We all know Parque Güell in Barcelona, but how many of you have heard of Parco dei Tarocchi (The Tarot Garden)?
Take the Tuscan country side and some cool works of art (you can walk into!) and Voilà.
You have this awesome park created by the french/american artist Niki de Saint!
A shout out has to go to Marianna because she organised the whole day.
From the idea to go, to the picnic before entering the park, to the tour of Capalbio – so Marianna grazie grazie!
Parco dei Tarocchi | A Quick History
According to The Tarot Garden website, Niki de Saint Phalle visits Spain in 1955 and is deeply inspired by Antoni Gaudí.
For those that have never heard that name, Gaudì, is know as the creator of Park Güell in Barcelona, amongst other things.
Niki’s travels also took her from Central France to California, from Stockholm through to the Parco di Bomarzo in Lazio, Italy.
Each stop was a building block to what would become her dream, creating a magical sculpture garden based on the arcane symbols of Tarots.
Started in 1979, Niki de Saint Phalle devoted herself to the construction of the twenty-two impressive steel and concrete figures.
Each individually covered with glass, mirrors and colored ceramics. To understand the artistry behind each amazing representation, one must get up close and personal.
The project took over 17 years to complete, however, in this time, Niki was able to work side by side many famous contemporary artists.
The likes of Rico Weber, Sepp Imhof, Paul Wiedmer, Dok van Winsen, Pierre Marie and Isabelle Le Jeune, Alan Davie and Marino Karella all took part in the project.
Niki’s husband, Jean Tinguely, was also involved in the creation of the metal sculptures found within the park. He later died in 1991, 5 years before the official completion.
Important not to forget the many skills architects and workers that were also needed in making this project a reality.
The cost? 10 billion Italian Lira, which in today’s world translates to 5 million euros (nearly 5.5 million US$!).
Parco dei Tarocchi | Still a Hidden Secret
After my day trip to Capalbio, where the park is located, I took to Instagram to share this amazing sight.
To my surprise many had left comments never having heard of this amazing park before!
I knew I was on to something when I caught a cab, and discussing the highs and lows of living in Italy (as you do) with the driver, I told him about Parco dei Tarocchi.
He too had never heard about it before and to my surprise, this seemed to be a recurrent theme amongst friends as well!
That is why I always tell anybody visiting Italy, ask us locals for tips and tricks because you just never know what you might get!
The Tarot Garden | Grandiose Structures or Works of Art?
Each structure looks painted onto the canvas that is the Tuscan country side. It truly is gorgeous and its a fun day with family and/or with friends.
Did I mention you can walk into many of the arcane tarots?
Parco dei Tarocchi in Photos
Useful Parco dei Tarocchi Info!
Located in Capalbio, the park is a 1.5 hour drive from central Rome.
Gates open at 2:30pm – 7:30pm in spring/summer and at 5:30pm during autumn/winter.
I went on 25 April, 2017 and it was pretty busy.
If you want to have the park to yourself (but suffer the heat) you should look at around end of June/July.
Details on prices, opening times etc make sure to check out the The Tarot Card Website.