Did you know that the largest labyrinth in the world is located in Italy? In Masone, a locality near Fontanellato, in the province of Parma, stretches seven hectares of the fascinating Labirinto della Masone conceived and designed by the publisher Franco Maria Ricci, a passionate art and bibliophile collector who has dedicated the last ten years to bringing this monumental green labyrinth to life. Reachable in about 1 hour by car from our farmhouse, the labyrinth is composed entirely of bamboo plants (there are about 200,000 in total), belonging to about 20 different species, between 30 centimeters and 15 meters tall.

Designed by Ricci with architects Pier Carlo Bontempi and Davide Dutto, the labyrinth stretches for more than three kilometers and is inspired by the classical shape of Roman labyrinths, with four interconnected fields that develop around a central square. As for the choice of bamboo, it is related to a passion Ricci had, which arose in the 1980s. Bamboo is an evergreen, elegant, supple, vigorous and fast-growing plant, but above all, it is capable of absorbing a large amount of carbon dioxide and returning large amounts of oxygen. Among the bamboo species used are Phyllostachys bissetii, which is particularly well suited to harsh climates; Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis,’ which can reach 15 meters in height; and Phyllostachys Aureasulcata ‘Spectabilis,’ whose culms at the base often have a curious zig-zag pattern.

The labyrinth is a multifaceted place where nature and architecture blend to perfection. The buildings within it are inspired by the neoclassical architectural utopias of Boullée, Lequeu, Ledoux and Antolini, which, designed following the canons of Italian and European tradition, blend harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. The Labyrinth of the Masone complex houses cultural spaces covering more than 5,000 square meters allocated: to Franco Maria Ricci’s magnificent art collection with about five hundred works spanning five centuries of Art History, from the 16th to the 20th century; and to a library dedicated to the most illustrious examples of typography and graphic design, including many works by Giambattista Bodoni and the entire output of Alberto Tallone. The collection is complemented by all the books edited by Franco Maria Ricci over fifty years. There is also a pyramid-shaped chapel inside, commemorating the ancient connection between labyrinths and faith.

Inside the labyrinth, the objective of the route is to reach the pyramid, following a series of numbered artifacts, from which you can enjoy an extraordinary view from above. The labyrinth can be covered in about half an hour, although it is pleasant to linger longer to admire the beauty of the path. In addition to the extraordinary experience offered by the labyrinth’s path, the complex also features several collateral facilities that enshrine its nature as an ideal place for leisure, in fact, attached to the structure are also a Bottega, a Cafeteria and a Bistrò where you can enjoy local delicacies.

In addition, Fontanellato, with its splendid historic center, the Rocca Sanvitale, and Parmigianino’s frescoes, contains an extraordinary artistic heritage that is truly worth discovering.

The Labyrinth of the Masone is open every day, including holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays and the holidays of December 25 and January 1. Opening hours are from 10:30 am to 7 pm. The ticket office is open until 6 p.m. The visit has no time limit, but it is good to allow at least an hour and a half to see the bamboo maze, galleries and temporary exhibitions.

For more information see the official web site of Labirinto della Masone.

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Welcome to il Brugnolo

If you’re looking for completely independent apartments surrounded by greenery you really are in the right place here!

In fact, Brugnolo is immersed in the green nature of the Emilian countryside. For your relaxation, for that of your children, and again for the runs of your 4-legged friends, you will have 6000 square meters of park at your disposal!

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