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Montecatini Terme


Montecatini Terme is a famous thermal resort of the Valdinievole area, set in an area inhabited since the Paleolithic age. However the village developed during the Middle Age, under the jurisdiction of the Bishops of Lucca, In 1315 it was conquered by Uguccione della fagiola and in 1330 it passed under the Florentine control. In this period occurred the discovery of the thermal waters and their use, by building the first thermal structures, in the treatment of some illnesses.
Under the Lorena family domination, Montecatini Terme consolidated itsels as a thermal resort: the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Lorena started a great series of hydraulic works for the setting of the thermal fonts that leaded to the building of the so called "Bagno Regio" (Imperial Bath), "Terme Leopoldine" (Leopoldo's Baths) and "Tettuccio", while the restoring of the urban order was realised by the architect Nicolò Gasparo Paoletti.
The historic center of Montecatini sits on top of a hill: the enchanting uptown looks out over the entire valley below, offering breathtaking panoramas of the Valdinievole. The uptown stretches over two hills: one is dominated by the ancient Rock of the Old Castle (also known as the Tramontana Castle), the Church of Saint Peter and the Bell Tower; and the other is characterized by the core of buildings made up of the Tower of the New Castle (also known as the Clock Tower) and the Church of Carmine, in which a painting dating back to 1595 depicting the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastiano can be found.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta was realised in 1950's, in the place where a Neoclassical church projected by Luigi de Cambray Digny rose.
Between the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century, Montecatini Terme became one of the most important place of the liberty style: infact, many buildings were realised during this period, such as the Locanda Maggiore, the Gambrinus arcades, the Politeama Theater (now called Imperiale Cinema Theater), the Town Hall with its marvelous windows, the Excelsior Cinema, the Tamerici Pavilion, and the Excelsior (the former casino and grand café, which has now been turned into a thermal establishment).


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