The avenue of the Baths
1. Tettuccio Termal Bath
In 1370 the place was arranged in a simple way with a small roof that covered the spring (where the name “Tettuccio” comes from) and it was used above all for salt extraction . The very first establishment was built between 1779 to 1781 and commissioned by the Grand Duke Leopold, in the context of the urban reorganization committed to Arch. Niccolò Gasparo Paoletti (1727-1813). Even if of great showy effect, it was different from the actual one, built together with the queens establishment nearby, between 1923 to 1927 from the design of the Florentine architect Ugo Giovannozzi.
For a long time it was not only a thermal establishment, but also a meeting and cultural place for some of the greatest personalities of music, art, diplomacy and politics.
The great park, the echo of music, the historical café, the reading room: the Tettuccio is still today a real “City of Wellness” where everything contributes to recreate that psycho-physical equilibrium that places man in harmony with nature and with himself.
Inside: mountain of the crocodiles by Sirio Tofanari (1886-1969), “Salone di Scrittura”, “Salone Portoghesi” (work by arch. Paolo Portoghesi), “Tempietto della Musica” with dome roofing covered by tiles with scales of majolica (manufacture by Galileo Chini), “Galleria della Mescita” with mosaics by Basilio Cascella (1860-1950), fountain of the Heron and Frog (Raffaele Romanelli, 1925), Historical Café with works by Maria Biseo and the great and florid park.TAKE ME THERE
2. Leopoldine Termal Bath
Majestic, but sober, they were built in the honour of Grand Duke Pietro Leopold I of Habsburg Lorraine, in 1775 but they were known since the ancient times; some sources state that during the recovering works in the crater some votive statues were found (A. Bicchierai “Dei Bagni di Montecatini” 1788).
The design was attributed to the architect Gaspero M. Paoletti who structured the building according to a classical model based on the “stradone dei bagni” (today Viale Verdi). Around the mainly circular shaped crater, which was designated to Leopoldine waters, we find the hottest thermal waters of the area. The project included the system still present today.
In 1917 the architect Giovannozzi signed a new project where the facade was preserved but he added behind it two structures on two levels upto the crater of the Fonte Grocco. Inside the courtyard was built the ring around the pool and the stairs to go in and the pre-existing pronaos with Doric style was adapted to the building.
Today the Leopoldine is in the process of renovation according to the project of architect Massimiliano Fuksas that with the “Nuove Terme Leopoldine” retraces the concept of the Roman Thermal Baths, creating some environments that promote socialization, pleasure, enjoyment and social life.
A great swimming pool of thermal water (2400 sm) including the historical pool, supplied with Leopoldine water with different temperatures, is surrounded by some stone runways and a great solarium. A great Roman Bath (on the right side) is linked directly to the external swimming pool through a water way with the pool of frigidarum and tepidarum. The calidarium is at the end of this pathway and provides sauna, bio-sauna and a monumental Turkish Bath. The left side is instead occupied by the relax area and the big wellbeing and wellness centre. The covered part has a total dimension of 4800 sm.TAKE ME THERE
3. Health and Wellness
TERME LA SALUTE
Walking along the colorful “Mercatino della Salute”, (health market) you can find everything and often at a cheap price, (souvenirs, clothes, handicraft, typical products), you finally arrive at the structure “La Salute”.
It is a structure with a typical Tuscan style , where you are allowed to drink water, walk in the great park, from which the view of the hill of Montecatini Alto is splendid, and dance with the most captivating dance music. It is therefore not only a well-being place, but also a place for enjoyment and relaxation for everyone, with afternoons dedicated to dancing.
The structure was fully renovated in 2009. The wide spaces and accurate choice of materials and furniture have created an elegant and evocative environment.
You can try: mud therapy (mud, hydro-massages, ozone baths with massages and therapies), inhalations for adults and children, insufflations, tympanic treatments, ventilation, and aerosol.
The structure has a section for functional motor recovery with thermal swimming pools equipped with rehabilitation pathways, 2 gyms and the physiotherapy centre.TAKE ME THERE
4. Thermal Center
PARK OF THE THERMAL BATHS. Great green centre, it’s a great natural area (about 75.000 sq.) that is the background for the different thermal establishments, all equipped with large and comfortable rooms designated for the equipment needed for enjoyment and relaxation.
In the middle of the thermal park we find :
TERME TAMERICI. Situated behind the Leopoldine, they take the name from the plant Tamarix Gallica, which was discovered growing around the water spring in 1843.
