A short walk (10minutes) or a 2 minute drive takes you to Vannini’s Alimentari. You can buy fresh bread, croissants, eggs, milk, butter, prosciutto, cheese and some fruit & vegetable. Next door is a bar/coffee shop and opposite there is a butchers (macelleria). Also, the small restaurant serves simple, basic Italian food at very reasonable prices. There is a Post Office here in Nievole as well.
IperCoop is just outside Montecatini and is the other side of the autostrada (see map for directions). You can stock up on all your provisions here; it has everything and the fruit and vegetable counters are really good. There is a pharmacy next to the supermarket. IperCoop is open all hours so it’s very convenient.
Montecatini itself is a bit of a shoppers’ paradise if you like (and can afford!) designer clothes and gear. It’s quite nice to window shop even if you’re not buying. There are some very good outlet shops for clothes as well.
Giovannini’s pasticceria in the centre of the town is very good.
Lucca is about a 30 minute drive along the autostrada towards Pisa. There are lots of shops , restaurants and delicatessens in Lucca. The main street Via Filunga is great for clothes/shoes. The antiteatro square (its more circular!) great for coffee and pizza.
Florence is about a 35 minute drive or you can take the train from Montecatini station (free car park). Florence is another shopper’s paradise with shops of all kinds; designer, leather markets, department stores etc. Places to see: Ponte Vecchio, Duomo, Michelangelo’s “David”, Uffizi art gallery, Pitti Palace. If you’re going to the Uffizi, book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues….tel: 0039 055 294883