Did you know that Pinocchio was born in Tuscany? Carlo Lorenzini took the name of the charming village in which his mother was born and became Carlo Collodi. Collodi was born in Firenze and wrote many books – his most famous being The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1883.
Collodi, the setting that inspired his works, is situated between Lucca and Pistoia. Who wouldn’t start writing here? With tears in my eyes I dived into Collodi village as I realized the idea of having the invented child instead of the real one. The story of Pinocchio helps us conquer our fears, our outermost desires, and conflictions. Collodi’s Pinocchio Park and the Garzoni Garden will satisfy everybody’s desire for wonder.
As I came to Collodi, the many Pinocchio faces smiled at me in front of the main square – just across the Garzoni Garden. I was already in a fairytale when I saw the hilly picturesque surroundings. I wandered around looking for Pinocchio Park, as it was not obviously located. I finally came across the park; it was there around the corner from the main square. The ticket to Pinocchio Park included also Garzoni Garden and the Butterfly House; the single ticket to Pinocchio Park is of course available but why not take the advantage to see them all three?
Many school kids accompanied me as I entered Pinocchio Park. Though the whole park is situated outdoors, there’s a small museum with dolls and films near the entrance. Pinocchio is the star of the show, appearing in many forms throughout the park: Pinocchio on the horse, in the meadow, idle Pinocchio, Pinocchio in the story of mosaic and labyrinth, Pinocchio in chess, and saluting Pinocchio. The story of nature is the coulisse of the whole park, even within the river and adventure bridge. Village of Pinocchio is anchored through the cave and message of insouciance, the message of freedom. The desire that burns to be realized is that freedom. The characters of the story live their life in this sweet park.
The most impressive part of the park is that Monstro, the shark on the small lake, is actually the stage. Did you know that Gepetto and the Pinocchio were swallowed by Monstro?
It was near the Easter, so group of children shared a big chocolate egg. Pinocchio Park is the imaginary world that can give wings to every child and adult.
What a lovely garden! As the village itself, the garden is a cascade of art. Accompanied by the restaurant, this garden offers glance into the history of the Garzoni family, whose home (aptly named Villa Garzoni) sits above the village. The sculptures were elegantly posted around the gardens to show the history and importance of the family. A statue of the Garzoni couple looking at each other will amaze you as they stand like real sovereigns at the top of the stairs. Above them, a statue of a musician is playing with water in his airiness and the mosaics of the garden. The view of flowerbeds and fountain down reveals with every step a new fantasy. Hidden statues like the turc convince the importance.
The spring is shining when the flowers show their faces from the collection of camelias to magnolias sticked in symbiosis with the lemon. Even the animals you will find here appear to be magic from behind the fence, from peacocks to parrots. Giant bamboos add to the aura. This is the truly one of the most beautiful garden in Italy and when you go out in the line of spiral plant the excitement is indescribable. Many cultural events and concerts take place in this garden.
The Butterfly House is a tropical garden with thousands of butterflies that fly free which will enrich your experience in Collodi. As I said above, you can buy a bundled ticket that gets you into all three area attractions, so why not check the Butterfly House out?
Fairytale Road is a walking route between Pescia and Collodi. It is named due to the original art installation invoking the childhood times. You’ll need 1.5-2 hours to stroll down this path, but it will feel like eternity in the magical hills.
All in All
Impressions differ but one thing is for sure: the village of Collodi will take you into the dream kingdom where those dreams have possibility to become reality. Just like the little wooden puppet became the real boy. Coming up with our prejudices towards the world or ourselves will stop here. Collodi village is a heritage that needs to be discovered, aimed for like the empire we all hide within.