Orienteering is a sport requiring navigational skills (using a map) and trail running. It can be done all year round, always outdoors, mainly in nature but also in cities and urban parks. Everyone can find the right way for their goals!
Nature is the absolute protagonist in orienteering, it is the real race field.
Each map is unique: forests, woods, hills, parks or the intricate street map of an old town are the perfect setting for a race.
Expert cartographers map every detail with a distinctive symbology: open land, meadows, fields, glades are yellow; forest are white; rocks and pathways are black; water features such as lakes and marshes, streams and ponds are blue, while contour lines are brown. The isohypses are very important because they describe very accurately the shape of a hill, a depression or a ridge.
The paths are suitable for all ages, from children to the elderly. The skill level differs according to the categories considering age, gender, from competitive to amateur. It is a sport for athletes, but also for families or groups, mainly to be in company.
On the map there are several control points where each attendee must go through during the race, choosing the best pathway in order to complete his trail in the shortest possible time.
In the competition area, each point is identified by a numbered flag (white and orange); the athlete must mark his passage for each control point on the competition card.
The orienteer must go through all these checkpoints.
The “Parco delle Cascine” is a monumental and historical park in the city of Florence. It covers more than 130 hectares of land and has a total length of about 3.5 km (from the Victory bridge to the Indian bridge). It is a long and narrow strip, a real green island within the town, surrounded by water. In fact, it is delimited by the river Arno, the torrent Ombrone and an artificial canal locally called “the ditch grinding”, useful in the past to run the ancient meals.
Originally, the park was an agricultural estate owned by Cosimo I de’ Medici: it was a hunting estate and a farm for cattle breeding and the production of dairy products. At the beginning of the XIX century, it was converted into an urban park as a place of leisure, open to the public on special events too.
A rich and complex biodiversity characterizes this park: we can in fact count over 19,000 of vegetable species, but also a rather heterogeneous presence of animal species. In addition to the landscape elements, the historical aspect is of great importance: in the park there are evidences of several original structures, such as an icehouse (used to store ice during the summer), two racetracks and some historic buildings (which today house the Faculty of Agriculture).
Given the complexity of the park landscape, it is an ideal location for Orienteering. In fact, it is possible to exploit the extensive network of pedestrian paths currently existing, being able to easily change the difficulty of the path through an accurate positioning of the control points.
Meeting point: 9.30 am, Piazzale delle Cascine (ex Piazzale del Re), Firenze (in front of the School of Agriculture)
First departure: 10.30 am. 3 minutes from the meeting place.
Race map: Map CO 0644 – updated 2017
Categories: Single category
Fee: 5 euro fixed fee (max 30 participants)
Course length: 3 km (demonstrative)
For information and registrations please send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org