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Chianti Sculpture Park for an engaging art trail

  • Chianti Sculpture Park for an engaging art trail

    The Chianti Sculpture Park, set in Pievasciata, 20 km west of Castelnuovo, makes a refreshing change from eating and drinking your way through the Chianti, lovely though that is. This harmonious Sculpture Park, also known as the Parco Sculture del Chianti, occupies an oak wood between Pievasciata and Vagliagli, about 10 km north of Siena. If arriving from Castellina you will be drawn to the scenery, a patchwork of olive groves and hills draped in vineyards, sublime views unfolding around every hairpin bend. Once there, simply follow the wooded trail that winds past sculptures cast in a multitude of materials and styles.

    The Sculpture Park is curated by art-dealers Piero and Rosalba Giadrossi, who often help out so you might well meet them. The concept comes from the ancient Italian tradition of creating site-specific artworks for the outdoors. Around 40 contemporary sculptures by different artists are dotted through the woods of this 17-acre site. Along the way, you can spiral through a life-size labyrinth made of glass cubes, and gaze at a sculpted cypress-like sculpture that looks more vivid than the real thing.
     
    Given such a diverse collection, some sculptures will speak to you while others won’t. Most are thought-provoking. Thinker by Ichwan Noor from Indonesia is a homage to Rodin's Thinker but features a workaday character rather than a noble being. Suspended Stone by Mauro Berrettini is ingenious, a light-seeming sculpture made from travertine quarried from neighbouring Rapolano, south of Siena. Energy, by the Greek sculptor Costas Varotsos, reveals a cypress-like structure perched on a rocky location. Labyrinth, by the British artist Jeff Saward, was inspired by a stone labyrinth in stone found in Val Camonica, Naquane dating back to 700-800 BC. This one is octagonal, not round like the original. In general, the materials used range from true marble and granite sculptures to more modern installations involving neon lights and sound. There’s also a bridge of bright blue tiles that, on clear days, frames the distant skyline of Siena. Some works are now found outside the park so look out for the artily incongruous British red telephone boxes, for instance.

    There’s also an amphitheatre in the park for outdoor summer concerts, with genres embarcing classical, opera, jazz, folk, Gospel and tango. Even the amphitheatre is arty, made of slabs of white Carrara marble from Michelangelo's quarry, black granite from Zimbabwe and the stage covered with lava-stone. Definitely pick up an audio guide to the Sculpture Park from the entry kiosk or download the app before you visit.

    Address: Chianti Sculpture Park (Parco Sculture del Chianti),
    Localita la Fornace 48,
    53019
    Pievasciata

    Tel: 0577 357151
    Web: www.chiantisculpturepark.it

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