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Wander the medieval streets and cobbled laneways of Montecatini Terme

Wander the medieval streets and cobbled laneways of Montecatini Terme

BY Trish Clark . 07 Jun

If you are planning to explore Tuscany, the charming town of Montecatini Terme is well worth considering to use as a base. Montecatini is situated between the walled town of Lucca and the art city of Florence.

Both towns are less than an hour away from Montecateni by train, which tracks through some of Tuscany’s most beautiful countryside. Pisa’s leaning tower is only 20 km south of Lucca and can be accessed by train.

Siena and San Gimignano and numerous medieval villages can be easily reached by car from Montecatini.

Montecatini is Italy’s largest spa resort and the elegant township grew and spread around its mineral springs. Apart from spa resorts the town is awash with bubbling fountains, grottos, water features, churches and all manner of statues. While the use of the curative waters dates back to Etruscan times, it was the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo (1747–1792) who was responsible for transforming the town into the gracious spa resort it is today.

Ancient buildings line the medieval streets and cobbled laneways of the old town, with some dating back to the year 1000. Some of the streets are narrow so best to leave the car behind.

The town and its healing waters have attracted numerous celebrities.  The Medici family had a summer residence in the town and composers Strauss, Verdi and Puccini came to relax in the thermal baths and indulge in spa treatments.

Montecateni is always a hive of activity with weekly markets, fairs and festivals, exhibitions and concerts of classical music taking place throughout the year. A funicular railway climbs up to Montecatini Alto village from where there are spectacular views.

Hotel Miro in Montecatini offers spacious and comfortable accommodation for all travelers, families and groups. And with so much water in the town it is no surprise that the hotel has its own swimming pool - a boon on a hot summer day. But if you need a change from all that water, Chianti is very close by.

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