Il Labirinto di Bambù

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

The editor and art collection isn’t Franco Maria Ricci has planted the widest labyrinth of the world composed completely of Bamboo plants in his property in the Parma area. Its map has a star shape with 8 points, which takes inspiration from the mosaics of Ancient Rome; it occupies an area of about 8 hectares and it develops for 3 kilometres; it is formed by more than 200thousand plants, belonging to 4 species and numerous bamboo varieties. The principal species, which has been used to create the labyrinth, is the Phyllostachys bissetii, which was chosen since it is an evergreen species and remains dense along all its culms, while the others usually loose their leaves. However, it is necessary to prune it annually in order to preserve it green and thick, since in this way the light can penetrate till the base, which would otherwise get dry. Other species and varieties with colourful and decorative culms or leaves have been used all along the path to create circles and squares.

Specific machines have been created in order to prune Phyllostachys bissetii, during the month of October: a tractor of sufficiently reduced dimensions in order to move with agility between the labyrinth’s paths; a pruning bar, which is able to get till 2.5 meters of height has been installed in the upper part and can cut past 1.5 meters of depth. After that, a lawnmower has been assembled and it has pliers to get the pruned reeds easier and quirkier outside the labyrinth. New rhizomes will develop in the month of April and are destined to grow more than 5 meters in height to create suggestive galleries.

The labyrinth’s bamboo
Phyllostachys bissetii is the type used in certain areas and in certain areas it has grown so much, that it has created the effect of a gallery; P. aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’, P. edulis, Hibano-bambusa tranquillans ‘Shiroshima’ have been used for the resting areas.
In the other parts of the estate  Fontanellato, about 30 species and varieties have been planted such as Pleioblastus pumilus, nano groundcover, Pseudosasa japonica, bushy, Shibatea kumasaca, with an height between 50-150 centimetres, Sasa tsuboiana, 150-200 centimetres tall, and again Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’, 5-8 meters tall.

Other bamboos both small and tall ones, some have grown up to 20 meters,have been planted in the remaining parts.

The park hosts some buildings, which have been designed by the architect Piercarlo Bontempi: a museum containing the art collection of Franco Maria Ricci, which is formed by  500 works of art from the 16th century till the 20th one made by artists like Antonio Ligabue, Francesco Hayez, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Antonio Canova, a library with more than 15,000 books, among which there are many works Giambattista Bodoni, the entire literary production of Alberto Tallone, and the historic collection of all the books published by the publishing house in 50 years of business. In addition, it includes a pyramidal chapel, a party and concert area,  a point of sale of regional products, a starred restaurant (a Michelin star).

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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