Montecatini Opera Festival takes place in Montecatini Terme, the exclusive, renowned European thermal resort, situated in the bright Valdinievole landscape, in the heart of Tuscany. This town famous for its healing hot springs, gifted with natural as well as artistic beauty offers the visitor a great variety of valuable buildings of the period between the end of 19th century and Art Deco, which make the town an open air museum. Since the 19th century Montecatini has been the favourite meeting place of great European artists and composers. Quite a lot of them, including famous conductors, musicians, singers, librettists used to spend here moments of relaxation, thermal treatment and study. Gioacchino Rossini was one of the regular guests of the hotel ”Locanda Maggiore” where there is still now “his music room”. Giuseppe Verdi used to spend in Montecatini, then called “Bagni di Montecatini” long Summer periods from 1882 to his death in 1901 and here he drew inspiration for major parts of his operas, like the third act of Othello and the orchestration of Falstaff. Here Giacono Puccini composed “La Fanciulla del West” and near Montecatini he composed “La Boheme”. Gioacchino Forzano (the librettist of “Suor Angelica“ and “Gianni Schicchi”) enjoyed discussing the plans of new operas with Arturo Toscanini and Enrico Caruso and the realization of their new staging. Ruggero Leoncavallo moved to Montecatini in 1913 and lived here the rest of his life. The cultural life and interest for music have always remained alive in town, showing the innate link between Past and Present, making Montecatini spa a place where art and emotions are strictly connected.
This splendid travertine building has a wide neo-Renaissance portico with rounded arches and is surrounded by green lawns and beautiful old trees. The building, erected between 1923 and 1927, was named after the water from the Regina crater, known since very early times for its therapeutic properties.
Large glass doors lead into three sections. The areas on either side were used for mixing the waters and for serving refreshement. Th central hall is partly illuminated by the roof, divided into nine squares and decorated with stained-glass windows. In the central octagonal rose window is the crown of the Regina. Behind the hall is a secluded garden protected by high walls. In the centre is a lovely fountain with four sea lions. Above them are four hemi-spherical bowls with penguins on the top.
In front of the building is the Fountain with the Heron, symbol of the town of Montecatini Terme.