opened, and two new sources were opened at the original Boiola spring. Two further springs were opened, and the thermal water from these springs offered the same chemical and therapeutic properties as the original Boiola spring. The thermal spring water was transported through a network of pipes to the Catullo Spa Complex in the old town of Sirmione, as well as to the Spa hotels and to the Virgilio Spa Complex, which was opened in 1987, at the base of the peninsula.
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