To get lost in order to find yourself ? There is no better place than the Labyrinth of Franco Maria Ricci the largest maze in the world which is found just outside Parma. A destination where you can dream and reflect but also discover ancient traditions, taste the first fruits of the Parma cuisine and allow yourself to feast on art treasures.
The Labyrinth della Masone, planned and built by the Parma designer Franco Maria Ricci can be found in the countryside near Fontanellato, less than 30kms from the Ducal city. To lose oneself amongst the over 200,000 bamboo plants which form the 3 kilometre estate boundary is a true spiritual exercise, exactly as Ricci reminds us when, together with his friend Jorge Luis Borges, he was first inspired to bring this creation to life: "As you know, the Labyrinth has always been one of his favourite themes; and the directions that his blind man’s faltering steps took around me brought to mind the uncertainty of our movements between forks in the road and enigmas".
The idea of the labyrinth has developed to become an all round gymnasium for the soul. Between the buildings of the complex, all inspired by neo-classical utopias, the eclectic art collection of Ricci, which covers over five hundred years of Art History, is housed. Over 5000 sq. metres are dedicated to the collection with over 500 works from the mannerism of Carracci and Cambiasio to the XIX century with works by Hayez. Here can be found artists attached to the golden age of the Duchy of Parma, like Boudard, Baldrighi and Ferrari and the XX century of Wildt, Ligabue and Savinio.
As well as the permanent collection, the Foundation hosts and has hosted exhibitions of photography, art and costumes, such as the one which currently celebrates the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Maria Luigia of Austria, the best loved Duchess of the people of Parma. Until the 20th November 2016 it is possible to visit the exhibition "Tres Pasiones" by the Mexican artist Sergio Hernandez who draws inspiration for his extraordinary creations from nature, the traditional indigenous art of central America as well as European art.
But to consider only art here would be limiting, because the Labyrinth della Masone offers also top quality local food and wine. In fact, Parma has been named a “Creative City of Gastronomy” by UNESCO. Here at the Masone the possibilities of fine eating are offered by the Spigaroli Brothers, Luciano and the Michelin starred Chef Massimo, and consist of the Bistrò, the Coffee Shop and the Bottega where you can buy a range of quality products from the local tradition: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma and the sublime Culatello from Zibello, matured in the lowlands and the fogs of the river Po.
There is also the opportunity here to develop business travel with rooms for seminars, meetings, company conventions and conferences; ample spaces to encourage dialogue, concentration and comparison. The versatility of the spaces is ideal to organize concerts, shows, pre-dinner drinks, gala dinners and product launches. A unique framework within which to bring together art, culture, nature, fine food and wine all with great attention to detail. For those who love comfort the Labyrinth also has available two luxurious suites, finished to a very high standard with works of art and fine furniture each with a private drawing room, bedroom and large bathroom.
Parma Incoming wishes to offer the prestigious spaces of the Labyrinth with tailor made events for its clients and offers tourists a special package to enable them to know and admire this unique cultural park so near to the city of Parma, situated in an area which is also famous for other historical and architectural jewels, like the Rocca Sanvitale at Fontanellato. This imposing fortress built in the XIV century has been transformed into an interesting museum but is known above all for the painted chamber celebrating the story of Diana and Acteon frescoed by a young Parmigianino; this is one of the early masterpieces of this artist who is known all over the world. A further motive to visit Fontanellato ? It is situated in the Parma lowlands, the heart of the Verdi homelands and is near all the places so dear to the heart of one of the world’s greatest composers, Giuseppe Verdi. An unmissable chance for a visit for those with musical tastes !!
The Labyrinth completes and gives value to every tour, whether it is devoted to art, opera and music or nature offering in one place a collection of prestigious works of beauty.