While in Tuscany, we stayed in a town called Montecatini Terme, usually just referred to as Montecatini (Terme meaning Spa, as it has hot springs). Close by, and high on a hill, is the medieval village of Montecatini Alto (Alto, meaning High, which is a little odd to our ears, thinking of alto meaning a lower choral voice part for women). It is reached by a funicular railway, similar to Wellington’s cable car but much steeper, and provided us with a pleasant afternoon of Tuscan views. The village itself is very photogenic, spoiled only by the haphazard placing of modern-day poles, wires and cables. You might have thought that there would be rules to keep the village looking its best, especially as tourism is a major industry here, but no. If I had the time, I would photoshop them out and may still do in the future.
This is the final blog on Tuscany, so just a few more photos to finish. Our hotel, the Grand Plaza Locanda Maggiore, celebrated the fact that Puccini often stayed there. Some photos show our dining room and it was very easy to imagine old Giacomo P sitting there having his breakfast while admiring the chandelier. The hotel opens up to a piazza and it was from a cafe across the square that I took a couple of shots of the hotel exterior at sunset. Finally, just a few photos of interesting architecture in Montecatini. These were taken on the day before we left, which was the one day that we really saw the blue Tuscan sky that goes so well with the terra cotta and its variations.