Escorted Rail Tours to Montecatini
Italy's most popular spa town
The picturesque town of Montecatini was originally settled by the Romans, who built a castle here to maximise its advantageous position overlooking the valley. Much of the town soon grew around these fortifications. For a small, quiet town, Montecatini went through a relatively turbulent period in its history during the Middle Ages. At this time, the warring factions of nearby Florence and Siena were trying to gain control of the wider area, and saw Montecatini as a vital stronghold.
This came to a head in the late 15th century, when the previously impregnable fortress and a small part of the town were razed to the ground during one of the final power struggles. It was a short while after this that spa waters were discovered in the town. In 1530 Montecatini's very first baths opened, and before long people were proclaiming the spa waters' healing properties. In later years the town developed primarily as a spa town, and it expanded down the hillside as a result.