Centuries ago there lived…
“A king!” my little readers will say immediately.
No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was
a piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far
from it. Just a common block of firewood, one of those
thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to
make cold rooms cozy and warm.
Do those words mean something to you?
It’s all about those first lines, which give life to Collodi’s masterpiece “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, one of the most famous classic children’s books in the world. Translated into 240 languages and with hundreds of editions published, the book has become the subject of films, cartoons, musicals and a whole host of monuments scattered around the globe.
Did you know? That wooden puppet made famous by Disney is, in fact, a story written by the Florentine writer Carlo Lorenzini, better known by his pseudonym Carlo Collodi who began writing his masterpiece in 1881.
He spent much of his childhood in Villa Garzoni, where his grandfather worked. An estate that was built as a fortress to card the Castello village, then became the country residence of the noble Garzoni family. Since then many well-known personalities have stayed there, including Napoleon Bonaparte an king Vittorio Emanuele III… and right here Pinocchio was allegedly written by Collodi.
So better known as “Pinocchio’s house” or the “Villa of a hundred windows” whose history dates back to 1366, it’s now for sale. With it comes its magnificent eighteenth century garden, a magical place, made up of green mazes, incredible staircases, statues and spectacular fountains. It is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved baroque gardens in Europe.
The villa is found in the Pescia comune, more precisely in the Collodi area (Tuscany region of Italy) which is where Carlo Lorenzini’s pseudonym comes from. It’s just 15 minutes from Lucca and 40 minutes from the sea.
The magnificent estate can be yours for just 19 million euros. It comes with a wonderful villa with large rooms, all decorated with frescos, which spread over the four floors all accessible via the incredible marble double-staircase. The garden too is included, the charming architectural wonder that is the ‘Summer Palace’ by the architect Diodati and various other buildings and land. But it doesn’t stop there! Also included in the sale are the ‘Bagnetti’, an old naturally occurring hot spring, and the ‘butterfly house’– a magnificent butterfly house made of glass where over the 400 m2 you can find hundreds of tropical and equatorial butterflies.
In 1870 the estate passed to Count Gardi dell’Ardenghesca, and bought in 2000 by Enrico Preziosi, owner of the famous Italian toyshop “Preziosi”, who wanted to make it into a sort of Disneyland next to the Pinocchio Park. A project which alas did not go very far.
In the meantime, the garden remains open to the public with an entrance ticket with which you can also visit the Butterfly House and the Pinocchio park, all within Collodi. Opened in 1956 in honour of the most famous puppet in the world and his creator, which has now been explored by over 7 million visitors from all over the world.
Live your fairytale for a day or for your whole life by buying this splendid villa or by visiting and wondering around the adventures of the puppet who became a real boy.
“How ridiculous I was as a Marionette! And how
happy I am, now that I have become a real boy!”