Tuscany has many thermal spas. The largest and most famous of them is Montecatini Terme.
Montecatini Terme is a beautiful town that was built around its mineral water springs. The spring water is considered to help people with trouble with the stomach or liver. Healthy people can enjoy the old time grandeur of the town, stroll in the park or enjoy spa treatments in the various hotels.
The most famous spa in town is the Tettuccio Terme located on the main street of Montecatini Terme - Viale Verdi, next to the park. on the same street you can find the municipality building and the tourist information center.
The Tettuccio Terme was built in the late 18th century by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold of Habsburg - Lorraine, the son of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. The first three spas that were built were the Tettuccio, the Regina and Leopoldine. These three spas made Montecatini Terme famous all over Europe, and a favorite place for the rich and the royalty.
These days the spa treatments have advanced and they include many modern methods of massage, mud pack treatments and hydrotherapy.
Famous visitors to Montecatini Terme include, but are not limited to - Puccini who composed parts of La Boheme here, and Verdi.
Montecatini Terme and it's shops attracts many visitors coming just to have a walk in the commercial streets of the town-centre (Corso Matteotti, Corso Roma, Viale Verdi, Viale 4 Novembre...). It's easy to stand in front of the many boutique's windows in a daze.
Cialde in a can. A typical biscuit that preserves freshness for long time: perfect for a gift!
Souvenirs can be found in the Grocco Market or in Montecatini Alto (upper town).
A must is to taste the "Cialde" the Montecatini Terme bisquit made with just almonds and sugar into two thin wafers - about the size of a Chinese pancake, and reminiscent of the very best quality ice cream wafers. Available in boxes, along with other specialities such as pan forte, from impressive patisserie, Giovanini, just off main square.
Here are some typical and popular dishes of the Valdinievole area
Farro soup, Pappa al Pomodoro, Ribollita, Farinata, Maccheroni sull'Anatra Muta, Pasta e Fagioli, Pasta e Ceci.
Trippa, Fegatelli nel Lardo, Baccalà alla Livornese, Cioncia, Tordi sott' olio. Side dish:
Desserts: Castagnaccio, Necci con ricotta, Brigidini, Buccellato, Cantuccini, Befanotti Glassati
Vin Santo: sweet wine, the one drunk by the priest during the Mass.
Enjoy a cocktail or an aperitif in a best locations with music:
at the "bar storico" in the Tettuccio spa or in the Gambrinus open gallery. Refresh in the Montecatini Alto square after a walk to the "rocca" fortress or along the walls.
Hotel Ercolini & Savi ****, Via San Martino, 18 - Tel. +39.0572.70331 Fax. +39.0572.71624 . Art Nouveau Hotel opened in 1910 with comfortable rooms large as apartments. Located right in the city centre, close to train station and to main Spa centres. Services: tours and car renting, parking, special spa agreement, private events, 'La Pecora Nera'  restaurant with coeliacs menu, terrace and bar, free wi-fi, breakfast included.
Hotel Mediterraneo ***, Via P. Baragiola, 1 - Ph. +39 0572-71321 - Fax + 39 0572 71323 . Ample & comfortable rooms overlook the greenery of the thermal park. The friendly staff serve a exquisite typical cuisine and, with the owners, contibute to built an ideal family-atmosphere.
Grand Hotel Tettuccio, Viale Giuseppe Verdi 74 - 51016, Tel. +39.0572.78051, Fax +39.0572.75711. . In downtown Montecatini Terme, facing viale Giuseppe Verdi and right in front of the Parco termale (Thermal Park).
Hotel San Marco Montecatini Terme – Viale Carlo Rosselli, 3, 51016 Montecatini-Terme Pistoia, Italy . Telephone +39 0572 71221 • Fax + 39 0572 770577. The San Marco is a 3 star hotel of Monecatini Terme. Single, double, triple and family rooms. Private bath, Wi-Fi access, internet point, private parking, swimming pool and tennis court. 66 Euros for a double room.
Hotel Tuscany Inn Montecatini Terme – Via Cividale 86/E - Cap: 50016, Pistoia, Italy.. Telephone +39 0572 70302 • Fax +39 0572 912648. The Tuscany Inn is an elegant four star hotel of Montecatini Terme, the Italian Spa capital, located 40 km away from Florence. The Tuscany Inn presents 3 meeting rooms, one restaurant, a bar, a private parking and 90 guestrooms divided in single, twin, double and junior suites. All equipped with a large and comfortable bathroom with shower. The rates go from 60 to 120 euros.
Residence Charme Hotel, Via S. Michele, 4 - Ph. +39 0572-78951 - Fax + 39 0574 597606 . At half an hour from Florence, Montecatini Terme is the city famous throughout Italy and Europe for its beneficial waters and splendid Art Nouveau spas and home to the Residence Hotel Charme, delightful vacation apartments with all the comfort and services you need for either pleasure or business.
Grand Hotel Croce di Malta (Grand Hotel Croce di Malta), Viale IV Novembre, 18 51016 Montecatini Terme, ☎ 0572 9201. checkin: 15 p.m.; checkout: 12 p.m.. The Grand Hotel Croce di Malta is located in the heart of the park, just few steps from the city center of Montecatini Terme. min. €65, max € 120. edit
Hotel Arnolfo, Via Trieste, 31 - Ph. +39 0572 73771 - Fax +39 0572 78883. . The Hotel Arnolfo offers three stars accommodation in Montecatini Terrme. Spa and beauty center, restaurant, meeting room, lounge bar. Bike hotel service is available.
Nearby art-cities are easily reachable by bus or train but if you like the quiet medioeval towns and villas around Montecatini Terme, the only solution is by car. Trains take approximately 30 minutes to Lucca, an hour to Pisa (usually involving a change at Lucca) and Florence.
Few travel agencies organize day trips. Consider them if you are without (rented) car and want to visit San Gimignano (many changes by public transport). As of summer 2008, two excursion companies were offering daily trips in the season to locations such as Florence, Lucca, Siena/San Gimingnano, the coast, and local wine tastings: details from Tourist Information Centre,or leaflets in hotels.
Grotto of Monsummano - A lime cave with hot rooms and a steaming lake that are considered to cure people who enter it. "Grotta Giusti" also provide a big outdoor thermal swimming-pool and other spa-treatments.