“Once upon a time: a child who became a writer, a castle that became a mansion, a bush that became a garden, a piece of wood that became a child, a book that became a park.”
In Collodi, a medieval village in the province of Pistoia, Tuscany, you relive the world’s most famous Italian fairy tale or “The Adventures of Pinocchio” thanks to the park of the same name.
Don’t expect an amusement park such as, for example, Leolandia or Gardaland, in the Pinocchio park in Collodi you have fun but you also breathe a lot of culture: in no time you will find yourself catapulted back in time among the ancient rides and art installations. We really enjoyed it very much!
Below is all the information you need to best organize your visit to Pinocchio Park in Collodi and the Garzoni Gardens, which are included in the ticket (but absolutely worth a visit in any case).
History of Pinocchio Park in Collodi
I really liked the story of the birth of the Pinocchio park in Collodi and I am reporting it to you.
In the 1950s, Rolando Anzillotti, a politician and man of letters born in Pescia, wanted to build a park where he could revive the magic of the Pinocchio fairy tale. But he did not have the economic resources to be able to carry out his project.
So Anzillotti, had a great idea: he turned to all the children of Italy! So many responded and each donated a lira.
Thanks to those donations, it was possible to buy the land and commission the first two works namely “Pinocchio and the Fairy” and the “Little Square of Mosaics.” The park could be opened in this way in 1956.
Over the years, the park has been expanded and now houses all the characters from the Pinocchio fairy tale, numerous works of art, temporary exhibitions also inspired by Pinocchio.
There is also a virtual library where one can flip through the pages of the book in various translations.
▶ Curiosity– The creator of the Pinocchio fable was actually not named Carlo Collodi but Carlo Lorenzini.
Since his mother worked at Villa Garzoni, the writer wanted to pay homage to his childhood town by choosing “Collodi” as his stage name when he began serializing the story of the world’s most famous puppet in 1883.
Pinocchio Park in Collodi: what to do
A map of the park is provided at the entrance, and children are slipped a differently colored bracelet on their wrists according to age so that their colleagues inside can know whether or not to let them on the rides (you must be at least 3 years old). The controls are rigorous.
As soon as you enter, you will find a small children’s theater where, at different times of the day, you can watch a fun puppet show, and the caravans of Eater and Fairy.
In front of the little theater, there are Geppetto’s wooden toys (mostly vintage rides) that our daughters liked a lot but unfortunately have been let go a bit.
Too bad because all it would take is a little restoration, a coat of paint, and they could be as good as new again.
Continuing on, there are more modern games, the entrance to the Adventure Park (from 11 a.m. and only for children at least 5 years old). the Corsair Ship (also for ages 5 and up), and a maze consisting of hedges.
The most fun part for our daughter (and us adults, too) was going into the whale’s mouth!
You can hop between teeth and then climb the steps inside to get to the top, have a look from above, and exit through the outside steps.
At this point, you can start the path in the Monumental Park. It is a path in stages, surrounded by vegetation, winding among the bronze sculptures representing characters from the Pinocchio fairy tale: the carabiniere, the talking cricket, the Cat and the Fox etc.
At the end of the recommended route, we arrive near the entrance where the picnic area with numerous small tables, and the café is located.
After lunch we took another ride on the games and then headed to the Garzoni Gardens, which remain a minute’s walk from the entrance to Pinocchio Park.
Garzoni Gardens and Butterfly House
The Carlo Collodi National Foundation, in addition to Pinocchio Park, manages the Historic Garden of Villa Garzoni. This is an 18th-century mansion (which cannot be visited) with a splendid and immense Baroque garden attached, where several white statues, flowers, orange trees, fountains with water features, a reed bed, and a labyrinth stand out.
The Garden is really superbly maintained.
With a stroller it is not very easy because to go to see hidden corners or the enclosure with animals, you have to climb numerous stairs.
Inside the gardens is the Butterfly House: a glass building inhabited by hundreds of tropical and equatorial butterflies and exotic plants. They feed and reproduce thanks to the perfect reconstruction of their native environment.
