Montecatini Terme, ITALY: Garden Spa of Europe

Montecatini Terme, with its early distinguished role in the recognition of the medical properties of mineral water, is an important representation in a country rich in thermal springs. Attracting important intellectuals and artists, such as Verdi, Puccini and Leoncavallo, the town is an ambitious regeneration project transformed a late-eighteenth century ‘garden spa’ into a ‘landscape spa’. Monumental spa architecture, centred on four main springs, is dotted jewel-like within an oasis of gardens, formal parkland and promenades. Greenery continues in a swathe of pine trees and terraced olive groves that, together with the historic funicular railway, ascend steep slopes crowned by Montecatini Alto - also the focal point of the central boulevard. With its eclectic and liberty spa architecture reinterpreted in Tuscan style, Montecatini Terme continues to serve as a centre for balneological treatment.

Montecatini Terme from above

Montecatini Terme

Historic Urban Landscape of the ‘Great Spa’

The spatial plan of the nominated property can be divided into:

  1. The principal triangular spa district and its Thermal Park, located in the central flat area of the springs, comprising its great ensemble of thermal baths and axial tree-lined avenue.
  2. The surrounding ‘new’ spa town in the south, west and east, including its spa facilities and balneological institutes , squares, structures for leisure and pleasure (including the Kursaal/theatre and cinemas), grand hotels, palazzinas and houses, together with the railway station.
  3. The therapeutic and recreational spa landscape of parks and gardens.
  4. The linear corridor of the funicular railway (and therapeutic trail) that links Montecatini Terme with the old town of Montecatini Alto.
  5. Montecatini Alto, with its medieval ruins, old town and ‘new’ villas where doctors lived and treated their spa inpatients.

Maps Montecatini Terme
Volume 1-15 Montecatini Terme