Pinocchio Park in Collodi

Place: Collodi, Pescia (PT), via San Gennaro, 3

Authors: Pietro Consagra, Emilio Greco, Pietro Porcinai, Venturino Venturi, Marco Zanuso Renato Baldi, Lionello De Luigi (general setting); Pietro Consagra, Emilio Greco (scuptures); Pietro Porcinai (landscape); Venturino Venturi (mosaics); Marco Zanuso (extension); Giovanni Michelucci (Osteria del Gambero Rosso)

Chronology: 1953 | 1972

Itinerary: Italy goes on vacation

Use: Leisure park

In 1953, on the seventieth anniversary of the publication of the fairy tale “Pinocchio”, the municipality of Pescia announced a national competition for a monument dedicated to the famous character. The jury awarded the prize ex aequo to Renato Baldi with Emilio Greco, and to Lionello De Luigi along with Venturino Venturi. In 1956, the Pinocchio park was built; it consists of a monument by Emilio Greco, a small space bordered by mosaic decorated walls by Venturino Venturi, and a garden designed by Renato Baldi and Lionello De Luigi. During the inauguration, the committee announced its intention to add two buildings to the park: the museum-library and the Gambero Rosso tavern. The design of the latter, located at the entrance to the park, was entrusted to Giovanni Michelucci.

Michelucci designed the tavern by mixing figurative elements taken from the tale, those belonging to traditional Tuscan taverns, and elements inspired by rural architecture in general, along with those that characterize his poetics. The hall is covered by a large roof with two asymmetrical pitches, supported by a sequence of branched columns; between the columns are set the upper floor walkway and the large fireplace with its truncated pyramid hood are set.

The branched columns that would become one of the identifying elements of Michelucci’s architecture were used here for the first time. They are made of reinforced concrete and coloured red, with their complex shape evoking the claws of a red prawn (gambero rosso).

In the following years, the park was extended to an adjacent area of ​​over one hectare; the Carlo Collodi Foundation assigned the project to Marco Zanuso. The “Paese dei Balocchi” consists of a series of sculptures and small pavilions that reconstruct the story’s different episodes. Among these are the bronze sculptures of Pinocchio by Pietro Consagra and Marco Zanuso’s whale and pirate ship.

Pietro Porcinai was entrusted with the landscaping and choice of vegetation. The project includes several clearings bounded by thick evergreen hedges. Inside the clearings, sculptures and small constructions, surrounded by deciduous plants and annual plants, tell episodes of the story.

Text Gianpaola Spirito
Photos by Emanuele Piccardo