Collodi, Tuscany, Italy
Collodi is a village in Tuscany made worldwide famous by the author of The Adventures of Pinocchio, the best-known and most printed non-religious book of all times. The author’s name was Carlo Lorenzini, but he chose “Collodi” as his pen name. This is a sign of his bond with this small town: his mother was born and raised here and Carlo spent part of childhood here, also returning several times as an adult to visit his mother’s family. This bond is also reflected in the plaque composed by Collodi’s close friend, the philologist Giuseppe Rigutini, for the birthplace of the writer’s mother just after his death in 1890.
We can imagine Carlo as a child, between 1830 and 1840, running freely through the streets of the old town or among wonders of the Garzoni Garden next to the Villa, whose owners employed his grandfather as farm manager, while his mother worked as a chamber maid for the marchioness Marianna Garzoni Venturi.
The two places have not changed much since then. The ancient village of Collodi Castello – behind Villa Garzoni – has preserved its appearance as a medieval fortified village, and even now you can only pass through it on foot. The majestic Garzoni Garden is one of the most beautiful and best preserved Baroque-style gardens in Europe. Together with Pinocchio Park, they make this corner of Tuscany magical and unique.
Recent additions (promoted and implemented by the Collodi Foundation itself or in collaboration with local authorities and cultural institutions) characterise the village as the place of Pinocchio, while respecting its history and typical appearance: the murals featuring Pinocchio from the “Collodi, a painted village” competition (2006); the monument to Carlo Collodi, which won the competition for Art Schools and Institutes organised by the Foundation on the centenary of Carlo Collodi’s death (1990); and the delightful and impressive world’s tallest wooden Pinocchio, created for the Foundation by skilled carpenters from French Switzerland, which stands in the middle of a small garden that allows travellers to rest and emphasises the spirit of the place.
The life of Collodi is increasingly characterised by its association with Carlo Collodi and Pinocchio. In addition to its existing artistic and historical attractions and cultural activities, which have made it a place symbolising childhood, new projects are being developed: one for a Collodi-Pinocchio Theme Park and one for a European Fairy Tale Route.
Collodi is a district of Pescia, an ancient town whose surroundings feature a wealth of natural beauty, art and history, and which is close to some of the most extraordinary artistic and natural beauties of Tuscany: Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Vinci, Montecatini Terme, Pistoia, Forte dei Marmi, Versilia, Abetone and the Pistoia Apennines.