COLLODI, TUSCANY – Pinocchio and Garzoni gardens

Giardino Garzoni. It may be a bit over the top, but at least the water's cool.

Carlo Collodi wasn’t really from the Italian village of Collodi; his mother was. Florentine-born Carlo Lorenzini adopted the pen name Collodi when he began writing Pinocchio and other children’s stories.

That doesn’t stop little Collodi cashing in on the Pinocchio connection for all it’s worth.

Too many puppets are never enough.

The Parco di Pinocchio is certainly no Disneyland – a cafe, a maze, a small museum of Pinocchiana, some simple activities for young children and that’s it.

The sculpture along the winding paths is sometimes predictably kitsch, but in other cases surprisingly good.

The carabiniere bars the way.

The mosaics tell the Pinocchio story.

Fun for young and old in the jaws of the whale.

Across the road, the gardens of the Villa Garzoni are a triumph of overblown tackiness.

By the ticket office are photos of celebrities who have visited and posed here – Deanna Dors, the Italian Nazionale football team of 1949, the contestants in Miss Universe 1958.

Closer inspection of the statuary shows it’s not particularly ancient, nor particularly well constructed. It’s fairly recent and is already starting to crumble.

But it is so charmingly, undeniably Italianate!

GETTING THERE: Collodi is about 15km north east of Lucca.

ENTRY: A combined ticket to the Parco di Pinocchio, Giardino Garzoni and the Butterfly House costs EUR20 (reductions for children).

6 Comments

Filed under Art, Italy

6 responses to “COLLODI, TUSCANY – Pinocchio and Garzoni gardens

  1. Jan

    I love going on this trip, Richard, not sure I would enjoy the heat though. The long shot of the gardens (6th photo) reminds me of Paronella Park in North Queensland. I really enjoyed the Garfagnana post. I had a look too at the Vecchio Mulino website – how utterly joyous. Do you suppose that people who are so passionate about their food and sharing the experience are less inclined to be disagreeeable and less likely to want to blow each other up.

  2. Thanks, Jan. And yes, you’re quite right, after the food we’ve been eating here we have no intention of blowing anybody up. Our bodies are already being inflated quite adequately, and we love the people we’ve met here.

  3. I am so looking forward to your next garden discovery.

  4. We have never been to Pinocchio’s park at Collodi. We have seen it and driven past it, but have not been inspired to go in. That is still the case.

    • Yes, BdL, unless you have little people with you, I think Parco di Pinocchio can be driven past without missing too much.

      The Giardino Garzoni is sort of fun, though, but I’m sure there are lots of other great Tuscan gardens. Villa Reale in Marlia was a suggestion for the best one, though we didn’t get there on this trip.

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