Ragnaia Wood

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Bosco della Ragnaia (Ragnaia Wood) is a park and a garden created by the American landscape painter Sheppard Craige, in San Giovanni d’Asso, near Siena, in the famous Crete Senesi.
It’s actually in the very “ragnaia”, a wooded area with holm oaks (Quercus ilex) planted in the XVIII century to catch tasty birds highly sought by the lords of the nearby medieval castle, now owned by the municipality.
Although it belongs to such an ancient context, Bosco della Ragnaia is a contemporary project that actually began in 1996, and it is still evolving itself. Craige included fountains and conceptual sculptures, masterfully combining the pristine nature of the place with the Renaissance garden style – he actually gave birth to a pleasant “philosophical” journey jazzed up by, his skeptical and irreverent sense of humour.

Under the tall oaks, there are many inscriptions, some quite straightforward, others very enigmatic: they’re all “creatures” of Sheppard’s mischievous genius.
Among the most interesting structures amidst the trees, there is The Triumphal Entrance, The Altar of Skepticism, the Center of the Universe, the Oval-shaped Circle, the Throne of the Wood, the Monument of Present Past, The Hill of Painted Poles, the Fountain of Good Sense, The Round Pond, The Garden of Day and Night, The Square Fountain of Frogs, The Oracle of Yourself, and the Pillars of Rhetoric.

Despite all those intriguing locations, this wood does actually has a well-defined and clear meaning, while it’s open to any personal interpretations.

Admission is free and the wood can be visited from March to November.

Please note: smoking, screaming and making noises or any sort of racket is strictly forbidden.
Group visits must be previously authorized; dogs must be kept on a leash; visitors under 14 are not welcome and, in any case, must always be accompanied by adults.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


San Giovanni d'Asso, Siena(SI)


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