Bargo Mediceo Park - Poggio A Caiano (PO) -

The Barco or Bargo was the hunting reserve, circumscribed by a wall, that the Medici owned in the Bonistallo area, not far from the Medici Villa. The term barco derives from the Latin 'parricum' and indicates an enclosed land: on the hills of Montalbano the Barco Reale is famous: the great reserve enclosed in a wall perimeter of about 50 kilometers (today almost completely lost), where the nobles went hunting, starting mainly from the Medici villas of Artimino and Quarrata. The Barco di Bonistallo, on the other hand, smaller but older than the Barco Reale, still has the walls almost intact and still today we see two of the well preserved access portals: one in the upper part of the hill, overlooking the current parking of the parish of Saint Francis, the other in the lower part, along the SR66. Next to this last portal we can admire the Ginori's work 'Our Lady of Sorrows', commonly known as the 'Madonnina del Bargo'. The forest has changed a lot over the centuries, particularly during the twentieth century, when most of the trees were cut down and the troops camped there during the Second World War. However, the reason why this area was transformed into a hunting reserve is still evident: compared to the surrounding areas it was not cultivable. The Bonistallo hill is in fact made up of a huge block of sandstone, which clearly emerges on the paths and among the trees and which for a long period was also quarried to obtain building stone.

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