Rabbi Fonti (altitude 1,222 m), or Le Aque in the local dialect, lies on the valley floor and is really part of Piazzola.
This is where you can find the modern spa which offers visitors the health and therapeutic benefits of the famous waters, rich in iron, which gush out of the crystalline schist rock that makes up a large part of the Ortles-Cevedale mountain chain. Discovered in 1660 and subsequently analysed repeatedly in studies, Rabbi’s waters came to be known across the whole of Europe. Today the Terme di Rabbi company promotes this precious natural resource. Near to the spa is the Stelvio National Park visitor centre.
The history of this little settlement is, as you might expect, closely linked to the discovery of the mineral spring: as far back as 1670, there are news reports of as many as 500 bathers, a number which continued to grow over the years, bringing wealth to the valley. Back then, the spring was owned by the Counts of Thun, who had been the lords of the whole region since the 1400s. Over the subsequent decades, the Counts granted the right to use the spring to a few families in the valley, the most famous of which was the Molignoni. The end of the first world war and the fall of the Hapsburg Empire, where Rabbi’s waters were very well known, led to a crisis in the valley’s spa industry. Today, through effective promotion, building on the reputation of these waters and the Stelvio National Park, the Terme di Rabbi is one of the Alps’ leading therapeutic and reinvigorating spa centres.
It was Simone Molignoni who, in 1783, began a project to build a church near to Bagni di Rabbi which he owned at the time under a concession from the Thun family. The reason was very simple: to allow the many bathers to attend the services held by the priests who would accompany them on visits. The Molignoni family started the works, which were completed by the Pangrazzi brothers in 1784. In 1835, the church was extended. It had three altars, the largest of which had a wooden altarpiece, painted to look like marble, dating from the end of the 1700s, possibly produced by a guest of the spa, depicting a Sacra Conversazione between a young Mary, Joachim and Anne.
During the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Rabbi Fonti enjoyed a certain fame and saw a growth in tourism thanks to its mineral springs.The spring at the Terme di Rabbi is rich in mineral salts, iron and sodium and has a high carbon dioxide content. The little hamlet is also home to the Stelvio National Park visitor centre, which offers a virtual tour of the varied lands that make up the park.Bagni di Rabbi is the starting point for the “Sentiero del legno e delle segherie”, a themed footpath that leads visitors to an ancient Venetian sawmill which harnessed the power of the raging Rabbies river to cut tree trunks. You can also visit the brand new suspension bridge and Ragaiolo waterfalls from here. During winter, there is a cross-country skiing piste, free of charge, which has floodlights for evening skiing.
Rabbi Vacanze has launched a new rating system for holiday homes in the Val di Rabbi using ‘nests’. The aim is to provide full transparency about the information provided and the facilities on offer. Download the document to find out more about how they are graded.