Ten art parks along the peninsula for a journey dedicated to beauty and the relationship between man and nature

If art parks are special places, the reason is simple. Man and nature need to talk to each other due, first of all, to an inevitable confrontation that has always lasted between the now less 'natural' animal of creation and the planet on which it lives.

And so the designed natural space - the park - combines with the best human beings know how to produce: that search for meaning which is art.

From sculpture paths to the open area to the woods dotted with installations, in recent years the art park has become a place where, even in cases where art is asked to represent the otherness of man with respect to nature , or when the park, in spite of all the others, is in the city (and can be reached by subway), dialogue is guaranteed.

And where the scientific aspect is not lacking either: that of considering biology (in the updated versions of biotech and transgenic) as an instrument of art that becomes research.

Which art parks should you visit this summer? We have selected 10 for you, from Trentino to Calabria

Read also: Art festivals in Italy, summer 2023

Marzona art field - Udine

That of Villa Verzegnis, in the province of Udine, is more a lawn than a park. But only if you imagine the lawn as something open, without precise boundaries. This is how Egidio Marzona thought it, one of the major European collectors: a place of dialogue by difference and therefore without borders, like a meadow.

For 40 years now, the Marzona collection and archive have been constantly expanding, with particular attention to the three major currents of the 60s and 70s, i.e. Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Land Art, and towards the avant-gardes of the 20th century.

In 1989 Egidio Marzona invited some of the most interesting contemporary artists to create works expressly designed for his park, freely choosing the type of relationship to be established with the surrounding area.

Alongside these there are others purchased later and integrated into the park. But the common feature is the desire not to blend in with the surrounding environment, to be something else. Here, diversity creates dialogue. Indeed, dialogues in the meadow.

Celle Farm - Santomato di Pistoia

There is an artwork in this park that catches the eye. It is Cabane éclatée aux 4 Galles by Daniel Buren: a house without a roof completely covered in mirrors that blends in with the surrounding nature.

Inside there are four rooms of different colors, each with an opening and the material removed to make it is exposed outside, in correspondence with the opening.

As in an exploded view, but here made in 3D with a continuous reference to the territory. Uncovered (like the nearby church of San Galgano?), in the park (between grass and plants), in an interesting symbiosis that reveals the different inner entities that inhabit the house in the woods….We could go on and on, but the park it is full of wonders and Buren's is just a possible starting point.

The Fattoria di Celle houses the Gori Collection, a private collection of 80 works of environmental art, open to visits by appointment.

Chianti sculpture park

The work of man in this park does not tend to overwhelm nature, but blends in with it and enhances its beauty. This is what we read on the site of the Chianti sculpture park and in fact walking in this forest of oaks and holm oaks considered among the ten most beautiful in the world by National Geographic you can breathe precisely this harmony.

And in fact, the works housed in this place a few kilometers from Siena were born precisely in harmony with nature. The artists were invited to immerse themselves in its lights, scents, colors and sounds of the park, to choose an area and create a site specific work.

Over the years the sculpture park has expanded, also taking over the external areas of Pievasciata B.A.C. Borgo d'Arte Contemporanea, as well as the creation of an amphitheater which hosts various types of events in the summer.

Musaba, Spatari/Maas Foundation - Reggio Calabria 

Musaba is an immersive experience. Starting with its definition: independent and non-profit body of public interest, which deals with the creation, protection and enhancement of the artistic, architectural, environmental, archaeological, landscape heritage of the museum-park-laboratory founded by Nik Spatari and Hiske Maas has been in progress since 1969.

We are in the Torbido Valley, southeast of the town of Mammola (RC) in Calabria.

The park is an active protected area, with vegetable gardens and crops specific to the Mediterranean and art dialogues and narrates this place, together with a 12th century complex transformed into a contemporary art museum. And then there is the story of the founders and their work to create this magical place, which they fell in love with. The result is quite unique, between monumental art, gardens and architecture.

Daniel Spoerri's Garden in Seggiano (GR) 

On the slopes of Mount Amiata, in Tuscany, there is an estate called Paradiso. The reasons for this name seem to depend on the mild climate that characterizes it and which favors the luxuriant growth of an important biodiversity.

Precisely that Paradise in the 90s of the last century was chosen by the Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri as his home of choice.

