Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pinocchio Park

"The Adventures of Pinocchio" is a novel written in about 1880 by Carlo Lorenzini who took the pen name of Carlo Collodi. The book does not need much of an introduction as this is a well known classic for both children and adults. Pinocchio, first and foremost, is a Tuscan gem. The villages, the countryside and the Tuscany villas are scattered among the pages of Lorenzini’s famous work.

Carlo Lorenzini was born in Florence in 1826. He worked for years as a journalist and translator for various newspapers and publishing houses. During a stay at "Villa del Bel Riposo" in the Florentine hills, he conceived the best idea of his life: to tell the story of a wooden puppet who transforms into a real child. At "Villa del Bel Riposo", a souvenir plaque shows tourists the places and characteristics of the area that inspired Lorenzini to write his literary jewel.

Pinocchio's roots are to be found in Collodi, a small medieval village in the province of Pistoia. Lorenzini chose his pen name Collodi because it was a place that loved. His mother was born there and he spent part of his childhood living in the village. As well as ‘Pinocchio’, Collodi is known for its beautiful scenery and architecture. Among them are the Ancient Fortress and the beautiful "Villa Garzoni", which boasts a historic garden that features in all guidebooks dedicated to Tuscany villas.

The most important tourist attraction is Pinocchio Park, a true insight into the masterpiece of Lorenzini: buildings, statues and other works of art unfold along the way so that we can relive the most significant events of the novel.

Traces of Pinocchio in Tuscany are also found along the nature and walking trails. Simply go to Capannori, in the village of San Martino in Colle, and venture into the park where there is another of the Tuscany villas: Villa Carrara. Here you can find a tree that locals call the "Oak of Pinocchio." It is believed that here Lorenzini drew inspiration for the setting of the sad scene of Pinocchio’s hanging at the hands of the Cat and the Fox. The oak tree is really impressive and is in fact considered to be the second largest in the region.

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