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.