We stayed in Montecatini Terme while we were in Italy, and when we checked into our hotel, we were told about the funicular that goes to Montecatini Alto. The funicular station was literally a five minute walk from our hotel so we set out almost immediately for the hilltop.
For adults, a roundtrip ticket is € 7,00 and the funicular runs every half hour up till midnight then starts again at 9:30 am. It’s a slow, beautiful ride to Montecatini Alto so get a window seat or stand on the platform outside if you can. The max capacity of the funicular is 40 people plus the agent and it is bench seats so be prepared to get a little cozy with your neighbors if you are riding at a busy time.
I will tell you that the funicular going up and the one that is going down do “greet” each other on the way and as you can see in the picture there is only one track. It’s a fun surprise I won’t ruin, other than to say yes it does happen!
Once you get to the top, the views as you step out of the station are stunning and get better with each step along the high road. We chose not to head to the town center and instead took a scenic walk along the high road where we discovered a deserted bench with outstanding views.
The road itself had very few people on it and for most of our walk we had the road to ourselves. This was perfect as you probably have figured out we do not enjoy crowds. The walk around the outskirts of Montecatini Alto will only take you about 20 minutes as it is petite, but if you like to take pictures and actually enjoy the views, plan for it to take you at least 45 minutes if not longer.
After walking the outskirts we headed into the center. If you are looking for grandiose structures similar to what you see in Florence, this center is not for you. It’s beautiful, dignified, and compact. A few sights I wouldn’t miss are the Rocca e Torre, Chiesa di San Pietro Apostolo and Torre campanaria. This town is perfect for an afternoon of eating gelato on a bench, walking around and enjoying the views, then having a romantic sunset dinner. There are also a few restaurants that are right on the hillside where you can get dinner and enjoy the view if you are not up for walking around. Keep in mind most restaurants do not open till 7 pm.
If you are staying close by, Montecatini Alto is definitely a must see, so schedule a late afternoon or evening trip and enjoy!