The Bagni di Lucca thermal springs have been known since Roman times. Frequented by illustrious figures from Matlida of Canossa to Frederick II, and famous since the Middle Ages for the therapeutic qualities of its thermal waters, the Spa has been a popular destination among princes, poets and famous doctors since the Renaissance. Eminent scientists and philosophers including Montaigne, Gabriele Falloppio and Francesco Redi described the extraordinary qualities of the waters.
Through the initiative of Elisa Bonaparte - the Princess of Lucca and sister of Napoleon - the hot springs of Bagni di Lucca took on great prestige in Italy and abroad not only as a spa location,
but also as a hub for high society, thanks in part to the casino that was located near the springs since the Middle Ages. It was through the Bourbon Duchy that the springs would reach the height of their reputation, when they were frequented by figures such as Metternich, Vittorio Emanuele I, Louis Napoleon (the future Napoleon III), Rossini, Demidoff, Heine, Byron, Shelley and Dumas, to name but a few.
During the Belle Époque the springs became a favourite haunt for the English, Russians and French, and there were numerous illustrious guests who stayed in Bagni di Lucca and visited the thermal baths: Ouida, Pascoli, Croce, Puccini, Verdi, Mascagni, Queen Margherita of Savoy. Many of them wrote of how the springs are a paradise for both the body and the spirit.