The Poggio Valicaia park was created by a donation make in 1979 to the
City of Scandicci by Cesare Marchi (1909 - 1979). After this, the
land previously used for agricultural purposes was turned into a
The current administration aims to create since 1998 a green area for the excursions inside the city. The park is located at top of the homonym hill, which is the tallest one of the florentine area.
At the same time many events were performed in the park: concerts, theatrical representations, driven visits for children and elderly. Today the history of this green lung gains new life thanks to Park-museum project wich was opened on September 14 2003.
The park extends for about 68 hectares and its particular topographic position, including a crest running north-south 370 meters above sea level, determines its position as a forest zone with diverse species of trees and shrubs. The slope to the south opens onto Val di Pesa, containing more thermophile species such as oaks and typical Mediterranean scrub. The slope to the north opens onto Florence and exhibits plants such as the Turkey Oak, domestic pine, and chestnuts.
Naturally the division between these zones is not clearly defined and
there are of course incursions of species across the various climates.
This outward alpine appearance dominates the character of the park and
has a great ecological value on several levels: water, landscape,
recreational, and protective. Next to it is a large zone of untouched
The interior of the park is crisscrossed by a network of hiking trails covering nearly five kilometers, a picnic area, a small lake, and an olive grove from which olive oil is produced. This oil, along with honey, are the typical products of the park. On the summit is also an old farmhouse that the city has restored and today provides logistical support for the activities -- cultural and environmental -- held at Poggio Valicacia.
The area surrounding the lake hosts several typical wetland species.
The regional fauna contains many nocturnal species such as wild boar, badger, hare, fox, hedgehog, and weasel. Also in the park can be found nocturnal birds of prey such as the hoot owl, the tawny owl, and the barn owl. Daytime species include squirrels, birds of prey, and various types of birds. Since the neighboring area is dedicated to hunting, many of these species migrate at night is search of food and return before sunrise to seek refuge.
Given its positioning next to large urban centers -- not just
Scandicci, but also Florence -- Poggio Valicaia is easily accessible
and plays host to nearly 25,000 people visit every year.
Environmental education activities are organized by the association
"Il Labirinto" -- that is responsible for the security and maintenance
of the park -- such as astronomical observations, school camps, and
activities promoting local produce and preservation of green areas.
For these reasons, bicycles and dogs are not allowed in the park.
Large groups are permitted only with advance reservation.
Most activities in the park are concentrated in its heart near the
olive grove and the lake. Here there are several picnic tables and
barbecues for the use of park visitors. There are also public
restrooms and drinking fountains here as well as a "life course" of
390m consisting of various calisthenic exercises indicated by signs.
With the creation of the Museo all'Aperto, inaugurated in September
2003, it was desired to increase the use of the park, giving it
in the process a cultural element.
Comune di Scandicci - Settore parchi e qualità della vita urbana