The labyrinth of the Masone, the largest in the world

The labyrinth of the Masone is the largest in the world and is located in Italy, precisely in Fontanellato, in the province of Parma.

Inaugurated in 2015, it covers seven hectares of land and is completely made with bamboo plants, for a total of over two hundred thousand bamboo of different species.

Inside the labyrinth alternate giant bamboo like the Phyllostachys viridis and other medium or dwarf like the Phyllostachys bissetii and the Pseudosasa Japonica.


History and structure of the world’s largest maze

The labyrinth of the Masone was designed and built by Franco Maria Ricci, in the grounds surrounding his country house. As a graphic designer, publisher and designer, this structure represents his eclectic nature and fulfills his desire to create a fascinating cultural journey, in which to get lost among bamboo plants.

Mazes have always fascinated me. […] The Garden, or Eden embodies innocence and happiness; the Labyrinth is, instead, a creation of power and a source of disturbances.  It reflects our perplexed experience of reality. I dreamed for the first time of building a labyrinth about twenty years ago, in the period in which, on several occasions, I had a guest in my country house near Parma, a friend, as well as a very important collaborator of the publishing house I had founded: the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges ».

These are the words with which Franco Maria Ricci speaks of the labyrinths as one of his lifelong passions. His design took about twenty years and began to take shape in the early 2000s, thanks to the collaboration with architects Pier Carlo Bontempi and Davide Dutto.

The labyrinth of the Masone consists of four labyrinths for a total of about three kilometers of path and is surrounded by structures used for various functions such as the magnificent museum that collects the works of art of the founder, a collection that has more than five hundred pieces.


Among the works we find artifacts dating back to the period from the sixteenth to the twentieth century that carry prestigious signatures such as those of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Carriera, Hayez, Canova and Ligabue.

It is also very interesting their arrangement that does not follow a chronological order but divides them by theme: this particular order allows visitors to observe how the same theme has been reproduced in distant historical periods.

Another very interesting building is the one that houses the library where there are important international brands such as Bodoni and Tallone, plus all the books edited by Franco Maria Ricci himself in his fifty years of publishing.

In the central part of the labyrinth of the Masone there is a large square of about two thousand square meters, now used to host concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events. Finally, there is also a pyramid-shaped chapel that identifies the labyrinth as a symbol of faith.


Visit the labyrinth of the Masone

Visitors and tourists who want to discover the labyrinth of the Masone will have at their disposal a bar, a restaurant, a Parmesan gastronomic space and a bookshop where to find even rare editions of the publisher of the founder. The visit can take place at any time of the year except Christmas Day, the first of January and every Tuesday of the week, the closing day of the cultural park.

The labyrinth is well organized to accommodate the disabled as it is barrier-free and pets and children are welcome.

To reach the park you need to travel by car from Parma or Fidenza as there is no possibility of public transport and the cost for the visit is 18 euros for adults, 10 euros for children from six to twelve years and free for children under six years.

For all those who want to organize a tour to admire the labyrinth of the Masone there is the official website of the park where you can find all the necessary information on how to organize the visit, on current events and those scheduled.

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