The most famous Italian spa town, Montecatini Terme can be found in Tuscany. It was established by Archduke Leopold I of Tuscany (Pietro Leopoldo), who in the late 18th century saw the value of the local sulphur-rich springs. This led to the development of the town as a new spa destination.
The original spa dates back to 1773, but despite this the predominating feel here is from the 20th century, a time when Montecatini Terme experienced its greatest prosperity. It was during that period that most of the spa buildings, hotels, villas, guesthouses, casinos, theatres, churches and private residences were added.
The town centre is dominated by a large, landscaped park containing many spa facilities. Some of the most prominent spa houses include Terme Tettuccio, Terme Regina, Terme Torretta, Terme Tamerici and Terme Excelsior.
A distinctive feature of Montecatini Terme are its elegant colonnades, most of which were completed in the first half of the 20th century. This may be the reason some have referred to the town as the “Italian Karlovy Vary”. Over the years, Montecatini Terme has attracted many famous personalities including actors, writers, composers, artists and members of various royal families.