I have already written two articles about Villa Garzoni Garden in Northern Italy and you can see here part one and part two. It is an amazing, very beautiful and huge garden created over the span of about 170 years. It is considered as one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy and it was build on the steep hill above the village of Collodi in the region of Pistoia in Tuscany. It was designed for an aristocratic family of Garzoni, along with an adjacent villa. The work on the garden has begun in 1650 and was completed in 18th century.
Since I have already showed you most of this garden in my previous two articles, to which links I will provide below, today I will only write about more remote and almost secret part of this garden, which is located much further up and back from the main garden, closer to the villa. I will also tell you about some famous or prominent people who have visited this place, as well as about its more contemporary history.
You have to climb to the upper part of the garden to follow the path, which leads you to a very interesting feature of this garden – the labyrinth. It is one of the oldest parts of the garden and originally it was bigger. Labyrinths could have various symbolic meaning and might be used in a number of ways. In Christian religion they often symbolized a pilgrimage. In various cultures they were used for prayer and meditation, amusement, or even protection of things or people hidden inside, or behind it, like in the legend of Theseus and Minotaur.
Here is the entrance to the labyrinth in Villa Garzoni Garden.
The maze at Garzoni Garden was probably used mostly for the entertainment of the owners of the villa and their guests. The story says that it was a place of amorous meeting for knights and ladies, who perhaps liked to get lost in there, to precede further to more isolated part of the garden, which is close by. It also could be used for a quiet, meditative walks.
This labyrinth today is not too big and consists of a few paths following different directions and is divided by tall hedges of some shrubs, which add to the privacy of the walk.
Close by and crossing over part of the labyrinth is a stone bridge from which the maze could be observed.
Many man-made grottos, with a variety of sculptures, are close by to the labyrinth, as well as in other parts of the garden. Here are a few of them, which I have found beside the labyrinth. They were often in pretty shady locations, and because of that, sometimes hard to be photographed.
Walking further down the path close to the labyrinth I have discovered a bamboo forest. It could make a nice hiding place for the knights and ladies, or just to take a walk and enjoy the nature.
I have never been in bamboo forest before, so I have enjoyed the experience.
On the way going back towards the front of the garden, I have found this interesting, stone bench overgrown with a moss. It is probably several centuries old.
Some Famous People Who Were in Villa Garzoni Garden.
Certainly many people have enjoyed this amazing, famous garden, even including Napoleon Bonaparte, who visited the villa, as a guest invited by his sister Elisa Baciocchi, who govern Lucca in the beginning of 19th century. Maybe he was even sitting on this bench enjoying the company of his sisters.. Also King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III has visited this place around 1910, as well as the Ambassador of the United States who was here in the 1920s.
The well-known writer Carlo Lorenzini, the author of the book “Pinocchio”, knew this garden very well since he was often coming here as a child while his grandparents worked in the villa as cooks. Some experts of his work believe that the kitchen he described in Pinocchio as Mangiafuoco, was inspired by Villa’s Garzoni kitchen. You can find out more about Carlo Lorenzini and enjoy Pinocchio story at the near-by Pinocchio Park.
If you come to Villa Garzoni Garden, you can discover some more of the famous visitors to this place in the Historical, Artistic and Environmental Documentation Centre located close to the entrance.
Here are some beautiful roses I have found close to the gate to Garzoni Garden.
The Restoration of Villa Garzoni and Villa Garzoni Garden.
By the end of 19th century, the villa and Garzoni Garden was in poor condition and in the second half of the 1920s the last descendant of the Garzoni’s family has sold the estate. The Garzoni Villa and Garden Complex was recognized as the Italian national monument already in 1909, however it was in ruins till at least December 2000, when fortunately the toy manufacturer Enrico Preziosi decided to buy and restore it. After so long neglect, the current owner has very nicely restored it in the collaboration with the National Carlo Collodi Foundation. The management and care of the garden is in the hands of its subsidiary Sviluppo Turistico Collodi srl. At the moment, only the Garzoni Garden is open to the public.
I encourage you to visit this amazing, dream-like garden. Here is some more information about how to get to Villa Garzoni Garden, as well as to Pinocchio Park in Collodi. I will also add links to my two other articles about Villa Garzoni Garden below this article.
What Has Inspired Me to Write this Article – the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – “Out of this World”.
I was inspired to write this article by this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge prompt – “Out of this World“. I think this article works very well for this subject since Villa Garzoni Garden is really extraordinary and almost dream-like. You might also like to see how I have interpreted this theme on my Light Vision blog.
Following and Sharing this Blog.
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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.
Other Articles You Might Also Like to Read.
- Villa Garzoni Gardens, Italy – Part One – Meet some Cheeky Fantasy Animals.
- Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy – Part Two.
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- Visiting Niagara Park’s Botanical Gardens, Part 2.
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- Roses Blooming in our garden – Part 2.
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- A Beautiful Italian Garden For You to Visit – “Giardino Sigurtà” in Valeggio sul Mincio, Northern Italy.