A jaunt to Montecatini Terme

As my two girlfriends and I sat in the treno (train) this morning, we had no expectations for our day trip to Montecatini Terme. I made a point of not reading too much before our trip. Erin did a lot of research for the trip looking for the perfect place to experience the terme (thermal baths) in Tuscany before Erin heads back to the US. Our train arrived to Montecatini centro and we jumped off ready for the adventure to begin.

Living in Florence :: A jaunt to Montecatini Terme

We had a vague idea of where to go and luckily we happened upon a large map outside the stazione (train station), which helped us only a little bit since the one thing that was missing was the indicator to tell us where we were standing. We half understood where we needed to go and walked away from the stazione and toward the centro (downtown) toward the first appealing bar to get a cappuccino.

We asked the woman at the bar where the Parco delle Terme was, and she told us to continue up the road, which was extremely peaceful. We paid 5 Euros to visit the grounds and had we wanted to have some of the natural, therapeutic water, we would've paid 8 Euros more. I took the picture of the fontana (fountain) at the Parco Termale. There were people sitting in the sun at tables enjoying the warm sun and the three-man orchestra playing under a frescoed cupola (dome).

In the covered archway leading to a back garden were shops selling expensive jewelry in brightly lit windows. The pavement inside the large area with columns and covered walkways was all mosaic marble.

After our visit, we walked to the piscina termale (thermal pool) where we could swim for an hour. We paid 10 Euros to enter and chose to not pay an additional 3 Euros to get an accappatoio (robe) and ciabattine (slippers).

It wasn't until we were in the piscina termale with our clear plastic cuffia (cap) covering our heads that we realized that we should've paid for the accappatoio because we didn't have anything to dry ourselves off with. Luckily we had some fazzoletti di carta (facial tissue) to dry ourselves off some.

The other people in the pool waded around like we did, enjoying the warm water. We weren't sure what the benefits of the water were, but after over a half hour we felt a bit light headed and decided to get out. The water tasted a little salty and left our skin feeling hydrated, but not very soft.

We waited for the others to finish up in the spogliatoio (locker room) before getting out of the piscina because the area was too small for us all to get dressed.

We walked outside through the parco (park) with lush grass and large trees along the wide path for us to walk down. We found a small restaurant for a quick lunch and headed back to Florence on the treno.

It was a bit of a shock when our treno pulled into Florence. I knew that Montecatini was quieter, but when we walked through the streets to head downtown, I felt like Florence was incredibly chaotic. It took a few minutes for me to adjust to Florence after our relaxing morning in Montecatini. The gelato (ice cream) we ate on the Ponte Santa Trinità while we looked out at the Ponte Vecchio helped.

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