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Le Cascine Park

Florence’s largest public park

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Le Cascine was once the property of Alessandro and Cosimo I de’ Medici who purchased the land for use as a hunting ground and a place to farm and breed cattle. Located on the right bank of the Arno, Le Cascine extends for about 118 hectares, which makes it the largest public park in Florence. Its name refers to a circle of oaks where cheese was once produced. The estate received particular care when it came to maintaining the land which hosted various plantations and crops. On the estate, rare species of fruit trees were also grown, as the Medici family was deeply interested in using them for experiments or as examples of cultural rarities.
Under the Lorraine dynasty, Le Cascine still maintained a rural fuction, but it also became more of a park that was open to the public during special events. The park was reconstructed in 1786 according to designs by Giuseppe Manetti. The architect designed a series of decorative and architecture elements along the paths including the ‘Palazzina reale’ and the Fountain of Quercione. We can also mention a noteworthy pyramid, that was once used to store iced; today, it is used to store gardening equipment. Two interesting structures, built to look like Neoclassic temples, hosted bird cages. Giuseppe Manetti was also given the task of organizing parties and receptions. History makes ample mention of the grandeur that characterized the celebrations for the investiture of Ferdinand, celebrated on July 2-5, 1791.
Thanks to Elisa Baciocchi, Le Cascine became a real public park during the Napoleonic period. Numerous expansion and renovation projects followed. The Cascine Park was acquired by the City of Florence in 1869. During the twentieth century, it became host to several noteworthy sporting activities, such as horse-racing, tennis, target shooting, clay pigeon shooting and swimming. In 1937, the buildings that now house the School of Aviation were designed by Raphael Fagnoni. The Granducal Farm currently hosts the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Florence, which has enriched the park with special crops. The park has maintained its monumental feel, despite the numerous intervention projects carried out in the last two centuries. It is characterized by broad lawns, impressive boulevards and forests featuring cedars, elms, pines, poplars and chestnuts.
An astonishing city of art, fashion and tradition
If you are visiting Tuscany you cannot miss Florence. The Renaissance city is a treasure trove of art with an astonishing contemporary vibe. Beyond the extraordinary artistic heritage, a testimony to its centuries of civilization, the best way to enjoy Florence is to stroll along the riverside avenues at sunset, or to get lost among the city’s myriad alleyways of the bohemian Oltrarno or the ...