Between the 19th and 20th centuries and thanks to the fairy-tale architecture of its buildings, Montecatini Terme became an emblem of the Italian Belle Époque and a source of inspiration for many generations of artists.
A number of the city’s curtained venues have provided the perfect backdrop for performances by numerous playwrights, including the Teatro Verdi, the Teatro dei Risorti, and the Kursaal Complex, a true landmark of Montecatini Terme’s cultural life.
Designed by architects Carbinati and Garbagnani, The Kursaal Complex was founded by the Milanese company De Marchi Gherini in 1907. Initially it housed a theatre, a restaurant, a café, and a garage.
Several of the Peninsula’s most renowned theatre companies performed during the summer show, which ran from 1 June to 30 September.
In the following years, the complex was expanded with new entertainment areas designed for its guests: a luxurious casino, shooting galleries, Italy’s first open-air cinema and two dance floors, one indoors and the other outside the building were added. In 1957, a new cinema theatre opened, which featured a number of important shows and artists, including Totò.
The Kursaal was the landmark of Montecatini and Tuscan social life until the 1980s.
Today, only the façade, the inner portico, and the green space in front remain of the original building. Based on a project by architect Aldo Rossi, a business and residential complex was in fact built in the area vacated by the historical structure. This was then continued by the Monaco company of Verona due to the architect’s untimely death.
The complex is still in use today and remains an important hub for the city.