In 1997 Daniel Spoerri's Garden, as that paradise is now called, was recognized as a cultural foundation open to the public. It currently hosts 113 installations by 55 artists on an area of about 16 hectares. A further feature that makes the Garden a heavenly place is the possibility to sleep there.

The house has been converted into apartments for guests and a restaurant ... to see the night and wake up in the park!

Giardino dei Tarocchi Capalbio (GR) http://www.giardinodeitarocchi.it/
Tra i più raccontati e soprattutto tra i più fotografati, questo luogo fiabesco è l’espressione del sentire artistico di Niki De Saint Phalle che ha progettato e realizzato le sculture che si incontrano nel parco. Un sogno, un incubo, un gioco, una filastrocca, una novella…. Quello che volete. Di sicuro ci si muove tra i tarocchi. Il nome infatti del giardino è dovuto alle sculture, tutte ispirate agli arcani, figure maggiori delle carte “magiche” e tradotte nello sguardo dell’artista franco-statunitense. L’idea di realizzare un parco dell’arte era nata durante una sua visita al Parque Guell di Antoni Gaudí a Barcellona, poi rafforzata dalla visita al giardino di Bomarzo (si può fare un link interno: parlo di Bomarzo nell’altro pezzo che vi ho mandato sui vari festival perché lì si svolge In Arte Vicino) in Umbria e si è realizzata nel 1979, identificando nel giardino dei Tarocchi il sogno magico e spirituale della sua vita.

Arte Sella Borgo Valsugana - Trento

Historical place of contemporary art at high altitude, the park of arte sella is constantly evolving and has seen in 30 years of history different artistic languages, sensitivities and inspirations meet, but all united in the desire to create a dialogue between creativity and the world natural. And the result is actually beautiful.

At Malga Costa, at Borgo Valsugana and in the Garden of Viale Strobele you can see the sculptures and works of land art that tell of beauty. That of art and that of nature, in one of their best encounters.

The list of artists is very long, but there are also works by Ettore Sotssass, Angelo Mangiarotti, Michele De Lucchi, Stefano Boeri, Mario Cucinella (in the Borgo); Tobia Scarpa, Arcangelo Sassolino, Michelangelo Pistoletto and many others at the Malga. Without forgetting the Vegetal Cathedral…

Two worlds park Lingueglietta - Imperia

Carin Grudda is a German artist who talks about the world of animals, between fairy tales and zoology. And in Liguria, in the hinterland of Imperia, she has established her kingdom, complete with a foundry to make her bronze sculptures.

Not only that: the forest and the surrounding land is littered with her works, which appear by surprise, or to guard the clearings.

Pigs (many, wild and not), goats, sheep and mouflons are the protagonists of her works, together with literary figures (Papaghena for example), almost mythological (like the blue cat or the heavy angel) and ancestral (the Great Woman).

There is also a homage to Beuys entitled Oak 115: a tree with a man's hat on a branch, just like the one Joseph wore.

Art Park La Court Castelnuovo Calcea - Asti 

At this address you cannot miss a wine tasting. To be precise, of the best Crus of Piedmont, as the site states, between Barolo, Barbaresco, Nizza and Gavi.

Twenty hectares of vineyards, three farmhouses, two hills make it the largest open-air museum in the vineyard, a continuously updated monument where art, landscape and wine interact continuously.

The landscape scenographies were designed by Emanuele Luzzati who bequeathed his sculptures, now organized in a path dedicated to the four elements, Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

Alongside his works, other artists dotted the hills with their works, including Ugo Nespolo, Giancarlo Ferraris and Chris Bangle. And that's it: the relationship and harmony between man and nature is reflected in fantastic, imaginative and archaic atmospheres.

Pav - Living Art Park Turin

A different place compared to the art parks we have talked about in this article, usually with an important nature, far from large urban centers and their (sometimes invasive) architectures, the Living Art Park of Turin is instead anchored to the urban dimension, to which it associates its experimental and Green nature .

It occupies a ex-industrial area of about 23,000 m2 which includes an open-air exhibition site and an interactive museum intended as a meeting place and laboratory experiences aimed at the dialogue between art and nature , biotechnology and ecology, between the public and artists. The PAV, Experimental Center for Contemporary Art works in these spaces, conceived by the artist Piero Gilardi and directed by Enrico Bonanate.

The field of investigation is the Art of the living, a declination of contemporary trends between Bioart, Biotech art, transgenic art and so-called ecological art, with which he declines temporary exhibitions and workshops.