Collodi and Pinocchio park
Collodi is famous throughout the world for having given the author of Pinocchio, Carlo Lorenzini, his nom de plume.
Seal of Quality
Collodi is famous throughout the world for having given the author of Pinocchio, Carlo Lorenzini, his nom de plume. But, Collodi is also a charming little Tuscan town, whose origins are found at the end of the 12th century. Its original and excellently preserved structure is in perfect harmony with the surrounding hills and today, as in the days of yore, it can only be explored on foot. Opening in front of the eyes of visitors are a ‘cascade’ of tiny stone houses clinging to a steep hillside. The top of the village is dominated by the ancient Rock and the Church of Saint Bartolomeo, whose interior contains a valuable organ dating back to the year 1762 while, at the bottom of the village, rises the majestic Villa Garzoni with its marvelous 17th century Baroque garden. And then there is the monumental Park of Pinocchio: a large open-air museum that arouses curiosity and offers total relaxation to visitors of all ages. It is an occasion for games and a dive into the world of fantasy for the young, and a highly cultural artistic experience for the not so young. In fact, the Park has been recognized as a contemporary art heritage cherished by art lovers.
In 2004, Collodi was bestowed the prestigious tourist-environmental quality certification, known as the “Orange Flag” trademark by the Italian Touring Club, which ranked it among the places that stand out for respect toward the environment, distinctiveness and reception culture.
An Organ melody
The parish church of St. Bartolomeo in Collodi is a fascinating and timeless place that can be reached at the top of the town by walking up the stairs that cling to the steep slopes of the hill. It is much loved by the inhabitants of the village and its interiors preserve several impressive works of art, such as the venerated crucifix by sculptor Guglielmo Santi from Lucca and, most of all, a precious organ constructed in 1762 by Craft Master Michelangelo Crudeli, who had moved to Lucca just a few years before. An extraordinary musical instrument with a pure sound, endowed with a wide range of concert registers of very singular characteristics, so much so that Collodi is included in the prestigious itinerary that focuses on historic organs throughout our territory.
The Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo (Italian Organ Academy) of Pistoia keeps the tradition of organ music alive through events, concerts, courses and publications. From time to time, the church of St. Bartolomeo hosts some of these exceptional concerts where the sophisticated melody produced by this magnificent organ can be fully enjoyed.
The magnificent Villa Garzoni soars majestically at the foot of the town of Collodi, a few kilometres from Pescia. The present layout of the villa was designed by Lucca architect Ottaviano Diodati in the 18th century, in collaboration with its owner, Marquis Romano Garzoni. But, the first testimonies of its existence date back to the first half of the 17th century. In fact, comments on the “beautiful villa in Collodi” were left at that time by painter Georg Christoph Martini, which give clues of its high renown. At the rear of the villa, a bright red building rises on a wide green lawn. This particularly interesting building was designed by Filippo Juvarra and is considered one of the most significant expressions of baroque architecture in Tuscany. The Villa interiors cannot be visited, but its impressive mass can be admired even from a distance because it sits high atop a gentle hill. The Villa’s superb baroque garden – one of the most beautiful examples of landscape architecture in Italy – stretches on one side of the palace and is definitely worthy of a visit.
The Villa Garzoni Garden in Collodi is one of the most beautiful parks to be found in Italy. It perfectly combines Renaissance geometry with the magnificence of the emerging Baroque style. This harmonious garden was designed in the 18th century by architect Ottaviano Diodati from Lucca.
Its terraced layout is characterized by two majestic stairways and a complex hydraulic system, which in past times was used to create pleasant special water effects. The lighthearted and playful atmosphere that reigns in the villa reached culminates in the Bagnetti (Bathroom Pavilion), where noblewomen and gentlemen could indulge in mischievous glances between jets of water, mirrors and leafy labyrinths.
A stroll among the marvels of this fanciful place is an absolutely unforgettable experience: grottos, natural theatres created by boxwoods, mythological statues, satyrs, female figures, peacock aviaries and bamboo forests.
Today, the Garden offers its harmony to all those who are fond of beauty and, in the summertime, hosts events and concerts that undoubtedly enhance its charm.
The “Butterfly House” is found inside the historical garden of Villa Garzoni in Collodi. Here, butterflies are allowed to fly freely across marvelous exotic gardens that are protected by natural, environmental-friendly control systems. The ecosystems of the Amazon, Neotropical, Afrotropical and Indoaustralian regions have been faithfully reproduced, in full respect of the requirements of the butterflies themselves. Among the species that can be found in the Butterfly House worthwhile mentioning are the moths, the mysterious night butterflies, and examples of the largest and rarest butterflies in the world. It is also possible to further study on their developmental stages (egg, larva, pupa), as well as on social and mating behavior.
The idea of beauty that butterflies inspire perfectly matches with the harmony that reigns in the Baroque garden of Villa Garzoni.
Children will have an opportunity to learn a bit more about the world of the Lepidoptera, while adults can indulge themselves in daydreams and fantasies while watching the butterfly’s free flight and brightly colored wings.
Fairytale Road is made for those who love to walk. It winds between Pescia and Collodi, rolling across the gentle hills that surround the two little towns. It owes its name to the original art installations scattered along the route that recall the world of childhood, creating the fairytale atmosphere of Pinocchio’s fable. If you are in Pescia, you can depart from the ancient Monastery of Saint Michael and take Via della Cappella (Chapel Road) that climbs up into the heart of the countryside. The road continues up to a medieval bridge that crosses the Dilezza stream where you will be plunged into the landscape of the Marzalle. Just lift your gaze and let yourself be enraptured by enchanting panoramas. Depending on your pace, you should reach Villa Garzoni and the town of Collodi after one and a half to two hours. Pinocchio’s hometown is a place that hovers between nature and fantasy, in an atmosphere of timeless magic.
The park of Pinocchio
The park of Pinocchio is in the nearby of Collodi's Garden from where you cross the river Pescia and on the left there is the entrance of the famous Toyland .
It has been built between 1956 and 1987.
To get in the Park of Pinocchio is as living a fairy tale.
In 1956 was inaugurated the bronze work, five meters high, symbolising the growth of Pinocchio from a puppet top a boy. In the small square , dated back to the same period, there are mosaics telling the main episodes of the imaginary adventures of the puppet. To the south of the park in 1972 Toyalnd was built.
A small gallery introduces to the Village of Pinocchio from where a stone path starts peopled by the statues representing the characters of the novel .
Once visited the park following the fable , you reach the Laboratory of words and figures , a place where time by time are organised exhibitions of the pictures done by the students for Pinocchio's birthday.
The Park of Pinocchio is a pleasant stop for grown ups and children.