Montecatini Terme

Around Montecatini This charming town reconfirms its role as the capital of thermal treatments and spas, where a vacation can be spent in total relaxation to recover full well-being.Flourishing green parks, thermal establishments fully equipped with state-of-the-art technological facilities, a long-dated reception tradition: a whole set of win-win solutions able to guarantee visitors a most pleasant stay. Those who are keen on the magical atmosphere of the belle époque can visit historical socialite locales, such as the Caffè delle Terme, the Locanda Maggiore, the Gambrinus arcades, and the thermal establishments frescoed and decorated after the Art Nouveau style.The vestiges of a memorable past are not found just in the beauty of Montecatini’s thermal establishments. Beside these, it is worthwhile paying a visit to the many historical locales in town that will bewitch you as you are taken back to the magical atmosphere of the Belle Époque. The Tettuccio thermal establishment hosts the Sala del Caffè (Coffee House): Art Nouveau furniture, frescoes by Giulio Bargellini and landscape paintings by Maria Biseo that render this place spectacular and astonishing. The Gran Caffè Gambrinus, inaugurated in 1931 on the premises of the Locanda Maggiore, was the most fashionable place to rendezvous at the time; or the historical hotels, such as La Pace or the Plaza-Locanda Maggiore, which hosted many illustrious personalities;A GLIMPSE OF “LIBERTY”Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, Montecatini became the international center of a ‘new style’ that earned it the visits of artists and renowned personalities who chose this charming town for their rendezvous. Just take a dive into the Belle Époque… Departing from Piazza del Popolo, let yourself be enraptured by the elegant atmosphere of Viale Verdi opening in front of your eyes.The absolute protagonist of the avenue is Galileo Chini and his ceramic works of art, which were produced in the workshop that he founded in 1896 in partnership with the best architects, artists and interior décor experts of that time. You will admire the Locanda Maggiore, the Gambrinus arcades, the Politeama Theater (now called Imperiale Cinema Theater), the Town Hall with its marvelous windows, the Excelsior Cinema, the Tamerici Pavilion, and the Excelsior (the former casino and grand café, which has now been turned into a thermal establishment). Plunged amidst flourishing green parks, soar harmoniously the Terme Leopoldine, the Terme Torretta and the Terme Tamerici thermal establishments.The bottom end of the avenue is dominated by the imposing façade of the Tettuccio thermal establishment: here beauty finds its ultimate expression in an overallbounty of peace and harmony. Many splendorous things will delight your eyes: the art nouveau décor that embellishes the dome of the orchestra tribune above all, the fascinating “Galleria delle Bibite” (Drink Gallery) with its astonishing ceramic panels by Basilio Cascella that reproduce the seasons of life. Finally, just wander around the many roads that wind through the town and lift your gaze to admire the eclecticstyle of the Casino Kursaal Theater, or the prestigious Grand Hotel La Pace, the Rinfresco Villa, characterized by majolica friezes engraved with the stylized rose so cherished by Mackintosh.And then, an array of excursions around the neighborhood. First of all, Montecatino Alto (uptown) where the town hall had its seat until 1905. Just reaching this historic old town aboard a coach of the oldest funicular in the world is a thrilling experience not to be missed! Likewise, you will be astonished once you reach the top as a spectacular view of downtown and the entire Valdinievole valley opens up in front of your eyes.The tradition of musicMontecatini and its thermal waters have always offered an ideal background for inspiration to the greatest protagonists of music history. Gioacchino Rossini used to stay at the Locanda Maggiore hotel where his ‘music room’ is still furnished as it was in the past. Giacomo Puccini, during his holidays in Montecatini Alto, worked at the music scores for the opera Fanciulla del West. He used to discuss projects for new operas with other illustrious guests, such as Arturo Toscanini and Enrico Caruso. Ruggero Leoncavallo was famous for livening up the sizzling cultural life of the charming town and literally fell in love with Montecatini, so much so that he ended up moving here. Giuseppe Verdi had been a habitué of Montecatini for nineteen years beginning in 1882. During his periods of stay, he happened to meet Arrigo Boito and Giulio Ricordi,and became friends with the director of the Locanda Maggiore hotel, Napoleone Melani, and Dr. Pietro Grocco. While in Montecatini, he composed the third act of Otello and the orchestral arrangements for Falstaff. A marker placed in Piazza del Popolo reminds visitors of his stays here. His piano, recently restored, is now on display at the “Dino Scalbrino” Art Academy. Eminent guests of Montecatini’s thermal establishments were, among others,Pietro Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Alberto Franchetti (who used to come here with Gabriele D’Annunzio), Umberto Giordano, Ildebrando Pizzetti, and Riccardo Zandonai. The ties and the passion that Montecatini has for music have remained unchanged over time. Concerts, music festivals and special events are frequently organized that see the participation of distinguished musicians and conductors of international fame. Jazz, ethnic music, great interpreters and good contemporary music in general also find their perfect stage in Montecatini, as well as a passionate audience.

BORGO

Montecatini Alto

The historic center of Montecatini sits on top of a hill, at an altitude of 290 meters. The enchanting uptown looks out over the entire valley below, offering breathtaking panoramas of the Valdinievole. It can be easily reached in just ten minutes from Montecatini Terme by car, or on foot by walking along the so-called ‘short’ road, an old path that winds up to the top of the hill. The uptown stretches over two hills: one is dominated by the ancient Rock of the Old Castle (also known as the Tramontana Castle), the Church of Saint Peter and the Bell Tower; and the other is characterized by the core of buildings made up of the Tower of the New Castle (also known as the Clock Tower) and the Church of Carmine, in which a painting dating back to 1595 depicting the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastiano can be found. In the background of this beautiful painting, a view of the town and its surrounding lands of that epoch can be admired. In the past, Montecatini Alto was surrounded by bulwarks that could be accessed through eight gates. Today, only one gate is still intact – Porta di Borgo- alongside the Church and Monastery of Benedictine nuns of Saint Maria a Ripa. A stroll around the ancient walls, a stop in front of poet Giuseppe Giusti’s home, or the house of Ser Ugolino Caccini, the first to celebrate Montecatini’s thermal waters; a walk to the main square towered by the Teatro dei Risorti and its original Art Nouveau décor; to browse around craftsshops and taste delicious local food prepared in the typical restaurants: these are just some suggestions on how to savor Montecatini Alto and bring home the memories of a sweet, relaxing land…

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Special Openings,
Guided Tours,
Sensational Tastings.
Discover Montecatini Terme & Montecatini Alto
during the II Open Week!
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discover-approfondimenti

Walking along Viale Verdi, we find situated on an artificial elevation the town hall whose mass seems to compete for monumentality with the prestigious spas and hotels that were built beginning in the late eighteenth century. Read More

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The therapeutic properties of Montecatini waters were already known in the Romans’ time: our garden-town bewitches the visitor with its wonders made up of picturesque avenues, green and flowery oases, artistic beauties, serene quietness and warm hospitality.Find out: Terme di Montecatini

Discover all the events of the II edition of Valdinievole’s Open Week!

Montecatini Terme

Montecatini Alto

Discover all the events of the II edition of Valdinievole’s Open Week!