One of Tuscany’s most prominent spa towns, Montecatini Terme is an intoxicating blend of historic architecture, beautiful scenery and some great local attractions. The area has been inhabited as far back as 10,000 BC, thanks mainly to the impressive natural spa located in the town. Today, however, the town mostly dates from the medieval period, and offers plenty of historic sites for you to explore.
Like many of the towns in the region, this one is split between a lower and upper section, known as Montecatini Bassa (lower) and Montecatini Alto (upper). One of the best ways to go between the two sections is via the town’s historic funicular railway, which has been running since 1888. The upper town is most historic, with pretty cobbled lanes, stunning views and a 12th-century church. The town’s spas are also located here, and are some of the best known in all of Tuscany. While spa treatments have modernised, there are many original spas still standing, including the grand Tettuccio Terme – one of the region’s best.
Montecatini Terme is just over 40 minutes’ drive from Pisa and Florence, so you’ve got plenty of day trip options during your stay here.
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The majority of international flights arrive into Pisa airport (PSA). Direct flights to Pisa are available from Belfast, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle and take approximately 2 hours.
When to go
Tuscany is predominantly a summer destination, with the main tourist season generally running from April to October. Temperatures are at their hottest in July and August, this is also when Tuscany is at its busiest. However, Tuscany also enjoys a mild climate in spring and autumn with temperatures rarely going beneath 20 degrees which makes it perfect for visiting at the beginning or end of season too. The coast has wonderful sea breezes and the hilltop towns are much cooler than the lower countryside villages. The best time to visit is during the quieter season, from April to June and September to October when the weather is good, prices are a bit lower and there are fewer crowds. There are many festivals and events throughout the year in Tuscany and Easter and Christmas are always busy.
At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.
You don’t have to leave a tip in Italy – most Italians don’t tip for restaurant meals, bar drinks, taxi rides or hair and beauty treatments. However if you do leave a tip, you might receive quicker service.
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