Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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The Gate Of Heaven

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There are lists: things to do before death, places to see, etc. Here is Montecatini, one of the places you must see before you die! “But where exactly is Montecatini?” I can hear you say. Montecatini is a hidden paradise in Tuscany, Italy! Let me warn you the article contains a high dose of peace.☺️

During my bus journey from Florence, which took about an hour, I greeted every shade of green and got off the bus in Montecatini Terme, the center of healing. The first thing that came to mind about this small but cute town was its thermal waters and spa center, but it was not limited to these, of course… Let’s explore together!

There used to be some postcards in our childhood. They were giving us peace of mind and included people who had a Mediterranean spirit and knew how to enjoy life… This is exactly what is felt in Montecatini, the secret address of calmness! I think it is a very special travel route where you can feel the serenity as well as the activity of popular restaurants, theaters, and nightclubs! The first thing that catches my eye when I enter the hotel in the historical building where I will be staying is that the average age of the tourists coming here is quite high! I guess they’re all here to rejuvenate! ☺️

In line with the advice I received from the reception, the first activity preferred by those visiting the region was to tour the region by funicular. The funicular is a kind of mini-sightseeing train. This red-painted train, which has an authentic appearance and only two wagons, makes me feel free again.☺️ I enjoy the view to the fullest and embrace nature. On the way to Alto Castle, so many authentic fountains catch my eye that I feel confused about which one to look at. The fountains in Montecatini Terme are true masterpieces! I learned from the tourist brochure that the most important ones are the Mazzoni Fountain in the square in front of the train station, the Guidotti Fountain in Piazza del Popolo, and the Shingu Fountain surrounding the hot springs in Piazza Giusti! Is it possible to make a wish by throwing coins backward here, as in Rome? It wouldn’t be bad if I gave it a try!☺️

The journey to Montecatini Alto Castle takes only 10 minutes! I enjoy watching Montecatini Terme from above, like everyone else! Montecatini Alto, like Montecatini Terme, is a place with connections to the powerful Florentine Medici family, so it’s a “must-visit”, especially for history lovers! If you’re wondering what the connection is, take a look at the story of the Medici Dynasty!

I have one more piece of advice for Montecatini Alto. Be sure to reward yourself by stopping at Piazza Giuseppe Giusti to enjoy the local cuisine, and then don’t forget to stop by the small boutique shops selling handmade products, food, and souvenirs!

After this short tour, I visited a farm where very special wines are produced. The exquisite wines made from the famous Sangiovese grapes are a must-try! A typical Italian man describing the production process shows off in front of the crowd! He manages to impress everyone that a sales queue is formed at the end of the presentation.☺️

Time to do some shopping in Montecatini Terme! Everyone knows that Italians are famous around the world for their style! Maybe it’s because Italy is the homeland of iconic brands like Gucci, Armani, Prada, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, and Fendi. The list is endless! Getting lost in the town’s winding streets and the interesting local shops are worth seeing! By the way, if you want to shop for souvenirs, Via Pierto Grocco Street is just for you. Note this, please! ☺️ The address for all classic souvenirs, from fridge magnets to stylish key chains! There is also a huge selection of Italian leather bags, children’s toys, ceramics, and jewelry! In particular, ceramic objects that offer a riot of colors attract me immediately.

Walking towards the square, I come across the open market. I should especially mention that if you come across the local market on Via di Maratona Square in Montecatini Terme on Thursdays,  you are lucky! ☺️ As for the reason, there’s nothing like walking around a market in Italy and listening to the chatter and noise of the social locals. The clothes I come across in the stands in the chaos of the market surprise me! If you are a luxury designer clothes and shoe fan, leave some space in your suitcase.☺️ Besides clothes, it is possible to find household products, shoes, cosmetics, toys, fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, meat, olive oil, and much more!

Pellegrini Pasticceria, which I went to on a recommendation to relieve my tiredness, is one of the best cafes in Montecatini Terme. The antique glass cabinets in the bar immediately catch my attention. The fridge is filled to the brim with freshly baked pastries, cakes, and sweet treats! How can I resist? Help me, please! ? I find my unfinished dessert wrapped in fancy paper and tied with a stylish ribbon. What a favor this is! Yuppi! ☺️

“Montecatini Terme is like the playground of the rich! ” I heard this sentence from someone I met there.☺️ This sentence is proven when I leave the cafe; I stumble upon luxury cars and stylish people parked in front of designer shops. By the way, their assistants waiting for them with their shopping bags look very stylish, too!☺️ The life motto of the Italian people in this fairy-tale living space is; “You should always look stylish.”☺️

Now, an art center that will attract the attention of all art lovers is right in front of me! Wow! ? When it comes to art, Italy has a lot to offer! The homeland of some of the greatest artists of all time is, of course, Italy! Like the unforgettable works of Michelangelo and Raphael that come to mind first… All art lovers must visit the address in Montecatini Terme: Contemporary Art Museum (Mo.C.A) !!! When I walked in, I get amazed to see the exquisite and modern works of art because the exterior of the building did not seem to make any such promises! So, what is it? Nothing is as it seems!!!☺️

While you’re here, you can’t help but see the historical spa Terme Tettuccio, famous for its thermal waters! When you walk in, this luxurious-looking building is like a style icon! The relaxing piano melodies coming from the inside are very inviting! I think that I can spend hours here under the spell of the atmosphere and the effect of the wonderful smells coming from inside. I think it’s worth a visit just to see the place. The Excelsior Spa, located inside, offers various treatments such as beauty, mud baths, massage, and baths. It is a kind of wellness center. When I leave the building, I feel reborn! Dolce Vita!

Time to leave Montecatini Terme, immortalized in famous Italian director Fellini’s 8½ movie… If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend this movie has striking dialogue. You will also see the old version of this cute town.☺️

Soulshine

His desires, giving fresh blooms

In his warm heart

Dragged him to the glorious purpose,

When the strong winds filled

His smart sails with vitality,

He cruised as far as possible

Even much more than he dreamed

To the sapphire blue

Like being born again

Out of his sinful ashes

Leaving sorrow behind…

May the sunshine be in your heart forever,

See you in the blues…

Banu Demir

Editor&Poet

Instagram: bluevoyage_blueroute

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1 COMMENT

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