The entrance to the Park of the Cascine, a large public park of over 118 hectares, is on Piazza Vittorio Veneto. The park is a strip between the Arno and the Mugnone. The main area of the park was bought by the first duke of Florence, Alessandro de’Medici in the 16th century. Cosimo I bought the area and turned it into a park for his family to enjoy. New boulevards and avenues were added to embellish the landscape. Holly, oak, pine, elm, and maple trees were also planted. The park was handed down to the Habsburg Lorraine when the Medici became extinct (1737). Later on the Habsburg Lorraine gave it to Florence.
The park is filled with people of all ages having picnics, playing sports, or taking a stroll. An enormous outdoor swimming pool is on the eastern side and an outdoor auditorium is on the western side. Many people also come to this park to play basketball or cricket. A cricket set can be bought in any of the stands in the park.
The Cascine Market
This market held from 8am to 2pm on Tuesdays offers many products including groceries and fresh fruit, clothes, antiques.