Italy · Public Gardens · Travel

Villa Garzoni, Italy – Part 1 – Meet Some Cheeky Fantasy Animals.

I have visited Villa Garzoni gardens in Italy a few year ago and I was very impressed with its beauty and somehow enchanted atmosphere. I plan to show you some more pictures from this amazing place in one of my next articles. For now I just would like to introduce you to Villa Garzoni and present a small part of this garden depicting some fantasy cheeky looking animals.

A view on Villa Garzoni gardens, Italy.
A view on Villa Garzoni gardens, Italy.

This one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy was designed, along with the villa, for the influential Garzoni family and build and redesigned over the course of about 170 years.  The construction of the gardens has began around 1650, probably following the design of marquis Romano di Alessandro Garzoni. 

The design skillfully merges the geometric influence of Renascence style with the lively and spectacular Baroque.  The gardens were completed in 18th century by Ottaviano Diodati, an architect from Lucca, who worked on creating the great cascade running from the top of the mountain to the grotto located around the middle of the hill.

Villa Garzoni gardens, Italy.
Villa Garzoni gardens, Italy.

Villa Garzoni gardens are located on the steep slopes of the hill above the village of Collodi in the province of Pistoia in Tuscany.  I was amazed by the number of sculptures, stairs, cascades, secret grottos and depicted there fantasy beings.

Since this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge prompt isCheeky“, I would like to start to show you these gardens by presenting a particularly original part of Villa Garzoni located up the hill, well above the main staircase.

I was really impressed and quite bewildered when I have discovered this part of the gardens where 4 fantasy animals looking like a cross between dinosaurs and birds were seating above a couple of caves, as you can see in the pictures below.

Villa Garzoni, Italy.
Four fantasy animals at Villa Garzoni, Italy.

They are fantastic, but at the same time looking very realistic. I wonder who has designed them and how they got their idea. Since they are part of the great cascade, Ottaviano Diodati was probably the artist who has imagined them. I guess at this time people must have already discovered some dinosaur bones and it has probably inspired the artist to create these fantasy beasts.  They look like a cross between some kind of dinosaurs raptors and birds. Actually some dinosaurs had feathers, so perhaps similar animals have existed millions of years ago and still need to be discovered.

The term “Dinosaur” was first used in the 19th century, in 1842 when paleontologist Richard Owen created this word derived from the Greek deinos, meaning “terrible” or “fearfully great,” and sauros, meaning “lizard” or reptile.”

Dinosaurs at Villa Garzoni, Italy.
Fantasy beasts – a cross between dinosaurs and birds at Villa Garzoni, Italy.

Here you can take a closer look at these fantasy animals. They seem to be protecting their nests. I think the whole group is part of a huge fountain and once water was cascading from the top of the hill.

One of the dinosaurs at Villa Garzoni, Italy.
One of the mysterious animals at Villa Garzoni, Italy.

The fountain was not really working when I was in Villa Garzoni gardens, but at least there was a pond in front of the “dinosaurs’ ” caves.

Villa Garzoni, Italy.
Strange looking fantasy animals at Villa Garzoni, Italy.

Visiting the gardens certainly makes a wonderful half-day (or longer) trip from Lucca or Florence, and I highly recommend it. Once there you can also visit Pinocchio Park located close by. Here is a good article with more information about both gardens and how to get there.

As I have mentioned, I will also write more about my visit to Villa Garzoni and show you many more photographs from this interesting trip, so stay tuned and subscribe to my blog.

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – “Cheeky”.

I think these fantasy beast are quite “cheeky” and work well for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge prompt, which is “Cheeky“. You can also see how I have interpreted this theme on my Light Vision blog here.

Please Comment on this Blog.

Do you like my interpretation of this week’s photo challenge “Cheeky”?  Tell us about the the most interesting gardens you have visited.

Following and Sharing this Blog.

If you like this blog post, please share it with other people who might be inserted in reading it as well.  Thank you. I  encourage you to follow or subscribe to this blog to receive automatic updates, so you won’t miss future posts.  I look forward to your comments.

The Copyright, Usage Licence and Fine Art Prints.

All photographs and this article are copyrighted by me, Renata Ratajczyk unless otherwise mentioned. I you would like to use any of them in your publications, on your website, or purchase these photographs as fine art prints.please contact me.

My Other Blog – Light Vision.

If you like this blog, you might also like to visit my other blog – Light Vision, where I write about photography, art and travel. Thank you for visiting, liking and sharing my blogs.

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