The building was renovated in 1909 according the project of architect Giulio Bernardini who, with the architect Giusti, wanted to relate the Renaissance of Tuscany with the Moresco of Venice and its typical neo-medieval and Byzantine decorations.
Inside there are several great works by Galileo Chini; in particular the pavements, utilizing two big earthenware panels in the room that was originally the “sala della mescita”.
It is also worth noting the work in bronze portraying the cherub and the frog throwing a gush of water on the superb marble pool from the fifteenth century by Raffaello Romanelli.
Today it is used as a place for meetings, fairs and culture.
TERME TORRETTA. They are situated westward and take the name from the style of the building (castle with crenellated tower). In 1904 the architect Giulio Bernardini added an open gallery to the building on three sides with Florentine style from the fourteen century overlooking a park in which was created a lake surmounted by a bridge where we also find a gothic chapel with an octagonal structure with crypt.
Today the Terme Torretta is in the process of renovation .TAKE ME THERE
5. Excelsior, Pavilion of Salts, Town Hall
TERME EXCELSIOR. They were characterized by an airy portico with columns of serena stone decorated by elegant capitals and arcs with medallions of glazed earthenware. It rose in the first years of the twentieth century and at first it housed the Municipal Casino.
Its transformation from Great Café and Municipal Casino to thermal establishment dates back to 1915, according to the project of the architect Giovannozzi who combined the big and elegant Liberty Hall, meeting and cultural place, designed by Bernardini and built between 1905 and 1909, with a building aimed at the complementary and mineral water treatments and opened all the year round..
The corrosive action of time and the need of renovation of the system have led to the demolition of the building of Giovannozzi of the sixteenth century and in 1968 the modern building developed on 4 levels was inaugurated.
Today are only two active floors: the ground floor , where in winter, mineral water treatments are performed and all the year around many concerts of classical music take place , and the first floor, where a modern well-being and wellness centre offers the most modern beauty and relax treatments , using the exclusive thermal waters.
THE PAVILION OF SALTS . It is situated next to the doorway of the Verdi theatre. It was in the first years of the twentieth century a Pavilion for the selling of Salts . Today it is the seat of some businesses. It has four great low reliefs of stoneware on the facade work by Domenico Trentacoste (1859–1933), portraying pottery workers: decorator, turner, kiln operator , artist, in which there it is portrayed Galileo Chini that in his turn portrayed a badge on the trabeation.
TOWN HALL . It is situated on the right of Viale Verdi, it was built during the years 1913 - 1919 in the place where there were the grand-ducal stables , to give the city a civil and representative seat suited to the size and role it was taking. It was planned by the architect of Montecatini R. Brizzi and by the municipal engineer L. Righetti, It shows typical elements of the Eclecticism of that period even if it is inspired from the palaces of the Renaissance.
Inside : skylights , decorations of the vault : 12 lunettes and plumes where allegories of the human activities are portrayed: they are designed and painted by Galileo Chini. You must not miss the great work by Mirò “Woman encircled by the flight of a Bird” given by the artist to the city and displayed in MOCA - Montecatini Terme Contemporary Art – in the City Hall .TAKE ME THERE
6. The Square
The inhabitants of Montecatini have always identified with the term “square” and they considered it as an Agorà, a place where they meet , speak, exchange opinions , comments and as real Tuscans , they criticize . Behind the square we find the church , dedicated to Saint Mary of the Assumption ; in front of Viale Verdi that links to Tettuccio.
VIALE GIUSEPPE VERDI. It was the street that , starting from the Church links the Via Regia with the Tettuccio crossing the Leopoldine thermal baths and the Palazzina Regia and it has been the centre around which the city developed. The street for a long time named Vialone dei Bagni, was later dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi, regular and beloved frequenter of Montecatini Terme.
BASILICA OF SAINT MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION (BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA.) The actual building was realized according to the design of the architect Raffaello Fagnoni in collaboration with Pierluigi Spadolini, Mario Negri and Alfonso Stocchetti in the 60’s, and replaced the neoclassical structure built between 1822 and 1827 according the design of the architect Luigi de Cambray Digny (1778 – 1843). The columns of the portico of the ancient Church are preserved in the Villa Forini Lippi, seat of the Public Library .
PALAZZINA REGIA. Summer residence of the Grand-ducal family, it was commissioned by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold; it’s a sober building used as a model for the mansions of the city. Today is the seat of the Administration of the thermal baths.TAKE ME THERE