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Largest Labyrinth in the World Soon to Reopen

The largest labyrinth in the world, the Masone Labyrinth, is located in Italy and is also a place rich in art and culture. Soon, it will be reopening to visitors once winter is over.

Born in 2015 in Fontanellato (in the province of Parma, Italy), the Labirinto della Masone was the creation of Franco Maria Ricci – publisher, designer, art collector, and bibliophile who died in 2020 – and Argentine Jorge Luis Borges who had always been fascinated by symbol of the labyrinth both in a metaphysical key and as a metaphor of the human condition.

The Labirinto della Masone is the heart of a real and imaginary village at the same time, as its creator thought and designed it together with architects Pier Carlo Bontempi and Davide Dutto.

It is a cultural park that extends for 8 hectares and encloses vegetation, various buildings that house art and book collections, and a café, a restaurant-bistro, and a Parmesan gastronomic space curated by chef Andrea Nizzi and by the staff of the 12 monks, in addition to 2 suites where it is possible to overnight.

The labyrinth, inspired by the ancient Roman form of classical labyrinths, but reworked by introducing here and there crossroads and dead ends, is made entirely of bamboo plants – in total almost 300,000 – belonging to about twenty different species between 30 centimeters and 15 meters high. Bamboo was chosen because it is an evergreen plant and the strength is the high photosynthesis which reduces carbon dioxide.

Franco Maria Ricci gives this explanation for the choice of bamboo:

“Behind my house in Milan, there is a sort of  hortus conclusus, a little garden surrounded by high walls. At first I didn’t know what to do with it; but one day a kind and knowledgeable Japanese gardener suggested that I plant a small bamboo forest there I went to Provence to buy the little bamboo I needed, and it was there that I discovered the Bambouseraie d’Anduze. It is a nursery with around 200 different species of bamboo and is the largest plantation in Europe.

“The bamboo instantly grew well in my little garden in Milan.  I was fast falling under the spell of the plant. I went back to the  Bambouseraie but this time, I bought far more: I had decided to plant a bamboo garden on the land surrounding my country house in Fontanellato.

“Again, the experiment proved to be a success. Until then, there had been no link between the bamboo and the Labyrinth; but one day inspiration struck. It was a plant which provided the perfect material for building it.”

Image courtesy of labirintodifrancomariaricci.it

About the author

Mario Masciullo - eTN Italy

Mario is a veteran in the travel industry.
His experience extends worldwide since 1960 when at the age of 21 he started exploring Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
Mario has seen the World Tourism develop up to date and witnessed the
destruction of the root/testimony of the past of a good number of countries in favor of modernity/progress.
During the last 20 years Mario's travel experience has concentrated in South East Asia and of late included the Indian Sub Continent.

Part of Mario's work experience includes multi activities in the Civil Aviation
field concluded after organizing the kik off of for Malaysia Singapore Airlines in Italy as an Institutor and continued for 16 years in the role of Sales /Marketing Manager Italy for Singapore Airlines after the split of the two governments in October 1972.

Mario's official Journalist license is by the "National Order of Journalists Rome, Italy in 1977.

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