Originally the largest park in Florence, the Cascine was a Medici hunting and farming estate, which passed to the grand duchy of Lorraine with the death of the last Medici in 1737. Although it had occasionally been open to the public for special events during the 18th century, it only became an actual public park during the brief reign of Elisa Baciocchi, grand duchess of Tuscany and Napoleon’s sister; it continued to be so after the City of Florence acquired the property in 1869. By the late 19th century, the 18 hectares of woods, tall trees, shady paths and lawns became a place where the townsfolk strolled, who gained easy access to the green space between 1880 and 1897 thanks to Florence’s original tramway, which linked the Cascine and the city centre (much like today’s tram to Scandicci). It was the place to see and be seen, especially among the aristocracy and the ex-pat community. Even Queen Victoria in her carriage could often be seen there when on holiday in Florence.