Il Giardino dei Tarocchi – The Tarot Garden – was founded in 1979 by Niki de Saint Phalle, a volcanic writer, painter and French director, who took inspiration for her creation from a visit to the Guell Park of Gaudí, Barcelona and the Monster Garden of Bomarzo. With 22 huge statues are scattered in the garden. These are made of steel and concrete and are filled with glass, mirrors and colorful ceramics.
The realization of these statues, for which it took over 17 years, were attended by prestigious names of art including Isabelle Le Jeune, Alan Davie, Paul Wiedmer, to name just a few. To welcome visitors to the park entrance is an impressive pavilion with a single, wide circular opening in the center. The art park is open to the public since 1998 and is located in the village of Garavicchio, near Capalbio in the province of Grosseto.
The garden is a real open-air museum, perfectly inserted in the hilly landscape of the Maremma, a park of exceptional charm, unique in the world, one of the most important examples of environmental art in Italy.
Why the Tarot Garden? Because its creator has populated it with statues inspired by the figures of the major arcana. Works of art are a perfect synthesis of symbolism and exotics, architecture and design, art and nature, tradition and modernity. The particularity of this park is given by the possibility of experiencing art in person, literally passing through, in a path free from restrictive indications. This is why it is perfect for families with children.
Some peculiar characteristics: The Tarot Garden extends over a total area of about 2 hectares, some of its statues reach a height of almost 15 meters and the most curious that can be admired are The Wheel of Fortune, a self-propelled mechanical sculpture created by Jean Tiguely, who located in the middle of a pool dominated by the figures of the Pope and the Magician. From which the tour of the Garden starts. During the visit, do not just look upwards but also take a look at the path you are walking, which is accompanied by engravings showing quotes, messages and thoughts.
The most famous statues: In addition to those mentioned above, the most appreciated and the most eclectic are the Wizard, with his hand covered with mirrors, the sun in the shape of a bird, the hanged man, placed inside the tree of life, the lovers or Adam and Eve who make a picnic and the Empress represented in the shape of a sphinx.
Average duration of the visit: Inside the park you can move according to your needs and needs. For an accurate visit, considering to cut out a time frame of at least 40 minutes Because of its particular appearance, its delicacy, and with the aim of preserving the magical atmosphere that you breathe in the garden, visits are possible only in some periods of the year (usually from April to October), limited in time slots predetermined, for a limited number of visitors. Moreover, the artist’s desire, in order to safeguard the freedom of movement of visitors, does not include guided tours or a pre-established itinerary. The Tarot Garden is currently managed by the foundation “il Giardino dei Tarocchi”, a private foundation that takes care of the constant maintenance care that this park requires.