The area with the town's largest park, once
called the "Prati di San Francesco", or "Meadows of Saint Francis",
was transformed into a parade ground for military drills in the
mid-nineteenth century. This space, designed by Maurizio Eula and
completed in 1851, became necessary due to the establishment of
large cavalry barracks headquartered in the old convent of San
The last military units moved out in the 1960s and the municipal administration decided to reallocate this important space. Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Enrico Graneris, the decision was made to turn it into a large park, a green lung close to the town centre. The plans were drawn up in the early 1970s by the architect Oreste Garzino, in collaboration with the municipal Technical Office.
This rectangular green space covers 10 hectares - nearly 25 acres - with sports facilities. It is bounded by avenues measuring over 300 metres in length, lined with plane-trees, lindens and horse-chestnuts. The interior of the park is landscaped with more than 500 common or rare species.
Two other gardens in the town centre are located nearby. The first is called "Marinai dItalia" in honour of the country's seamen, and in the late twentieth century various types of naval materials were placed there: propellers, mine buoys, an anchor and two probes are set around the monument commemorating seamen killed in battle. The triangular monument is landscaped with numerous plane-trees and maples, but there are also magnolias, blackthorns (Prunus) and sweetgums (Liquidambar).
The other one, located close to Piazza Cavour, is a playground with a climbing tower, slides and swings, spring equipment and a small gym, and is surrounded by avenues and a "plane-tree roundabout". There are also very large and prized Norway spruces, ash trees, ginkgo bilobas, beeches, elms, cedars and common hornbeams.