Montecatini Terme - Italy

Introduction

An early morning walk through the elegant Art Noveau streets and landscaped parks of Montecatini Terme, not far from Florence, will reveal the routine that visitors to the spa undertake for their internal health.  Part of the ritual of the spa is to drink the waters from the prescribed source, early in the morning, and to take some gentle exercise in the vicinity of the spa.  The sources are housed in the magnificent Terme Tettucio complete with shops and a dance hall, built in the 19th century. 

It’s thought  that the Romans knew about the waters and their benefits but it wasn’t’ until Ugolino Simoni, a famous physician, and founder of Italian hydrology, studied the properties of the springs. In the 18th century, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo, planned the first works for the  canalization of the spring waters and the building of the spas for thermal treatments.  By the beginning of the 19th century, when scientists started to accumulate knowledge about the waters, there were several buildings dedicated to thermal treatments, supported by new hotels, tourist facilities, the casino and other civic buildings.  Thousands of visitors flocked to Montecatini Terme including the celebrities of the day, such as Verdi, and Puccini who composed part of La Boheme here.  The slightly saline waters, which have three different strengths have varying effects on the intestines, stomach and liver, and are therefore used to treat a number of internal disorders.  The waters are also used at the spa for mud treatments and  thermal showers.

Visitors to Montecatini Terme can also take the funicular railway to the spectacular original hilltop town of Montecatini Alto (built when Montecatini Terme was just a muddy swamp), but no visit is complete without a tour of the star-studded pavements, commemorating legendary visitors especially the Italian and Hollywood film stars and directors, who made Montecatini fashionable in the 50s and 60s, such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Christian Dior , Totò and many of the kings and queens of Europe.  Today Montecatini Terme is a great destination for young people, who enjoy the fine shopping, good food and lively night-life, as well as traditional spa visitors. Finally, don’t forget to take home a distinctive circular tin of Montecatini wafers – just delicious!

Historical background

The most likely reports properties of the Montecatini waters date back to the Roman era. However, reliable information about Montecatini and its waters can be traced to the 15th century, when Ugolino Simoni,a famous physician, founder of the Italian hydrology, studied the features of the water of these springs.
In 18th century, Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo, planned the first works for the  canalization of the spring waters and the building of the spas for the thermal treatments (the names of the springs and of the buildings were born in this period); the study of the Montecatini waters based on  scientific Knowledges began  between the end of the 19th  century and the start of the 20th century.
The wells of Montecatini Terme are fed by four springs, everyone of which boasts its own peculiar therapeutic characteristics.

Water sources

The Waters of Montecatini belong to the salt-sulphated water type, being mostly constituted by sodium and magnesium sulphates and chlorides. They also contain iodine, bromine, lithium, calcium, potassium, silicon, phosphates and sulphur.
The waters used for our hydropinic therapy are divided as follows :
Strong waters: Leopoldina (fixed residue at 180° C : 21g / l)
Medium waters : Regina (fixed residue 17-18 g /l)
Weak waters : Rinfresco e Tettuccio (fixed residue 4.9-7.5 g/l )
The waters used for mud treatments and thermal showers are Leopoldina and the Rinfresco; for inhalations the Leopoldina.
The spa of Montecatini offer a wide range of spa treatments to meet every need of relaxation, wellness and beauty such as the traditional Western and Eastern massage, specific treatments for face, neck and body. They also offer opportunities to enhance physical activity in the free green parks and gardens of the Baths.

Famous visitors

Giuseppe Verdi

Antonio Vivaldi

Audrey Hepburn

Grace Kelly

Christian Dior

Marie Curie

Totò 

Facts and figures

    1. Arrival (2009) – n. 15588
    2. Tourist attendance (2009) – n. 37597
    3. Medium stay length (2009) – 3,0
    4. Brief report on the tourist flow in the last five years – from statistical data collected from the site of the Province of Pistoia that the average stay in Montecatini Terme is 2,9 days.
    5. Other forms of complementary tourism – non hotel tourism
    6. Arrivals and attendances of spa tourists –

 

Services 2008

Services 2009

Services 2010

Hydroponics therapy

173.000

159.000

156.000

Mud therapy

33.000

38.000

45.000

Inhalation therapy

131.500

139.000

149.000

Balneotherapy

23.000

25.000

29.800

Physiotherapy

8.200

8.000

8.400

Rehabilitation

1.060

1.000

2.100

Other services

3.300

3.500

3.600

Wellness

12.500

11.500

13.900

Thermal pools

17.500

19.000

21.400

TOTAL

403.060

404.000

429.200

  1. Accomodation capacity (number of hotels, total number of beds and hotel calssification (stars) -
    • 2 Five-star hotels
    • 31 four-star hotels
    • 107 four-star hotels


Each hotel houses at least 30 rooms for a total amount of 10.000 beds.

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