Tuscan spa capital, Montecatini is the perfect destination for those looking for relaxation, shopping and culture.
The atmosphere is always laid back, and the quiet tree-lined streets, stylish boutiques and ice cream parlours will never grow old.
A popular holiday destination since the time of Ancient Rome, Montecatini offers an unrivalled choice of hot springs. Its salty-sulphate-alkaline waters are ideal for therapeutic baths and mud treatments, and also beneficial to the liver and intestines. And you'll be spoilt for choice. Terme Tettuccio is the oldest centre, built by the Grand Duke Leopoldo himself, and still captivating visitors today with its great frescoed ceilings. Terme Leopoldine is more modern, recently renovated by master architect Massimiliano Fuksas, home to the warmest of Montecatini's hot springs. Terme Excelsior and Terme Redi also deserve a mention, the latter home to a thermal pool, and both renowned for their curative and beauty treatments.
Just a few minutes from the centre of Montecatini, you'll find an exclusive hot spring complex with a vast, open-air thermal pool, bubbling jets and an ancient thermal cave, in which the natural pool remains at a steady 36°C all year round.
Montecatini centres around Corso Matteotti, where you'll find designer clothing boutiques, perfume shops, jewellers, antique shops and linen shops. For a total-immersion shopping experience.
Soak up the Liberty style as you stroll along Viale Verdi, home to some of the town's most beautiful historic buildings, such as the Palazzina Regia, where Grand Duke Leopoldo spent the summer, and the Town Hall, dating back to 1913. Here you'll also find the Teatro Verdi, a theatre which hosts an exceptional calender of events each year, from concerts to shows, ballets and opera.
Art fans should certainly visit Montecatini's MOCA, the new Museum of Contemporary Art which opened in 2012. Four hundred square metres of art, inside the old municipal post office. The museum's permanent works include the spectacular canvas "Donna avvolta in un volo d’uccelli" (Woman wrapped in flying birds) by Joan Mirò, produced by the artist for Montecatini in 1980, when he was invited to the spa town by the Cuban revolutionary Carlo Franqui for an event entitled "Maggio-Mirò".
The breathtaking views from Montecatini Alto are the stuff of romance, of dreams, of beauty. Get lost in the hamlet's streets, browse artisan boutiques or enjoy an ice cream to the backdrop of the Valdinievole hills. Montecatini Alto is accessible by car, but the most beautiful way to travel there is by "funicolare", built in 1898, and today the world's oldest functioning cable car system.
Montecatini is the ideal base for exploring all the wonderful culture Tuscany has to offer. Florence, Pisa and Lucca are just some of the popular attractions easily accessible by car or train in under 40 minutes.