“Oh bischero, Florence has its own Central Park!” a man stretching nearby tells me. Far from New York, you could spend a good part of your holiday at the Parco delle Cascine. The green lung of Florence, the park, which is almost four kilometres long and 700 metres wide, flanks the Arno river. It features wonderful criss-crossing paths and long avenues that disappear over the horizon. 160 hectares of nature, paths for walking, running, cycling, relaxing and, in my case, making new friends. The atmosphere, sounds and central location are reminiscent of America’s most famous park. And like New York, this is the perfect place to leave the stress of the city behind you.
From the entrance you’ll notice that the park is not only well equipped, but also has a very strong sporting spirit. From the beginning of the 20th century, different facilities have been built in the Cascine: a football pitch, a velodrome, a tennis court, a hippodrome, a public swimming pool, an archery range and a clay pigeon shooting range. There’s even an amphitheatre. All harmoniously integrated into nature. Umpteen examples that, despite the park’s venerable age (it’s almost 500 years old) you can still stay in shape thanks to the sports on offer.