The world’s largest bamboo labyrinth, which recently opened near Parma, makes an interesting day trip from Lunigiana. Comprising three kilometres of paths, the labyrinth opened in June 2015 at Fontanellato, famous for being the location of the World War II prisoner-of-war camp from which 600 Allied prisoners escaped in 1943.
The star-shaped bamboo labyrinth, the Labirinto di Franco Maria Ricci, covers seven hectares and took ten years to establish. The complex includes a museum, which houses the extensive art and book collections of the owner, as well as a temporary exhibition area, a banqueting hall, a bookshop, restaurant, cafe and delicatessen.
Photo courtesy of the Labyrinth of Franco Maria Ricci
The labyrinth, which was grown from thousands of different types of bamboo, was inspired by the classic forms of a Roman maze consisting of four interlinked fields arranged around a central square. However, the Ricci Labyrinth includes dead ends and crossroads, which do not exist in the classic labyrinth, technically making it is a maze rather than a labyrinth.
Labyrinth: Has a single through-route with twists and turns but without branches. It is not designed to be difficult to navigate. It may be long but there is only one path with one entrance that is also the exit. A labyrinth usually has a spiritual significance.
Maze: Is a confusing pathway with many branches, choices of path and dead-ends. It can have various levels of difficulty and complexity, with many different entry and exit points. Mazes are often used to determine an individual’s spatial awareness and sometimes intelligence.
Labirinto di Franco Maria Ricci
Strada Masone 121
43012 Fontanellato, Parma
Opening hours: 10:30-19:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Ticket price: €18
World’s largest bamboo labyrinth opens near Parma appeared on Ciao Lunigiana on 19 July 2015.