Things to do during your Tuscany Tour: Chianti Sculpture Park

Castelnuovo_Berardenga by Michal Osmenda

Among the things to do during your Tuscany tour, we suggest the Chianti Sculpture Park. Located near Castelnuovo Berardenga, between Florence and Siena and in the heart of Chianti, the Sculpture Park can be considered a permanent exhibition of sculptures and installations set in a beautiful and typical forest of oak and chestnut trees. This park is a place where the art is inspired by the nature that surrounds it, and which remains in perfect harmony and balance with it. Although there are sculptures by different artists and made of different materials, all they have one common characteristic: the works never transgress on nature but rather complement and enrich it.

Things to do during your Tuscany Tour
Castelnuovo Berardenga

The park was designed and personally built by Peter Giadrossi, a big fan of contemporary art that throughout the years expanded the park until it became the complex work that we admire today.
The idea of turning a patch of wood in the Chianti area into an exhibition ground for art made by international masters of our time stems from a visit to an exhibition of large sculptures in a botanical garden in South Africa, about ten years ago. Previously, the sculpture park was a forest used for breeding wild boars. It was organized by maintaining and respecting the existing vegetation with the intention to integrate contemporary art in the historical context of the natural Chianti.

Sculpture Park Chianti

The exhibition is composed of twenty-six works from five continents and artists from twenty-four countries of origin: an exhibition that contemplates different applications of the various materials and styles. Almost at the top of the slight slope that leads to the entrance of the exhibition is the first work of art, the House in the Woods by the Japanese Kei Nakamura. It marks the beginning and end of the mile-long looping trail along which the other sculptures are arranged. To the structure, reminiscent in style and in building technique to an ancient artifact, were subsequently added seven figures in fibreglass placed in a row like visitors waiting to buy a ticket.

Among other works we suggest The Falling Leaf, a sculpture by the young Egyptian artist Yasmina Heidar which combines glass to marble. Also notable is Off the Beaten Track, a sculpture in stainless steel by the Englishman William Furlong, composed of sixteen cubes that meander towards the end of the main path and whose faces suggestively reflect the colors that change with the seasons. The artist is a sound sculptor: at the passage of a visitor, each box emits a different set of sounds collected from various contexts around the city of Siena. Some of these sounds are popular songs of the districts of Siena, or the voices of children playing in the piazza del Campo.

Sculpture Park Chianti

At the end of looping path is a very special art gallery which was set in an old building that was originally a magnificent earthenware factory. The gallery overlooks the famous Chianti hills and specializes in contemporary sculpture. To complete the unique cultural offerings of the park, there is an amphitheatre in white Carrara marble and black granite from Zimbabwe. It is called “the anfiscultura” (a mix of the words “amphitheatre” and “sculpture”) and is intended to host any type of event, being able to accommodate up to two hundred and fifty spectators.

Road to Italy suggests including a visit to the Sculpture Park during your private tour of Tuscany or Chianti, accompanied by our experienced Tuscan driver guide. Consider taking a stroll through the park after a visit of Siena or a wine tasting of Chianti.

Luca Trapolino