The town has a population of 20,000, but with 230 hotels, it accomodates 2,000,000 tourists a year. It is a town founded in BCE, but had not reached fame until the spas were developed in latre 1300's for the first time. They expanded in 1540. It had been a part of Lucca control, but the Sienese took over for a while. That led Medici's of Florence to destroy much of the alto town in revenge. Duke Leopold drained swamps in the lower valley area-VAldienvole, and that led to developing the thermal resorts. The town was called BAgni del Montecatini originally.
The bathes were rebuilt and by 1900 it was well known for spa treatments. It had 75,000 visitors in 1926. The Tettuccion is the largest and most famous of them all. There are 11 main thermal spas, and some date back into late 1700's.
That now has also led to upscale shopping along the boardwalk avenue which has many high end stores.
The main shopping avenue is Viale Chipadale, and the viale G. Verde holds the municipal building and other great structures from the 1920's. The architecture is called Liberty period. The buildings have a lot of elegance and depicts the period of high society coming to the town to enjoy the spas and luxury. The shopping has all the specialties one would desire if one had the money to buy. The Tettuccio was rebuilt by Ugo Giovanozzi in 1926-28, and he also rehabbed some other structures on Verde to update, but maintain the old style architecture.
The town grew up around the alto; 299 meters high on a hill. The lower town was developed in 1905 and called BAgni Montecatini, later named changed to today. It was to draw people to the spas in the new drained valley called VAldinievole. It eventually became the main municipality. The Alto is preserved in some areas yet, but the walls and gates are torn down due to the many battles around this town.
It is beautiful and comfy city what is deserve to explore.
You take some time and walk by streets or go to shopping. The shops were open till there was clients. Lots of shops were closing the dors at 11 PM or even 12 PM. We don't saw the closing times on the dors of shops... but maybe we was just forgetfully ;)
There is a sort of lunapark for children in Montecatini. It's called Thermeland and you can get your children and spend some hours heere makeing them play around. There are several and different games that can be used from children to every age.
In this place they organize also birthday so you can rent the space and buy the coins for the games: i think it's a very good idea becouse in this way the children can have fun playing around and the parents can rest.
You don't have to pay for entering, just you have to pay for the games you decide to do
Really close to Montecatini Terme there is the town of Montecatini Alto. This sweet little medieval town has lots of interesting shops and give you a beautiful panoramic view of Montecatini Terme and of all the Valdinievole area. It's an amazing place where to spend some hours during your trip in Tuscany.
You can reach Montecatini Alto by car (or also on foot) but the best way that i suggest is using the "funicolare" that is a little train that goes up to the hill and arrive directly in Montecatini Alto. In this way you'll not have problems searching to park the car and anyway also using this ancient train is funny. It takes just some minutes to arrive in the center of Montecatini Alto and it's not expensive at all
There are at least two great places here for people. Lavilla resort (open 2 months aug 07). Great high quality design, athmosphere and lots of fun. Restaurant and Bar has a good menu with nice inexpensive food. Not your local municipal pool at all! open from 10am -7pm, costs 10 euro to get in and has loungers included. Via del Poggetto 42. Pieve a Nievole. On outskirts of Montecatini. 0572.954111. Easy Parking or take a taxi.
Also Le Panteraie (.it) is on outskirts... seems similar.
This spa, located in Montecatini Terme, is Art Nouveau in style, and well worth visiting.
Just walking through the grounds stimulates the senses.
We actually attended an open air evening concert at this spa, so I am not familiar with the daytime functions. But, we were free to enter and walk through the entire area.
The Funiculare is an old fashioned cable car that transports you from Montecatini Terme up to a lovely Medieval town, Montecatini Alto.
The vistas are spectacular. I do believe that the cost was 7.5 Euros.
It takes approximately 14 minutes for the round trip. But, once at the top, you really must walk around the town and enjoy the beauty.
My suggestion would be to go up in the late afternoon, have dinner, and enjoy the trip down with the sun setting. Really spectacular!
Thermes are very known in montecatini.You can go directly to the various place here in town(like Tettuccio,Excelsior,Regina,Torretta)or you can go to Monsummano Terme where there is "grotta giusti"(It takes the name from the poet Giusti).In most of hotels u can have beauty and relaxing tratment,or some conventions with thermes places.So if u just wanna relax,and want someone that take care of your body,i think Montecatini it's the right place to stay
As Montecatini Alto is on a very high hill it will be a good idea to ride the Funiculare. The ride takes about eight minutes and there's a trip every half hour. The fee is 5 Euros for a Return Ticket and 3 Euros for a One Way Ticket. The two trains were first used in 1898 and as there's only one track they meet half way up/down the hill.
This delightful hill village is reached by a funicular from the north end of Montecatini or by driving up a scenic hill road. Perched atop a hill with gradual slopes, this quaint village features a central Piazza Giusti lined with restaurants and bars, attracting a lively crowd of locals and visitors for local cuisine.
This shows the areas where you can view and park. It is packed inside the main area, and parking is scarce.