Get lost in the world’s biggest maze! The “Labirinto della Masone” (Masone Labyrinth) opened in Fontanellato, near Parma in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, last week.
The labyrinth, which covers eight hectares and is made up of 200,000 bamboo plants of different varieties measuring up to five meters high, was conceived by Italian publisher, bibliophile and art collector Franco Maria Ricci.
The star-shape labyrinth, which features three kilometers of inside pathways, has a building complex at its center that includes Ricci’s art collection of 500 paintings, sculptures and design objects dating from the 16th to the 20th century; the headquarters of the publishing house Franco Maria Ricci; and a library containing 15,000 volumes on typography and graphic design, including many of the works printed by the 18th-century Parma typographer and publisher Giambattista Bodoni, who designed the serif typeface of the same name (the one we use for the ITALY Mag website!). At the center of the labyrinth is also a 2,000-square-meter piazza, where concerts, exhibitions and cultural events will be hosted.
Ricci came up with the idea of building a maze decades ago, inspired by his writer friend Jorge Luis Borges, who was fascinated with labyrinths. Ricci sees mazes as symbolic of the human condition: “It reflects the puzzled experience we have of reality”.
The Masone Labyrinth is open Wednesday to Monday, 10.30am to 7.00pm. For more information, click here.