Viale Giuseppe Verdi
Historically, starting from the church, the avenue connected the Via Regia with the “Tettuccio” through the Leopoldine baths and the “Palazzina Regia”. The town evolved and grew around it, becoming the connecting axis and focal point for the hillside of Montecatini Alto, the medieval village.
After a long period of time known as Vialone dei Bagni, it was renamed after the composer Giuseppe Verdi, who was an assiduous and beloved visitor to Montecatini Terme. As well as connecting the main thermal spas in harmony with the surrounding vegetation, there is also the Verdi Theatre of the same name, which has featured opera performances throughout its history as well as variety shows and nationally renowned artists.
Giuseppe Verdi first came to Montecatini in 1882. His last spa holiday was in 1900 a few months before his death. He was a regular guest at the Locanda Maggiore, where he always occupied the same flat. During his stays in Montecatini, he visited the Tettuccio daily to drink the waters and took long walks in Montecatini Alto, one of his favourite destinations.
Montecatini Terme provided Verdi with the ideal environment for his creativity. In fact, he composed most of the third act of Otello here in 1885. It was also here that he began Falstaff during the holiday season of 1889.
At his express wish, the doctor Pietro Grocco, medical director of the Montecatini Spa and his personal physician, joined him in Milan to assist him in the last days of his life, up until his death on 27 January 1901.
During an extraordinary meeting of the Montecatini Terme Municipal Council on 28 January 1901, the following decisions were made: “The section of the avenue now called Viale del Tettuccio, which runs from the thermal baths to the Tettuccio, is given the name Viale Giuseppe Verdi. While the section of the castle walls, which goes from the Funicular railway station to the Chalet Melani, is given the name Passeggiata Giuseppe Verdi”.
His personal belongings, his piano and various records (photographs, autographed documents etc.) are kept at the Montecatini Art Academy.
Viale Giuseppe Verdi also hosts the Walk of Fame.