The first public swimming pool in Italy dates back to 1842 and was built in Milan by the architect Andrea Pizzala, near Piazza Venezia. Hard to believe now! The complex was particularly large and developed. It even consisted of one hundred and twenty wooden cabins and boasted a restaurant, a cafe and a vast garden with poplars, horse chestnuts and weeping willows. The swimming pool was 25 meters wide and 100 meters long. It was called “Bagno di Diana” (Diana’s Bath).
Despite having the name of a lady, however, the huge pool was forbidden to women until 1886, when they were allowed to access but only in special restricted hours of the morning. But the oddities of Diana’s Bath don’t end there. The tutelary deity of the system, the austere accountant Fabio Franchi, who ran it for 40 years, never ventured to take a dip in the pool. Even in the hottest summers. 😱