The interior is extremely hot being for all intents and purposes a greenhouse, and you cannot bring a stroller.
Need to know – The Butterfly House is home to epidoptera from March 15 to November 1. In the winter months it is open as a tropical greenhouse and insect education center (November to late February).
Pinocchio Park in Collodi: how to arrange a visit
You can decide whether to enter Pinocchio Park or Garzoni Gardens first; there is no obligatory route, but if you still need to buy the entrance ticket. know that you can only do so at the Pinocchio Park ticket office.
Also be aware that if you are unable to visit both in one day, just keep your ticket and you can return on a different day within 6 months of your first visit.
Pinocchio Park in Collodi: admission ticket
The ticket includes admission to Pinocchio Park, Garzoni Gardens and the Butterfly House (inside the Gardens).
The ticket bought on the park website is non-refundable, but in case of problems, you can write to [email protected] asking to change the reservation date.
In contrast, the GetYourGuide portal offers free cancellation within 24 hours.
The cost of the ticket is the same in all three cases and is 26 euros per adult, 23 euros per child 5-14 years old, 21 euros per child 3-4 years old, free under 3.
There is a family discount i.e. 63 euros for 2 adults + 1 child (3-14 years old) or 1 adult + 2 children.
For opening and closing times of the park, I refer you to the website.
Pinocchio Park in Collodi: from what age to go and how long to stay
To take advantage of the vintage rides one must be at least 3 years old while to enter the adventure park one must be at least 5.
Clearly, in addition to the games themselves, to best appreciate the visit and understand the different aspects of the fairy tale, in my opinion one must be at least 7/8 years old.
This does not detract from the fact that you can also plan a visit with a younger child, at least, however, 3 years/3 1/2 years old. In any case, it can be an interesting visit for an adult as well.
My 3 1/2 year old daughter became interested in the Pinocchio fairy tale a few months prior to the visit. So when we went to the park she was able to recognize some of the characters and really liked it, although she was then drawn to the rides and balloons they sold at the entrance!!!
After visiting the park instead, she often asked to see the Pinocchio cartoon on TV.
Stroller Speech – Except in the Butterfly House, in both Pinocchio Park and Garzoni Gardens you can go with a stroller. However in the park the road in some places is a bit bumpy and has some steps so honestly it is not very smooth. However doable.
Where to eat inside Pinocchio Park in Collodi
There is a restaurant inside the park from which a delicious smell was coming, and there is a cafe in the picnic area.
The restaurant was full so we settled for a sandwich sitting at the outside tables.
The cold cuts were really quality and the price unexpectedly low (3.5 euros for the cold cuts sandwich and 5 euros for the porchetta sandwich).
Be aware that there are other restaurants around the park where you can have lunch.
If you want to refill your water bottle, there are drinking fountains with drinking water inside Pinocchio Park and immediately outside the Garzoni Gardens.
How to get there and where to park
Pinocchio Park is located in Collodi, a medieval village in the Tuscan hills in the province of Pistoia. The nearest exit is Chiesina Uzzanese -> one must then follow for Pescia (5km) -> Collodi (4km).
In the vicinity of Pinocchio Park, there are a variety of paid parking lots, but if you continue about 200m from the very tall wooden statue of Pinocchio (you can’t miss it, at 16 meters it is the tallest in the world!), you can find free parking lots.
Conclusion: is it worth going to Pinocchio Park?
We liked it very much. We cannot ignore the fact that it should be modernized in some of its parts but entering Collodi’s park a little bit made us dream.
The fairy tales of yesteryear remain the most beautiful in our opinion and if your children like the fairy tale of Pinocchio, they will surely like his park too!
Where to sleep
Hotel Country Club – Just a few miles from Pinocchio Park, this hotel has two swimming pools and a restaurant. Family rooms and crib available upon request. It is the perfect place to relax after visiting the park! Prenota qui.
▶ Perhaps you might be interested in the book “Pinocchio”… Click on the link!Walt Disney’s Pinocchio