Originally built as a seaside sanatorium in 1855, for over one hundred years it has served the community by applying the principles that inspired its foundation.
About 1855, the Waldensian pastor Meille inaugurated a seaside sanatorium from rented lodgings near Finale Ligure, which allowed ailing children, workers and miners to benefit from the healing effects of the sea air. With the providential aid of a legacy, the pastor and his family were able to offer the service until 1903, when the structure was entrusted to the Waldensian Church of Turin. In 1912, the Waldensian Board decided to use the fund inherited from the pastor’s family to purchase land and build a structure to house the sanatorium activities. The structure was inaugurated the following year. From that time forward, to cover the operating costs, it welcomed families for seaside holiday stays. The Second World War forced the Church to shut down the sanatorium and holiday house activities, also because the building had been damaged. However, as early as 1947, activities were functioning again and the sanatorium and holiday house spaces were separated. In 1963, a new structure was built nearby for boys and girls only. During the 1970s, the sanatorium services were opened to persons with disabilities and to student field trips. During the 1980s and 1990s, the building was again refurbished and adapted to satisfy new requirements. Among the various works, the two areas were connected and the decision was made to eliminate all architectural barriers. In 1998, the Waldensian Church of Turin entrusted the management of the structure to the Waldensian Diaconia, which in harmony with the underlying principles that had justified its foundation, decided to continue its commitment to ongoing improvement of the structure to make it more welcoming. As the advertising slogan of 1930 recited, “The prices are reasonable, the stay is agreeable, and the service is excellent”.
For more information about the history of the Casa Valdese, you may wish to read: A. Taccia, La Casa Valdese di Borgio Verezzi, La Claudiana, 2003.

 

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