Last updated on October 17th, 2023
Are you planning to visit Tuscany’s Tarot Garden (a.k.a. the Giardino dei Tarocchi)? If you’re anywhere close by, you should! The colorful sculptures entrance the young and the old and will brighten everyone’s day (literally and figuratively).
We’re a family who lives in Tuscany who recently visited the Tarot Garden while on a long weekend holiday in Maremma. We
I’ll go through some of the basics for your visit, but before I do that, I want to touch on two mistakes that I made that you can avoid.
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Mistake #1 – Waiting to Reserve Tickets to the Tarot Garden
You need to reserve the DATE and TIME for your visit to the Giardino dei Tarocchi.
I recently visited with my family and although I knew we needed to book tickets in advance, I mistakenly thought the reservations were a formality. So, I waited until we were about an hour out from when we wanted to visit. When I tried to reserve our tickets – they were ALL SOLD OUT until the evening! Luckily, we had time in our schedule, so I booked the later visit.
Lesson Learned: Buy your tickets for the Tarot Garden as soon as you know your dates.
Good To Know: I spoke to the staff at the Tarot Garden and they told me that tour bus groups often buy up large chunks of the tickets and times.
Good To Know: You can stop by the ticket office to see if there are any on-site tickets on sale. The ticket office was selling small batches while we were there, but the guy scanning tickets said it’s not a regular occurrence.
Mistake #2 – Underestimating How Crowded The Giardino dei Tarocchi Gets
The Tarot Garden is crowded. Maybe not quite Venice-in-the-summer crowded, but in many areas we felted packed in like sardines.
I had envisioned wandering through the park with my kids, snapping Christmas-card-worthy photos and sitting on a bench to admire the colorful sculptures in the quiet countryside setting.
Instead, I found myself trying to keep track of my son (my husband and two smallest boys decided to get a snack at a café) while navigating the throngs of visitors.
I don’t have any photos without other people in them, and we didn’t sit and linger – it was overwhelmingly crowded and we just wanted to see the art and leave.
Did we have a bad experience? No, we loved it – but I hope by giving you a heads up on the crowds, you’ll be able to better manage your expectations.
Good To Know: It was crowded at the end of September, the start of the ‘low’ season in the area. I spoke to the staff and they said it’s always crowded – every day, and for the entire time it’s open.
So, now that I’ve shared our main mistakes, let’s take a quick look at the Tarot Garden:
What is the Tarot Garden (Giardino dei Tarocchi)?
The Tarot Garden is a magical park full of large sculptures made of mosaic pieces of glass, ceramics, and mirrors. It’s the creation of artist Niki de Saint Phalle.
The closest thing I’ve seen to the Tarot Garden is Gaudì’s Parc Güell in Barcelona (which actually inspired Ms. de Saint Phalle).
The sculptures are based on tarot card symbols, and the work on the project took more than 17 years.
A visit to the Giardino dei Tarocchi is one of our Top Tuscany Activities for Families.
Tarot Garden Basics
Opening Dates & Times: April 1 – October 15, open in the afternoon
Official Website: https://ilgiardinodeitarocchi.it/en/
Phone Number: +39 0564 895122
Buying Tickets: Purchase online through official website
Guided Tours: Not available, but it’s easy to walk through on your own using the free map
Where is the Tarot Garden and What’s the Best Way to Get There?
The Tarot Garden is in the Maremma area of southern Tuscany, near the border with Lazio. It’s up on a small hill in Garavicchio (there’s nothing else to see in the little hamlet).
The best way to arrive at the Tarot Garden is with your own car. Unless you’re already deep in the countryside, you’ll likely arrive via the E80, which runs along the Mediterranean Coast.
Driving to the Giardino dei Tarocchi from:
Florence – 200 km (2.5 hours)*
Rome – 120 km (1.5 hours)*
*depending on traffic
You could also hire a private driver (NCC – noleggio con conducente) if you don’t feel like doing the driving yourself.
If you’re visiting on a cruise, you can organize a visit through your cruise ship or tour operators like GetYourGuide: Tarot Garden & Capalbio Tour
A Visit To the Tarot Garden
- Park (for free) in the gravel parking lot and walk the 50 meters to the entrance (café on the right of the entrance if you need a quick coffee or snack).
- Get your ticket scanned at the entrance and pick up a map. You can have your tickets on your phone (you’ll get a QR code).
- Use the toilet if you need to.
- Walk up the paved gravel path for about 150 meters. You’ll get your first glimpses of the sculptures on your walk up.
- Explore the park! There are steps, slippery areas, and a lot of people – so watch where you’re stepping. Use the map you got at the entrance.
- Walk back down to the building where you entered and exit on the left, passing through the small gift shop.
Visiting the Tarot Garden with Kids
It’s a lovely visit with kids, and we saw many families exploring the park with huge grins on their faces.
Best Ages – Any age can visit and appreciate the colorful, whimsical Giardino dei Tarocchi. If you have toddlers or early walkers, you’ll need to watch them on some slippery surfaces, areas with small drop offs, and around some pointy parts of sculptures. My 9-year-old absolutely loved it!
Strollers – You can bring a stroller in and see some of the park, but it’s best to leave your stroller. It’s a tiny park and little ones can walk or you can carry your baby (or use a baby carrier).
Toilets – There are toilets before you enter the park and right after you enter the park.
Changing Diapers – When we visited, there was a changing table in the women’s toilet.
Snacks and Picnics – Picnics aren’t allowed. We’re big snackers, but we didn’t feel the need to snack while we visited. It’s a pretty short visit and you’ll be engaged, so have a quick bite before or after your tour of the park. There’s a small café just before the entrance that serves sandwiches, gelato, and coffee. And, just next to the café is a shaded area with a couple of picnic tables.
What to See and Do Near the Tarot Garden
Still feel like exploring? You’re not far from:
- Beautiful Maremma beaches, like Feniglia and Macchiatonda
- Saturnia hot springs
- Monte Argentario and its port towns, Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano
- WWF Reserve Lago di Burano (best to see birds in October and November)
I hope you have a lovely visit to Tuscany’s Tarot Garden. And remember to reserve your tickets and expect large crowds!