Garden Decor · Garden Design · Italy

The Mysterious Bamboo Forest and Labyrinth in Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy.

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.

The Labyrinth.

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 entrance to the Labyrinth, Garzoni garden, Italy.
The entrance to the Labyrinth, Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy.

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.

A close-up of the wall running beside the maze, Garzoni garden, Italy.
A close-up of the wall running beside the maze, Garzoni Garden, Italy.

Close by and crossing over part of the labyrinth is a stone bridge from which the maze could be observed.

A bridge beside labyrinth area, Villa Garzoni gardens.
A bridge above the labyrinth area, Villa Garzoni Gardens.

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.

One of the grottos and sculptures located close to the labyrinth, Garzoni garden, Italy.
One of the grottos and sculptures located close to the labyrinth, Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy.

 

Another grotto with a sculpture depicting a young lady. Villa Garzoni garden, Italy.
Another grotto with a sculpture depicting a young lady. Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy.

 

One more grotto presenting a warrior, perhaps Hercules, probably with his victim. Garzoni Garden, Italy.
One more grotto presenting a warrior, perhaps Hercules, probably with his victim. Garzoni Garden, Italy.

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.

 

The bamboo forest in Garzoni garden, Italy.
The bamboo forest in Garzoni Garden, Italy.

I have never been in bamboo forest before, so I have enjoyed the experience.

I am exploring the bamboo forest in Garzoni garden, Italy.
I am exploring the bamboo forest in Garzoni garden, Italy.

 

A bench beside bamboo forest in Garzoni garden. It could be a nice place to sit, read a book, or perhaps to meet with a friend and enjoy a good company and some shade during a hot day.
A bench beside bamboo forest in Villa Garzoni Garden. It could be a nice place to sit, read a book, or perhaps to meet with a friend to enjoy a good company and some shade during a hot day.

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.

A stone bench in Villa Garzoni garden, Italy.
A stone bench in Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy.

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.

Roses blooming in Villa Garzoni garden, Italy. There is a beautiful, big, shiny green beetle in one of the roses in the center, if you can see it.
Roses blooming in Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy. There is a beautiful, big, shiny green beetle in one of the roses in the center, if you can see it.

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.

 

Another view on the pink roses from Garzoni garden, Italy.
Another view on the pink roses from Garzoni Garden, Italy.

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.

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 my 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.

Other Articles You Might Also Like to Read.

  1. Villa Garzoni Gardens, Italy – Part One – Meet some Cheeky Fantasy Animals.
  2. Villa Garzoni Garden, Italy – Part Two.
  3. How to Choose the Best Tomato Plants For Your Garden – Part 1.
  4. Visiting Niagara Park’s Botanical Gardens, Part 1.
  5. Visiting Niagara Park’s Botanical Gardens, Part 2.
  6. Roses Blooming in our garden – Part 1.
  7. Roses Blooming in our garden – Part 2.
  8. How to Prepare Roses for Winter.
  9. Memorial Day Rose.
  10. Growing Eden Climbing Rose.
  11. Plants Which Can Thrive on Neglect – Part 1.
  12. A Beautiful Italian Garden For You to Visit – “Giardino Sigurtà” in Valeggio sul Mincio, Northern Italy.

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