Montecatini Terme, centrally situated between Tuscany’s main historical cities, approx. 8 km far away from the Agriturismo I Pitti, played until the XIV century the balance in the fight for dominium in the region. After Lucca and Pisa, even the distant Siena sought to conquer it in 1554 in an attempt to weaken Florentine power. During the intervening periods of its history, this barycenter was, however, crushed through pride of those in power at that time: feeling himself betrayed, Cosimo dei Medici ordered, in fact, that it be “reduced to rubble” and so it was; eight hundred soldiers relentlessly tore down walls, towers and houses for days on end. Only one hundred and sixty houses were saved together with three convents, two palaces and a few towers; of the ancient wall only painting testimony remains. This occurred in the ancient fortified hamlet, Montecatini Alto, situated 290 metres above sea level, whilst the main part of the city, Montecatini Terme, was developed in the valley, on and around its main source of wealth: the thermal waters. The curative properties of the waters were already known as far back in Ancient Romans times and already in 1417 Ugolino Simoni laid down the basis of medical hydrology with the treaty “De Balneorum Italiae proprietatibus”. In the first half of the 17th century the Granduke Leopold of Tuscany began the imposing work to channel water and construct thermal buildings which have contributed immensely to the development of the city. With the passing of the centuries Montecatini continues to arouse interest in the many opportunities which it has to offer: archaeological finds and historical testimony, medieval churches, ancient towers and cultural, out in the open, art walks such as the works in Liberty style by Galileo Chini. It is also an ideal place for relaxation: visitors are welcomed to any of the 9 spa buildings, set in 46 hectare of parkland, for hydroponic treatment, mud baths, balneotherapy and inhalations for their own personal wellbeing, and the prevention and treatment of various pathologies.
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