In 1952 the municipality decided to build the Pinocchio Park in Collodi from which the writer, Carlo Lorenzini (1826-1890), author of the most widely read fairy tale in the world, took the pseudonym because his mother was born there. This is one of the most suitable destinations for school trips in Tuscany and as a park for family entertairtment.
The Adventures of Pinocchio, was published in 1883. The book stems from a collection of episodes published in the Children’s Journal. We can interpret Pinocchio’s tale as a metaphor of a journey that coincides with a gradual metamorphosis of its protagonist: from the wooden puppet stage, then to the animal (donkey) stage and finally to the psyche stage, the achievement of a human form.
The park’s history can be divided into three historical phases corresponding to three distinct areas: the 1956 inauguration, which corresponds to the creation of the Pinocchio Village with the Piazzetta dei mosaici by Venturino Venturi and the Sculpture of Pinocchio by Emilio Greco; the 1972 phase when the Paese dei Balocchi was built based on a project by architects Pietro Porcinai and Marco Zanuso including twenty works of art by Consagra; and the 1986 phase when the Laboratorio delle parole e delle figure was added. This construction was based on sketches by the architect Giovanni Michelucci, who in 1963 built a restaurant in the form of shrimp with large protective claws. Recently there have been new additions to the park such as Pinopoli (Pinocchio’s European friends Park) and the Butterfly House, an enormous glass-house full of flowers and butterflies.
The trail winds through the park amongst vegetable environments that enhance Consagra’s characters. Prof. Rolando Anzilotti, founder of the park wrote: “The first part of the Pinocchio Park is a synthesis, a synthesis of the meaning of the story, and the Paese dei Balocchi part is its analysis. While the synthesis space is blocked, the analysis space expands and unfolds over time, or rather, it creates a series of feelings and reflections in those who walk through this path that can be considered a concrete interpretation of thoughts stimulated by encounters as we move on in life. ”
The garden has been designed as a monument that allows children to live, step by step, the story of the puppet in an environment that recreates the fairy tale’s atmosphere. The artists created this monument-space in order to enable children to get closer to contemporary art with something familiar; something with which they could interact. The guided tour created by the landscapist Pietro Porcinai was designed with great care in order to allow the visitor to go through the key moments of the story in no corresponding chronological order.
The Pinocchio Park was the forerunner of all other environmental art parks in Tuscany. It was the first example of the union between contemporary art and nature, linked to the location’s identity, a “genius loci”. Among the Italian park-museums, Pinocchio helps us develop greater awareness and understanding of our cultural heritage which is unique in the world and far away from artificial theme parks artificial such as Disneyland, which are becoming more and more popular in Italy.
There are numerous films based on The Adventures of Pinocchio; the 1910 film by Ernesto Pasquali, the 1940 American cartoon by Walt Disney and the 1972 television series directed by Luigi Comencini , with the delightful actor Nino Manfredi in the role of Geppetto!
Useful links: official website www.pinocchio.it, related sites www.giovannimichelucci, www.museo venturinoventuri, www.pietroconsagra.it, www.pietroporcinai.it.