The town of Collodi receives some fame despite its miniscule size. Not only is it the home of Pinocchio, the beloved puppet created by author Carlo Lorenzini, who was from Collodi, but it hosts the spectacular baroque Villa Garzoni. The Lucca-style aristocratic villa was built by the noble Garzoni family, who were allied with Lucca against the Republic of Firenze. The villa is their country palace, a residence for relaxing in the hills surrounded by nature. They created a beautiful home that takes advantage of the landscape, set on four levels, which you can tour during your visit to see the original, period furnishings still in their original splendor.

But it is the garden that garners the most attention. Set into the steep hillside, it uses terraces to make a magical place of hidden corners under foliage, manicured paths, beds of flowers, topiaries, a bamboo grove, a theater and a hedgerow labyrinth that you access by passing below a floral archway. The slope harnesses the water to feed the many fountains, and scattered among the various garden sections is an army of baroque style sculptures. It is a gorgeous and romantic place, where many a couple has become engaged under the fronds or within the depths of the maze.

The Villa Garzoni anchors the lower end of the tiny village of Collodi where it tumbles down its hillside. A cute town, it's worth a visit, with the additional attractions of the Butterfly House and the Pinocchio Park being included in the ticket price. Pinocchio Park is a theme garden dedicated to the world-famous marionette, created by beloved author Carlo Lorenzini, who took his hometown's name as his pen name. The Butterfly House is a delightful pavilion full of the peaceful and colorful creatures.

Collodi is located near Pescia and Lucca in northern Tuscany.

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Address in Collodi:

Piazza della Vittoria.

Ph. +39 057 242 7314.

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