The spa town of Montecatini Terme ('terme' indicating 'thermal') has for 500 years been ministering to the real and imagined ailments of visitors from all over Europe, who come to take the waters and to effect cures. And things have moved up a gear since the city fathers built the first spa in 1540 (it was subsequently destroyed by a vengeful Cosimo I de'Medici, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, furious that the Tuscan town had allied itself with Siena rather than Florence).
Things got going again in the 1700s, the days of the Grand Tour, when aristos and artists alike fell in love with Tuscany - and took the opportunity to deal with their gout, malmsy, dropsy and other arcane ailments. Now the baths developed independent of the old town of Montecatini Alto, the walled medieval town high on the hill, and since 1897 connected via a funicular. Since the turn of the 1900s, with major creative figures in particular alighting on the town to soothe their artistic temperaments (Verdi, Pirandello and Gigli were notable visitors) Montecatini became extremely fashionable.
Nowadays, around 2m visitors a year come. You'll find thermal baths of course, including the famed Il Tettuccio, a Liberty style delight from the 1800s, and the Leopoldini baths, created in the 1770s. The treatments are bewilderingly diverse to the novice, with mud therapy, thalassotherapy, steam rooms and dry rooms, Scottish showers and immersion tanks. And when you've had enough relaxation ... there's more. Golf courses, lovely parks, good restaurants and cafes, a horse racing track - this is serious leisure time.