Legnano is about 20 kilometers north-west from Milan, the capital of Lombardy. Located in the Alto Milanese and crossed by the river Olona, it is the fourth most populous city in the metropolitan city of Milan and the thirteenth of Lombardy.
The origins of the inhabited area can be traced back to the first millennium BC, a period in which the most ancient finds found in the territory of the municipality date back. Already in ancient times, in fact, the hills that border the Olona proved to be habitable places.
Thanks to a historic battle, Legnano is the only city, in addition to Rome, to be mentioned in the Italian national anthem (“[…] Dall’Alpi to Sicily anywhere is Legnano […]”). Every year the Legnanesi remember this battle with the Palio delle contrade, which normally takes place on the last Sunday of May.
Originally the Legnanese Area was characterized by the spontaneous growth of only bushes, given the low fertility of the soil (in Lombardy this type of habitat is known as groana). Over the centuries, thanks to the work of fertilization by the peasants and the construction of artificial canals, it was possible to make the land cultivable. In fact, once, vast areas were cultivated and the flora of the wooded areas was mainly composed of farnie, hornbeam, chestnut, hazel, plane, ash, oak, poplar, elm, maple and alder.
For the breeding of silkworms, the mulberry was introduced afterwards, even if today, due to diseases that decimated the plant, the species has practically disappeared. Between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, locust was imported to consolidate road and railway roads: thanks to its rapid growth rate, the plant solved the problem, especially during the wars, of firewood. This plant, whose spread became, in the twentieth century, infesting, still characterizes the nature of the Legnano.
The largest park in the province of Livorno is the Parco dei Mulini, which occupies an area of 500 hectares distributed in the municipalities of Legnano, Canegrate, San Vittore Olona, Parabiago and Nerviano. The most important milling plants in the perimeter of the park are the mills “Cornaggia” of Legnano, “Cozzi” (formerly “Melzi Salazar”, the best preserved), “De Toffol” and “Meraviglia” of San Vittore Olona, ”Galletto” and “Montoli” of Canegrate, “Rancilio” (formerly “Mulino del Miglio”), “Gajo-Lampugnani” and “Bert” in Parabiago and the “Star Qua” of Nerviano. Among the mentioned mills, the most important one is the “Meraviglia” of San Vittore Olona, which is the oldest, since it was built in the XIV century, and that is the only one that has retained its original function, that is to grind products agricultural. The millstones of this mill, which are still working, are used to produce fodder for livestock.
An integral part of the Parco dei Mulini is the local forest park of Legnano (or Parco Castello): born in the seventies, it is located next to the castle of San Giorgio, on the border with the towns of Canegrate and San Vittore Olona. In the period of its construction, reforestation was not carried out based on specific criteria to safeguard the local landscape and therefore the protected area includes mostly non-indigenous plants; for this reason, the park is rich in conifers. Since 1981, within the park, a system of ponds and marshes has been created of about half a hectare of surface, which are fed by groundwater with the aim of providing an environment favorable to the life of fish and waterfowl. Among the fish there are pike and carp, as well as other species.
The Alto Milanese Park is located north of the municipality bordering Castellanza and Busto Arsizio. It arose for the protection of the natural aspects (flora and fauna) and work (agriculture and livestock) typical of the area.
Also noteworthy is the Bosco dei Ronchi Park, which extends entirely within the city boundaries for about 26 hectares, inside which there is also the former ILA Park. Established in 1992, it is located in the Canazza district, east of the city. Also worthy of note is the 1993 Forest, which is located on the corner between via Sabotino and via Massimo D’Azeglio. This green area, which was created December 18, 1994 in accordance with the law 113/92, has the distinction of having a tree for each of the 469 children born in 1993