North of the River Arno, in Valdinievole, lies Montecatini, less than 50 km from the airports at both Florence and Pisa. If you prefer public transport, there is also a train station in town. Montecatini Terme is really popular because of its many spas and its lively atmosphere.
Locals pour into the main square during the evenings to enjoy an ice cream or to walk down the main street and admire the art nouveau architecture of the town. In 1387, hot springs were discovered, and since then spas have flourished, particularly over the last 200 years. There are nine spas in the town, where you can practise various types of natural therapy in a relaxing and luxurious setting plus there are more than 50 hectares of park and gardens.
You can also find all kinds of sports facilities, including an 18-hole golf course, a racecourse, a stadium, several Olympic size swimming pools and lots of tennis courts.
The town makes a great base for a staying in Tuscany, as from here you can easily visit Pisa, Lucca, Florence, Collodi and Vinci, where you can see Leonardo’s home in Anchiano and a museum with some of his works at the castle in Vinci.
If you visit the town during the last week of July or the first week of August, we can recommend a visit to the opera in Torre del Lago, which is just a ½ hour drive away. Here at Lake Massaciuccoli, where Giacomo Puccini lived for most of his life, there is an annual open-air concert. Unlike the arena in Verona, Italian decorum is the order of the day at Torre del Lago where all seats are numbered and the performances are usually classical and of extremely high quality. Singers including Mario del Monaco, Franco Corelli, José Carreras, Placido Domingo have performed here over the years.