Until 2018, you could travel to Italy to visit the world largest labyrinth. The Labirinto Della Masone near Parma is a huge place in which you might get lost in very worst case. I have been too late when I visited the place in summer 2021 – the record has been moved from Greater Parma to China. Nonetheless, I felt it is an interesting place to visit. Here are my thoughts about my visit – which is nowadays “just” the world largest bamboo labyrinth. It was built by Franco Maria Ricci (1937-2020) in 2015.
Masone Labyrinth – Location and Admission
The labyrinth is located in the city of Fontanellato,West of Parma, in the Emilia-Romagna region. You can reach the area quite easy, as it is close to the A1 motorway. Finally, going there by car is the only realistic option. There are not too many other significant attractions or tourist sites around.
Masone Labyrinth – The Labyrinth
The Masone Labyrinth splits into two parts: the labyrinth and a museum. One of the key motivations to built the labyrinth is to promote the museum, which is actually quite an interesting combination. The labyrinth people suggested me to visit the labyrinth first. I would not fully agree to that after my visit (see below), but so I did.
The labyrinth is completely made of different kinds of bamboo. Apart from just trying out to get to the goal, you have two kinds of assistance: the brochures and some of the maps around show you the route through the maze. Secondly, there are numbered stone posts, which help you to orientate on the map. In very worst case, you may even call a phone number for help. If you make it, you actually have to walk quite a long route through major parts of the grounds. Even if you are quick, you should allow 30 minutes for walking through the place. The labyrinth also features information displays about the history of the place, but also other similar places. Thus, you can educate yourself while trying to escape from this place.
The labyrinth also features multiple kinds of bamboo. Most of them really block the view really well. A few spaces even features a small sculpture like the face you see below. Then, finally, after going more or less twice around the area, you reach the target of your walk (from there, you can head on straight through to the entrance and museum). You first enter a huge square, the pillars make it feel a bit of like a Roman place. At the top of the building, there is a pyramid-shaped church you can visit. After I survived the place without calling the support hotline, I proudly headed back to the entrance area and museum.
Masone Labyrinth – The Museum
The museum majorly shows the Maria Ricci art collection. It is really rich and coming with very different kinds of exhibits. You also find literature and other items in there. I really enjoyed the sculptures, classic one as well as bit more spooky ones.
Overall, I feel art lovers will love this place. I really felt fascinated by it as well – but it just did not touch me sufficiently. The key reason for that was that I was in “labyrinth mood”. I just enjoyed myself, did not really feel like having too deep culture. Honestly, I wasn’t also prepared that this collection is such an amazing and rich place. Finally, this means that the concept failed to me – which might be very different in case you dare to get lost in this Italian place.
Masone Labyrinth – Services
The staff was really kind and helpful. There are two places (at the entrance and in the square) where you can sit down in the sun or the shadow and have a drink or grab a bite.
During my visit, they just prepared for a party in the labyrinth (for that reason, they can open some gates in the labyrinth to shortcut). Might be a really cool place for that.
At the entrance area, the labyrinth and museum features a gift shop. The store is majorly focusing on the cultural part of this place and sells a lot of art souvenirs and literature.
Masone Labyrinth – My View
Running through a labyrinth for some half an hour does not sound too fun, but Labirinto Della Masone has really been a great place to visit. The price of 18 Euro is quite high, but this is of course also due to the valuable art exhibition. Unfortunately, some of the people were not that disciplined and did not follow the place’s rules. Nonetheless, I feel it is a really enjoyable visit, also with kids.
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