Montecatini Terme
Overview
 
Montecatini Terme is an Italian district of 21,095 inhabitants within the province of Pistoia
Pistoia
Pistoia is a city and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy, the capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 km west and north of Florence and is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the River Arno.-History:...

 in Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

. The most important center in Valdinievole
Valdinievole
Valdinievole or Val di Nievole ") is an area in the south-western part of the province of Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy. The saint Allucio of Campigliano was born to a wealthy, landed family in the Valdinievole and he ministered to the poor and travellers there.-Geography:The area is made up of 11...

. The town is located at the eastern end of Piana di Lucca and has a strong vocation for tourism, as well as industrial and commercial industries based around the spa
Spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

, which in turn has increased the interest for hotel accommodation in the region.
The presence of humans in the area of Montecatini Terme is very old.
Encyclopedia
Montecatini Terme is an Italian district of 21,095 inhabitants within the province of Pistoia
Pistoia
Pistoia is a city and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy, the capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 km west and north of Florence and is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the River Arno.-History:...

 in Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

. The most important center in Valdinievole
Valdinievole
Valdinievole or Val di Nievole ") is an area in the south-western part of the province of Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy. The saint Allucio of Campigliano was born to a wealthy, landed family in the Valdinievole and he ministered to the poor and travellers there.-Geography:The area is made up of 11...

. The town is located at the eastern end of Piana di Lucca and has a strong vocation for tourism, as well as industrial and commercial industries based around the spa
Spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

, which in turn has increased the interest for hotel accommodation in the region.

History

The presence of humans in the area of Montecatini Terme is very old. Probably since Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 times, the region was inhabited by nomadic hunters, but it has been thoroughly recorded only from the Mesolithic
Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 period, especially in the hills of the Valdinievole
Valdinievole
Valdinievole or Val di Nievole ") is an area in the south-western part of the province of Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy. The saint Allucio of Campigliano was born to a wealthy, landed family in the Valdinievole and he ministered to the poor and travellers there.-Geography:The area is made up of 11...

 of which Montecatini is the major center.

In the early part of the 14th century, the borders of Valdinievole
Valdinievole
Valdinievole or Val di Nievole ") is an area in the south-western part of the province of Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy. The saint Allucio of Campigliano was born to a wealthy, landed family in the Valdinievole and he ministered to the poor and travellers there.-Geography:The area is made up of 11...

 faced a new power: Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

. The Florentines had been the dominating power of the place over, Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 and Arezzo
Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

, but while Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 was about to realize its plans for domination in the north-west region the revolt of the Ghibellines in the early 1300 was able to slow down this process. The leader of that revolt was Uguccione of Faggiola, who in 1312 became imperial vicar and master of Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 and Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

. This directly threatened Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 which meant that war was inevitable given that this outcome would forge the future of the whole region of Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

.

The decisive year was 1315, when Uguccione of Faggiola attempted to lay siege to Montecatini, considered a strategic stronghold, but thanks to its excellent location and to the allies of Florence, the attempted siege failed. On August 29 under the walls of Montecatini, the decisive battle was played out. The Guelfi army were taken by surprise by the Ghibellines and by Uguccione of Faggiola with thousands of casualties and prisoners.

The following year Uguccione of Faggiola was forced to flee and Castruccio Castracani
Castruccio Castracani
Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli was an Italian condottiero and duke of Lucca.-Biography:Castruccio was born in Lucca, a member of the noble family of Antelminelli, of the Ghibelline party. In 1300 he was exiled with his parents and others of their faction by the Guelphs "Black" party,...

 of Antelminelli took his place. The latter became first lord of Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

, and then Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 and was able to extend his power in Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 more and more. In 1323 Castruccio Castracani
Castruccio Castracani
Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli was an Italian condottiero and duke of Lucca.-Biography:Castruccio was born in Lucca, a member of the noble family of Antelminelli, of the Ghibelline party. In 1300 he was exiled with his parents and others of their faction by the Guelphs "Black" party,...

 attempted to seize one of the strongholds of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Fucecchio
Fucecchio
Fucecchio is a town and comune of the province of Firenze in the Italian region of Tuscany. The main economical resources of the city are the leather industries, shoes industry and other manufacturing activities, although in the recent years their number has been decreasing because of a slight...

, but was wounded and forced to retreat, and so began a slow but sure recovery of Florentine power, and its return to dominate the town of Montecatini.

In 1530 at the foot of Montecatini, baths were constructed and adapted to contain the already known Spa
Spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

 waters, which had assumed the name "Medici" and "of blackbirds".

Montecatini saw war again, and was in the center of the dispute, which began in 1554. The players were Cosimo I de' Medici and Pietro Strozzi who were representatives of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 with a Hispanic alliance with Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 as well as a French alliance. On June 21 of that year, Montecatini was occupied by Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

. Montecatini was actually not opposed to this occupation, because Cornelio Bentivoglio
Cornelio Bentivoglio
Cornelio Bentivoglio was an Italian nobleman and cardinal.Born at Ferrara to the powerful Bentivoglio family, he went to Rome at an early age and was appointed Archbishop of Carthage....

 declared himself as a liberator.

