POGGIO A CAIANO /
Outdoor - Public parks - Natural reserve
Tavola, a hamlet of the Municipality of Prato nearby Poggio a Caiano, hosts the Cascine Medicee park, located on the opposite bank of the Ombrone stream and connected to Poggio a Caiano by the bridge Leopold II. Although it is not in the area of Poggio, the Cascine park is very popular among citizens, thanks to the convenient connection made by the footbridge and the network of cycle and pedestrian paths located on both banks of the stream. Today is one of the main public parks in the Prato area but it was actually born as an estate of the Medici Farm (currently decaying and waiting for restoration). The large farmhouse, mirroring the villa resting on the other bank of the river was active from the end of the fifteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century, in order to produce the food necessary for the sustenance of those who lived and worked in the villa, but it wasn't just that. Here, new farming methods were experimented, silkworms were bred, rice was cultivated and fish were raised in tanks in order to always supply fresh fish on the tables of the villa. Currently you can only visit the farm from the outside and it can be reached with a short and beautiful walk from the Leopoldo II Bridge. Going on, you can have a walk inside the verdant park, which among other features can boast one of the few examples of oak wood (a type of oaks that live in humid environments and of which this area was once rich, but today it is very rare).
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