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region montecatini

If you find yourself looking for variety from what Montecatini Terme has to offer, you are in for a treat because there are several interesting destinations just minutes away from the thermal resort town.

Hop in your rental or take a train and get ready to step inside the pages of history at a medieval village, get to know the beloved story of Pinocchio, bask in the beauty of a blooming Baroque garden and so many more exciting sights to see and things to do.

First up is the nearest of them all, the town of Montecatini Alto. All it takes is a short funicular ride from Montecatini Terme. If you are one that appreciates history, you will be glad to know that the funicular is about a hundred years old and one of the longest in continuous operation in the world. You can also sweat it out a bit and take an easy walk uphill where the medieval village is located. Either way, you can be sure to enjoy spectacular views along the way.

If you want to go on foot, you can stop by at the main square of Piazza Giusti where you can catch your breath at an outdoor cafe, sip your drink of choice and spend a moment watching local life unfold in front of you. There are also plenty of nearby shops and restaurants to check out. If you are visiting during the month of May, join the revelry at the towns medieval festival celebrated the last two weekends of the month.

If you wonder what’s with the many Pinocchio souvenirs scattered around the town of Montecatini Alto, it is because the beloved character’s creator took his pen name from the nearby town of Collodi. If you are with kids or a fan of Pinocchio, then you might want to give the town a visit to explore Pinnochio Park and its retelling of the famous fairy tale through puppet shows, sculptures and mosaics.

While at the town of Collodi, don’t miss a visit to the spectacular 17th century Garzoni gardens – hailed as one of the best in all of Italy. This magnificent manicured park with hundreds of blooming flowers, immaculately sculptured shrubs, stone sculptures and elaborate fountains will surely take your breath away.

There is also the town of Pistoia just twenty minutes drive away from Montecatini Terme. The site’s attractions include the 600 year old cathedral of Madonna dell’Umilta that is evocative of the domed cathedral in Florence. You can also check out the museum housed in the impressive town hall building and the terracotta reliefs located at the old Ceppo Hospital. Those who do not mind a bit of a climb should brave the stairs of the bell tower to check out the scenic view from above.

Finally, the town of Lucca, thirty minutes drive away is another must-visit side trip destination from Montecatini Terme. That is, if the town is not your departure point on your way to the thermal spa town.

Lucca is a medieval town whose massive walls are still in great condition. You can even use these walls as a path to tour the town’s perimeter. Lucca’s churches, San Michele and San Martino, are both impressive and worth taking a look at. You can also checkout the remains of a Roman amphitheater at Piazza dell’Anfiteatro or learn to appreciate opera at the Puccini House Museum.

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