SHORT HISTORY

 

Montecatini boasts centuries of history. It consists a mixture of both ancient and modern, by which Montecatini Alto is identified. It is a place of an ancient castle, old town center and a is surrounded by thermal baths.

The history of Montecatini Terme overlapped for  many centuries with that of Montecatini Alto, whose first recollection dates back to a quarrel  between  the Bishops for the possession of two churches,  an angry dispute that the king Liutprand and the  bishop of Florence Spezioso, intervened in 716. In 1164 a tight-knit community organized itself, declaring war on the  Ghibellines in the castle of Marliana, destroying it.

After this first success,  the inhabitants of Montecatini held out against the inhabitants of Lucca too, ceding later  their  strategic fortress.

In 1300 Montecatini Alto had a majestic profile, the walls were over 1000 meters high, 7 gates and 25 towers.

Because of its position, it was the place of  one of the most fratricidal and bloodiest battles of medieval history. It has welcomed the  Guelfs who had escaped from Lucca,  and therefore was besieged by the  Ghibellines.

A Florentine army led by the kings of Naples helped the besieged. The battle was ferocious  and  revealed  Castruccio Castracani’s military genius, captain of the Ghibellines.

He succeeded , even if injured , in getting first  to the fortress on  the 31st of August 1315, while not far away, Dante Alighieri pondered on the massive carnage (from such legend came the name of the homonymous bridge).

The destiny of Montecatini was played host to further events and sieges, until  in 1554 Cosimo de’ Medici, with Machiavellian spirit, intended to destroy  the places where people lived with their own laws , and he razed it  dismantling the walls and  all that could be referred to as traditions.

The second phase of the local history of Montecatini began in 1773,  and was marked by the great  reforms  of the Grand Duke Leopold. Thanks to him the reclamation works of the Padule of Fucecchio were done  and  the  creation of the modern Thermal springs in Montecatini.