Picnic al Parco Mediceo di Pratolino
Se volete trascorrere una bella giornata di relax senza dover rinunciare del tutto ad approfondire un pò di storia e di arte italiana, vi consiglio un bel picnic al Parco del Pratolino, distante soli 14 km da Firenze. E’ aperto al pubblico da aprile ad ottobre dal venerdì alla domenica e nei giorni festivi. Meglio noto come Parco di Villa Demidoff, è stato riconosciuto nel 2013 patrimonio Unesco, insieme ad altre ville e giardini Medicei. Oggi resta ben poco della magnificenza del parco come si presentava ai tempi di Francesco I De’ Medici. Non vi è più traccia della sontuosa villa che lo Stesso fece costruire per sua moglie nella seconda metà del 1500, così come poco resta di quel parco fiabesco descritto dalle cronache dell’epoca. Giochi d’acqua con automi, labirinti, fontane monumentali, grotte artificiali, statue antiche, giardini all’italiana e piante di particolare pregio adornavano questo vasto parco. Era noto come il “giardino delle meraviglie”! Alla morte di Francesco I De’ Medici il parco e la villa caddero in uno stato di totale abbandono e quando la proprietà passò al Granduca Ferdinando III di Lorena, il parco subì purtroppo una profonda mutazione. A questa fase risale la completa demolizione della Villa e la trasformazione degli splendidi giardini all’italiana in giardino all’inglese, secondo il gusto romantico dell’epoca. Molte statue furono trasferite nel giardino di Boboli a Firenze.
L’intera proprietà fu venduta alla fine del 1800 al principe russo Demidoff che ristrutturò gli edifici ancora in piedi e trasformò l’edificio della paggeria medicea in villa principale. Questo il motivo per cui oggi l’intera area è conosciuta come Villa Demidoff, anche se nel 1981 tutto il parco è stato acquistato dall’amministrazione provinciale di Firenze ed oggi è parco pubblico. Come scritto sopra, del giardino mediceo rimangono alcune vasche, statue e grotte. Ma la vera attrattiva di Pratolino è lo strabiliante Colosso dell’ Appennino, opera del Giambologna. La monumentale statua, che è il simbolo delle aspre montagne appenniniche italiane, è alta più di 10 metri ed al suo interno è costituita da una serie di stanze e di nicchie (oggi chiuse e non visitabili). Dentro la testa era stato progettato persino un camino che, una volta acceso, avrebbe dovuto soffiare il fumo fuori dalle narici del gigante!! Era anche composto da vari automi e giochi d’acqua, purtroppo perduti. La colossale statua oggi è preceduta da un bel laghetto romantico così come voluto dai Demidoff. Se vi capita di andare in piena estate, il laghetto si colora di splendide ninfee in fiore!
Insomma il Colosso vale assolutamente una visita. E’ così imponente e suggestivo che si racconta che lo stesso Giambologna si pentì di averlo fatto proprio a Pratolino, poichè se questa opera d’arte fosse stata costruita nel centro di Firenze avrebbe senz’altro avuto una notorietà maggiore!
Non limitatevi però ad osservare solo Il Colosso ma esplorate tutto il parco. E’ ricco di querce, cedri, ippocastani e naturalmente, come detto poc’anzi, anche di fontane, grotte artificiali e statue. La villa Demidoff è visitabile al suo interno con una guida del parco. Dopo averlo esplorato, cercate un posto all’ombra e godetevi il vostro picnic!
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