History of Montecatini Terme

The presence of humans in the area of Montecatini Terme is very old. Probably since Paleolithic times, the region was inhabited by nomadic hunters, but it has been thoroughly recorded only from the Mesolithic period, especially in the hills of the Valdinievole of which Montecatini is the major center.

In the early part of the 14th century, the borders of Valdinievole faced a new power: Florence. The Florentines had been the dominating power of the place over, Siena and Arezzo, but while Florence 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 della Faggiuola, who in 1312 became imperial vicar and master of Pisa and Lucca. This directly threatened Florence which meant that war was inevitable given that this outcome would forge the future of the whole region of Tuscany.

The decisive year was 1315, when Uguccione della Faggiuola 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 della Faggiuola with thousands of casualties and prisoners.

The following year Uguccione della Faggiuola was forced to flee and Castruccio Castracani of Antelminelli took his place. The latter became first lord of Lucca, and then Pisa and was able to extend his power in Tuscany more and more. In 1323 Castruccio Castracani attempted to seize one of the strongholds of Florence, Fucecchio, 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 waters, which