12 labyrinths and “magical” parks to visit in Italy

From Scarzuola in Bomarzo to the Masone Labyrinth, passing through less famous but equally fascinating gardens, a journey between nature and esotericism to get lost and find yourself amidst monsters, arcane symbols and stone gazes.

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed”. This is how Walt Whitman described the incomparable pleasure of a contact with nature, to regain an intimate and undisturbed relationship with Nature and with oneself.

If the garden has always evoked in the imagination a kaleidoscope of sensory emotions, the perceptual experience within a park can actually be very different depending on the design principles that inspired its genesis: pacifying and serene, as in the clear Italian gardens (Villa Garzoni Park); hermetic and esoteric, as in parks inspired by obscure symbologies and initiatory paths (Bosco Isabella, la Scarzuola, Tarot Garden); ludic, playful or intellectual, as in the thematic open-air museums dedicated to education (Pinocchio Park) and artistic expression (Musaba Museum Park, Chianti Sculpture Park, Celle Park); theatrical and “expressionist”, as in the gardens that evoke dreamlike and disquieting images (Bomarzo Wood, Enchanted Garden of the Heads).

The labyrinth is often a strongly characterizing element of the design: from Knossos, to Borges, to Kubrick (in The Shining), the labyrinth not only represents the thrill of losing one’s coordinates but also evokes a cathartic journey, through which one can possibly find oneself again (Labyrinth of the Masone, Labyrinth of Villa Garzoni, Labyrinth of the Donnafugata Castle).

In all cases, the common denominator is always the intimate balance between artifice and nature because, as the naturalist John Muir said, “in every walk in nature man receives much more than what he seeks”.

Latest on Architecture

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram