I guess you all know that The Adventures of Pinocchio was inspired by Carlo Lorenzini‘s time in Collodi, which is a short drive from Bagni di Lucca. It is where his mother was born and he spent some happy childhood years there. The book is written under the pseudonym Carlo Collodi, echoing his love for the village.
Collodi decided to make the most of the connection, and in 1956 Pinocchio Park opened to welcome visitors to the world of Pinocchio. I visited on a quiet autumn day and had the park almost to myself…come for a walk with me.
Collodi is a pretty village ( the old bit ) and needs to be discovered another day.
A giant Ponocchio welcomes you to Collodi.
At the entrance is a lovely sculpture of Ponicchio with Geppetto.
Before you enter the park there is a museum with Pinocchio related artefacts.
…and a collection of Pinocchio books from different decades and countries.
The park has seen better days and could do with a bit of a makeover, but it still has a certain charm.
I particularly liked the tiny houses filled with puppets and Pinocchio characters.
The walking path winds through the park and there is a delightful character at every turn.
Special mention goes to the fox and the cat.
The cat is packing a gun…and a bottle of coke.
There is a fairly impressive pirate ship, which must be full of children in busy times.
The whale is even more impressive.
On the way out the gift shop has a little workshop like Geppetto’s.
Pinocchio Park has had some less than kind reviews on various sites, but I followed a little boy around the paths and he was excitedly explaining to his mother each of the characters he came upon. He knew them all and had a tale to tell about each one (with special voices and much arm waving) .
If you go, read the book beforehand and take a child who has read the book. It will be fun.
A single adult ticket costs €11, but for €15 the ticket includes the nearby Giardino Garzoni, which will be the subject of another post.