The SPA Baths
Starting from the cathedral and passing Caffè Gambrinus on our right, our route takes us all the way along Viale Verdi to the unique architectural masterpiece of Terme Tettuccio. Well known since antiquity, it is likely that salt was extracted from the spring using a roofed water tank which gave the building its original name – Bagno Nuovo. Rebuilt in the eighteenth century by architect Gaspero Maria Paoletti, it was radically remodelled from 1920 to 1928 by architect Ugo Giovannozzi.
Today the Tettuccio baths are still visible in all their neo-classical splendour with an imposing facade. Inside its great Monsummano travertine colonnades surround a sequence of open and closed spaces set in a sumptuous park. Proceeding from the main entrance we pass through two courtyards linked immediately, the former, to a splendid circular bath containing the Fontana della Sorgente – a sculpture by Sirio Tofanari representing a shell surrounded by alligators and sea horses and the other to a pavillion used for musical and choral performances. The various salons, galleries and halls contain valuable decorations, plasterwork and stained glass created by artists such as Alessandro Del Soldato, Giuseppe Moroni, Galileo Chini, Ezio Giovannozzi and Giulio Bargellini. The latter painted the decorations in the spectacular setting of the Sala del Caffé together with Maria Biseo. The Tettuccio baths are truly an amazing concentration of works of art and beauty such as the so-called Galleria delle Bibite with its polychrome panels by Basilio Cascella overhanging the fountain from which the famous waters spring. Last but not least is Sala Portoghesi which took its name from the architect who designed it in 1986 and is unique for its extraordinary interplay of wooden and polychrome marble columns.
Terme Regina, the oldest baths, is in the same building complex as the Tettuccio baths with a special type of water which is ideal for liver conditions. Their majestic loggia follows the Neo-Renaissance canons of Giovannozzi while the spring is inside a little round temple in the park. Halfway down Viale Verdi is the entranceway, also Neo-Classical in style, of the Terme Leopoldine which were built in the second half of the eighteenth century. The water in these springs is the warmest of Montecatini’s springs and ideal for curing diseases of the intestinal part of the digestive system.
Renovation work began in 2009 on the Leopoldine baths with a new project by architect Massimiliano Fuksas involving the building of a new 2400 square metre spa swimming pool surrounded by a 4800 square metre wellness centre inside the original 1787 building. The wellness centre will offer Roman empire era spa treatments (calidarium, tepidarium, fridarium) as well as the most modern technologies for total soul and body wellbeing. Just a short distance away the Terme della Salute took their name from the spring of the same name in the area of the Grotta delle Volatiche whose waters have healing properties exhaustively documented in medical literature since the eighteenth century.
Terme Redi, on Viale Bicchierai, was renovated by architect Oreste Ruggiero and opened in 2009. It is dedicated to Francesco Redi who is considered one of the fathers of modern medicine and biology and was also a passionate exponent of the extraordinary healing properties of Montecatini’s waters. There are 96 rooms here for mud bath therapy (mud, jet baths, ozone baths and massage therapy) and a new inhalation therapy wing with 154 latest generation computerised devices ten of which are paediatric.
The baths are around 1100 square metres in size with a large hall, a practical reception room, inhalation rooms, medical clinics, a paediatric wing, an ear insufflation room and a pulmonary ventilation and nebulisation room. The physiotherapy rehabilitation wing is 2000 square metres in size with thermal baths equipped with vascular courses, two gyms and a physiotherapy centre with changing rooms for around 150 clients. Its large spaces, contemporary art work and play of light makes the building elegant and atmospheric.
Behind the Leopoldine baths in relation to Viale Verdi, Terme Tamerici – an events venue – took its name from the plants which grew in an area which was once marshland. Built to designs by architect Giulio Bernardini, these baths are in the style of a medieval residence set in a large park with art deco predominating in the Sala della Mescita with beautiful floor decorations and glazed ceramic panels by Galileo Chini, the artist responsible for the splendid polychrome panels and windows in the Gran Salone.
L’Excelsior was built in 1909 as an art deco style complex encompassing the Gran Caffè and the town Casino, in 1915 it was transformed by Giovannozzi into an elegant spa bath building with a small three arched, Renaissance inspired loggia on the front. The new wing was opened in 1968 for supplementary treatments equipped with complementary mineral water treatments in a reinforced concrete building with large sun screened windows. Since 2002 it has also contained a modern wellness centre with cutting edge beauty and remise en forme treatments using Montecatini’s exclusive spa waters.
La Torretta was called after the little tower built in the early twentieth century by architect Bernardini which was originally owned by Count Baldini. The building is surrounded by a luxuriant nature park. Both building and park are currently undergoing restoration work.< Comeback to the article list