Attractions in Montecatini Terme, Italy – Things to do, best places to see

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Montecantini Terme

Montecatini Terme is the largest and most popular thermal resort in Tuscany, second only to the entire Apennine peninsula. This spa resort covers an area of 17 km2, population - 22 thousand people. The ancient city attracts tens of thousands of travelers and guests who want to improve their health every year. The main specialization of the resort is the treatment of liver and gastrointestinal diseases. The city is immersed in greenery almost all year round, the architecture of the times of the Venetian Republic plunges into the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, and the many restaurants, cafes, parks and shops make your stay pleasant and comfortable.

History of Montecatini Terme

The history of the region goes back to ancient times, as archaeological finds proved the existence of hunting tribes in these lands as early as the Bronze Age. In ancient times, somewhere in the 2nd century BC, the Romans discovered water springs on the Lucca plain and noticed that if you drink this water and wash yourself with it, the pains pass quickly and in general you start to get sick much less often. For centuries there have been disputes among healers about the properties of this water and its origin, but no consensus has been reached.

Only in the XV century doctor Ugolino da Montecatini (pay attention to the name) studied the chemical properties of water, as far as the development of science at that time allowed, and described them in his treatise. It was precisely in this era that large-scale military operations were conducted in the region of modern Tuscany for the right to gain power in local lands. The victories of the battles were Florentine troops, for whom the healing springs were a pleasant bonus. In 1530 year, near Montecatini Hill, the Florentines built the first baths, the Medici baths, filled with healing water.

Unfortunately, after 24 years, the war between the families of the Medici and Strozzi broke out again, as a result of which the city was looted and completely devastated, and the loser Medici gave the order not to leave the trophies to the blood enemy and destroy the city to the ground. This phase lasted until the 18th century, when Duke Leopold II decided to regain the former greatness of the resort and ordered the drying of the marshes, while building up the vicinity of the thermal springs with baths. Montecatini Terme was not particularly famous and popular until the beginning of the last century. In two decades, many hotels, theatres, restaurants and entertainment facilities have been built; the city has attracted aristocrats and prominent artists: Giuseppe Verdi, Luigi Pirandello, Ruggero Leoncavallo. And since then, the popularity of the resort has gone up, reaching unprecedented heights today.

Attractions of Montecatini Terme

Montecatini Alto

Nowadays Montecatini Terme is conditionally divided into two parts: Old and New town. So Montecatini Alto is an old part of it, located on a hill 300 meters high. You can go upstairs either on foot or by funicular, another attraction of the resort which age has exceeded a hundred years. But don't be afraid, the municipality is watching to keep the lift running. If do not talk about beautiful panorama, upstairs you can see the ancient fortress of Rocca di Castello Vecchio, the church of St. Peter and its bell tower, the newly built castle of Torre del Castel Nuevo, the church of del Carmine, the square, theater and house of Giuseppe Giusti and much more.

Terme Tettuccio

The new part of Montecatini Terme is beautiful with its architecture as a whole, and in terms of specific buildings, the four thermal complexes stand out the most, Tettuccio being the oldest and most popular among them. Terme is built to protect the springs that hit the ground. It was built in the second half of the 18th century and completely renovated at the beginning of the 20th century. Noble white marble surrounds the walls, the interior is decorated with multicolored tiles, stained-glass windows on the ceiling, and guests who come for treatment are welcomed by statues in the Roman style.

Terme Excelsior

A beautiful example of ancient architecture, which combines elements of art nouveau and neoclassicism. The interior is rich in marble sculptures and bas-reliefs, mosaic stained-glass windows and ornamental patterns. And all this ancient grandeur is organically combined with advanced medical technologies. Around the baths there is a cozy park with lawns, fountains and comfortable benches.

Terme Regina

The baths were built over the spring of the same name at the beginning of the last century. The Terme building is a neat symmetrical structure of light travertine divided into 3 halls, where art exhibitions and various events are held periodically. Well, in the center of the building there's a holy grail with healing water, which you should drink in a hurry, walking around the halls or near a fountain decorated with a stork sculpture.

Terme Tamerici

The latest on our list of Terme Tamerici is interesting for its design and the growing Tamarisk trees around, after which the baths were named. In terms of appearance and interior, Terme Tamerici have a circular structure framed by unique bas-reliefs, bright stained glass, ceramic patterns and ancient sculptures. Inside the building you will find a bar and a large hall, which often becomes a venue for major international exhibitions and cultural events.

Stars Alley

On the Verdi pedestrian street there is its own Alley of Stars, where commemorative signs with the names of famous spa guests are placed on the pavement. Personalities such as Coco Chanel, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior, Kevin Costner, Adriano Celentano, Robert De Niro, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gina Lollobrigida, Audrey Hepburn, Woody Allen, Maria Sklodowska-Curie and many others have left their mark on the history of the city.

Basilica Santa Maria Assunta

Modern basilica located in the main square in the center of Montecatini Terme. This church is remarkable not only for its architecture and colorful stained-glass windows inside, but also for the instrumental concerts held here.

Statue of Giacomo Puccini

In April 2016, Montecatini Terme hosted the Russian-Italian music festival "Dark Eyes". In addition to the bright performances of the bands, the event was remembered for the installation of a monument to the outstanding Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini on the main street of the city. Russian sculptor Aydin Zeynalov gave the monument to the city and engraved a reminder that "great people need a lot of inspiration".