Montecatini, the once impregnable fortress fell into poor repair caused by the centuries of battles and general lack of maintenance. So when the Medici and their troops went on the offensive, Montecatini fell under the Medici who plundered mercilessly, even taking away doors and windows. Cosimo not happy and full of resentment for Montecatini, ordered to "destroy the foundations", and so day after day, eight hundred soldiers destroyed the walls, towers and houses, leaving only one hundred and sixty houses, three convents, the palace of the Podestà and the Palace of Justice standing after this onslaught.

The area had remained a health hazard due to the stagnant water (of Padule of Fucecchio). Local entrepreneurs were flanked by those from abroad, and under the pressure of the Grand Duke Leopold, built channels for the disposal of water and the land was reclaimed, Baths were constructed to facilitate the use of the popular hot springs: Tettuccio 1779, Bagno Regio 1773 and the Terme Leopoldine 1775.

The following centuries passed quietly until the early 20th century, specifically 1905, when what was once a small village at the foot of the hill of Montecatini became "City of Bagni di Montecatini". This name, however, had no luck, and was changed later to the present name of, "Montecatini Terme.

During the same period at the turn of the 20th century the tourist experience was diversified and improved. The hotels had grown in number and quality, it was also noted the necessity to combine health, fun, relaxation and sport. It soon became home to fashionable restaurants, theaters, nightclubs, and a casino. Celebrities began to frequent the city. In fact, between the end of the 1800's
19th century
The 19th century was a period in history marked by the collapse of the Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Holy Roman and Mughal empires...

 and the early decades of the 1900's
20th century
Many people define the 20th century as running from January 1, 1901 to December 31, 2000, others would rather define it as beginning on January 1, 1900....

 was easy to meet, in the tree-lined avenues, parks or at the bars of the city, people like Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

, Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria rusticana caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music...

 Ruggero Leoncavallo
Ruggero Leoncavallo
Ruggero Leoncavallo was an Italian opera composer. His two-act work Pagliacci remains one of the most popular works in the repertory, appearing as number 20 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide.-Biography:...

 Trilussa
Trilussa
Carlo Alberto Salustri was an Italian dialect poet, better known by his pen name of Trilussa . He is best known for the poems, some of them sonnets, written in the dialect of Rome.-Biography:...

 Beniamino Gigli
Beniamino Gigli
Beniamino Gigli was an Italian opera singer. The most famous tenor of his generation, he was renowned internationally for the great beauty of his voice and the soundness of his vocal technique. Music critics sometimes took him to task, however, for what was perceived to be the over-emotionalism...

 or Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello was an Italian dramatist, novelist, and short story writer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934, for his "bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage." Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of which are written...

.

With these celebrities Montecatini became a true meeting point of international renown: here discussions of politics, business closures were agreed and its reputation grew to the point that, in 1926 an attendance of 75,000 non residents was recorded in the city, a remarkable figure for that time.

The reputation of the town was recognized with the visit from the leader of government, Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, May 16, 1930, with Lando Ferretti
Lando Ferretti
Lando Ferretti was an Italian journalist, politician and sports administrator.-Journalism:...

.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Don Julius Facibeni and l'Opera della Divina Provvidenza Madonnina del Grappa di Firenze ran an orphanage in Montecatini at the Villa Forini Lippi. In it, as in the case of the others in Tuscany, many Jewish children found shelter, among them the brothers Cesare and Vittorio Sacerdoti. Facibeni received the honor of the righteous among nations by Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

 of Jerusalem.

Montecatini Terme is one of the most popular destinations in Italy for thermal spa tourism.

The local specialty, waffles Montecatini, made with egg and sugar, is much sought after as a dessert.

Personalities linked to Montecatini Terme

  • Raoul Bellandi, founder of Montecatini Sporting Club and, later, chairman and honorary president.
  • Giovanni Battista Berghinz, military and partisan, gold medal to the valor military
  • Romulus Diecidue, teacher, politician, parliamentary.
  • Peter Grocco, doctor.
  • Sirio Maccioni
    Sirio Maccioni
    Sirio Maccioni is a restaurateur and author.He was awarded the Impresario del’ Anno award at Affreschi Toscani...

    , restaurateur of international fame.
  • Natalino Mucci, painter.
  • Tiziano Panconi, art historian.
  • Dino Scalabrino, doctor, founder of the Art in intitolatagli.
  • Ugolino da Montecatini, doctor and scientist.
  • Alessandro Bicchierai, doctor and scientist.
  • Galileo Chini, painter (acquired citizen)
  • Andrea Niccolai, American Italian.
  • Luca Cardelli
    Luca Cardelli
    Luca Cardelli is an Italian computer scientist who is currently an Assistant Director at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK. Cardelli is well-known for his research in type theory and operational semantics. Among other contributions he implemented the first compiler for the functional programming...

    , computer scientist.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK