The Ragnaia woods
The urban park of Villa Montalvo is an oasis rich in flora and fauna
Just outside the residential centre of Campi Bisenzio you'll find the Urban Park of Villa Montalvo, a huge green area open to the public near the villa which gives it its name.The idea for the park came about in 1989 and today it is used by the city administration and a variety of local associations for organize activities for the public. It serves as a peaceful refuge for locals who come here for sports and relaxation. Inside the park is located the important Ragnaia woods which cover 1.6 hectares along the marina. This extension was born thanks to Don Ferdinando Montalvo, the owner of the villa and a passionate hunter who, in 1760, decided to create an area for capturing birds in nets which he hung from tree to tree. In fact, the name “ragnaia” refers to these nets which hung like spider webs (ragnatelle) between the trees. The flora includes oaks, black poplars, and laurel is attractive to a variety of bird species. During the 18th and 19th centuries the woods was famous for hunting and was a favourite refuge of Florentine nobility from the heat of the city. The Villa of Montalvo is a noble residence which currently hosts the city library and the city archive.