Hidden somewhere in the Mediterranean greenery and the Maremma hills, near the medieval village of Capalbio and the Aurelia Road, is a magic world that you do not expect to find in rustic Southern Tuscany.
The Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden) is an artistic esoteric park featuring gigantic statues that represent the Major Arcana, or trump cards, in the Tarot deck.
It was conceived by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle and built between 1979 and 1998, when it was opened to the public. Its construction involved a number of contemporary artists like Rico Weber, Sepp Imhof, Paul Wiedmer, Dok van Winsen and Niki’s husband Jean Tinguely.
The 22 majestic statues were built with steel and cement covered with glass, mirrors and colored ceramics. Niki’s concept was inspired by Antoni Gaudi’s Parque Guell in Barcelona and the Italy’s Bomarzo Monster Park in Viterbo.
The Major Arcana represented in the garden are: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement and The World.
“In 1955 I went to Barcelona. There I saw the beautiful Park Guell of Gaudi. I met both my master and my destiny. I trembled all over. I knew that I was meant one day to build my own Garden of Joy. A little corner of Paradise. A meeting between man and nature.” Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002)
Niki found that corner of paradise in Tuscany, and the experience of visiting the park is truly amazing!
The park is open from the 1st of April to the 15th of October, daily from 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm.
More info & photo credits: www.nikidesaintphalle.com