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  • Entrance of the funicular (Downhill Station), Montecatini Terme.zoom in altra finestra

Funicolare di Montecatini [Funicular of Montecatini]

Works for the funicular that connects Montecatini Terme and Montecatini Alto began on March 1, 1897 and were completed the following year, on a project by engineer Alessandro Ferretti from Genoa. Its inauguration on June 4, 1898 was also attended by Giuseppe Verdi. The two little red trains (originals) of three compartments with wooden benches and two external balconies, travel a distance of 1055 metres, reaching a maximum slope of 38.5% (the average slope is 20.5%). Until 1921, it was driven by a large steam boiler, then replaced by an electric engine. The funicular installations were in part mined in 1944 by a squad of retreating saboteurs, and then repristinated in 1949. Failure to renew its structures led to closing the funicular in 1977, but in 1982, thanks to the intervention of regional government, the cars were restored and the latest equipment was installed. Today, it is therefore possible to take the train and admire the extraordinary panorama that unfolds along the way.


Texts by Graziano Magrini

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 08/gen/2008