Parco delle Cascine

Cascine Park: Florence’s green lung

A green oasis in the heart of the city, nestled alongside the Arno river, where you can go for a stroll, relax and be surprised: Cascine park and other parks.

Cascine Park is the largest public park in Florence and with around 160 hectares and stretching for 3.5 kilometers (from Ponte alla Vittoria to Ponte all’Indiano), it’s a true island of greenery, surrounded by water: it is bordered by the Arno river, the Mugnone creek and the Fosso Macinante, an artificial canal that helps operate the mills in the area and redirects the waters when the Arno overflows.

Parco delle Cascine, Firenze

A short history of the park

In 1531, the land was bought by the Medici so they could use it as an area to hunt and spend private time amongst the family in the outdoors. It stayed this way for a long time, but Peter Leopold of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, decided to transform the Cascine, long in disrepair, to bring it back to its former glory.
The new park was inaugurated in July 1791 with a party that lasted for three days. From that moment, the park has always been open to the public

Walking through Cascine Park, you can count over 20,000 trees and 60 different species.  As you enter the park from the city center, you’re welcomed by the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, originally designed by Emilio Zocchi in 1890 for piazza della Repubblica and brought to its current location in the 1930s.

Heading toward the center of the park, you will find the Pavoniere, an area, now a public pool, that boasts elegant, temple-like structures that were built to be birdcages. And of course, you can’t miss the Pyramid, an ice-house that over the winter stored the ice meant to be used in summer and where the cheeses produced in the Grand Duchy were kept.
On the right side, you can find the Visarno hippodrome, which hosts large concerts, especially in the summer. 

Continuing your walk, you’ll arrive in the park’s central piazza, where the main building is located. The neo-Classical structure was also designed by Manetti in the 1700s to be the Palazzina Reale, or Villa Granducale, and is today the home of the Department of Agriculture at the University of Florence
Two large fields lay on each side of the piazza, the Tinaia and Quercione. As you pass by them, you will run into a long tree-lined street that brings you to an amphitheatre that was dug from a sand pit in the 1970s and which also hosts open-air concerts and theatre performances.

Parco delle Cascine (credits foto:

Life in the park today

Today, the park is a popular meeting place and an area to relax, where sporting and music events are always on, as well as fairs and festivals of every kind that always attract both Florentines and foreigners alike. The park is also the ideal place to go for a run or a bike ride and offers the perfect equipment for playing a large variety of sports. 
Cascine Park is located in the northwest area of the city and is easily reached on foot from the city center. There is also a tram stop (Cascine) inside the park.

Visarno Arena - Firenze Rocks 2019 (credits foto Visarno Arena)

The park of Poggio Valicaia

This amazing park was a large private estate, and donated to the Municipality of Scandicci it was transformed into a public park, at the beginning as a destination for excursions, then in 2003 it became a park-museum thanks to the installation of works by contemporary artists.

The park covers about 68 hectares and its particular position determines the high grade of biodiversity of its arboreal and shrub species. It is well known for its green pathways covering about five kilometres. Inside the park you can also find a pic-nic area, a pond and a beautiful olive grove
The park can be experienced through incredible adventures, especially during the summer, such as open-air dinner and cinema or unmissable camping adventure just for green lovers: FLORENCE TREE CAMP, a campsite of suspended tents. Overnight in tent + bbq dinner + breakfast, all included!

Parco Poggio Valicaia - Tende Sospese (credits foto: Parco Poggio Valicaia)

Mondeggi Park

The Mondeggi Park encloses the lands of the Villa di Mondeggi, which dominates a beautiful countryside made up of rolling hills, rows of olive trees and groups of cypresses. Mondeggi is a stone's throw from the city, reachable from both Grassina and Antella. The park has free access and no time restrictions.
Two routes, one historical and the other naturalistic, are marked on special explanatory signs. The signs are a constant throughout the journey, illustrating the flora and fauna, as well as the history of the park and its transformations.
In the park you will find 7 rest areas with wooden benches and tables where you can prepare your picnic and some equipped BBQ areas.