A new eco-hotel opened in the beautiful Cascine park (Parco delle Cascine) in Florence. It offers comfortable and luxurious spaces for… butterflies, ladybugs, bees and spiders.
The Bugs Hotel is a small wooden structure filled up with branches, leaves, hay, shingles and hollow bricks, which are screened with a net to keep the little lodgers safe from predators. The sign beside it explains that the shelter is “an act of responsibility for protecting the biodiversity of the park and an act of love for preserving future generations of our little friends”.
Similar shelters can be found in many European parks but it is the first Bugs Hotel in Florence. It was made part of a nature trail in the park, where you can also do some bird watching. With the total area of 160 hectares, the park Cascine is the biggest in the city. Its origins go back to the 16th century when the Medici family used some of its territory as a farming and hunting estate. The park became public in the beginning of the 19th century. Today it has become a nature oasis easily reached from the centre of Florence with lovely walks along the Arno river and green meadows for picnics.
If you want to see the Bugs Hotel head towards the Anfiteatro delle Cascine in the park. Bookings are not required, just turn up and say “Hi” to the little hotel guests.
How to get to there: The tram on line T1 from the city centre stops in the park, in Viale degli Olmi.
Read about nature walks near Florence in my article here.
Photos by: Dave Catchpole/Flickr, Giuseppe Moscato/Flickr