The Pinocchio Park in Tuscany opened its doors tanto tempo fa (a long time ago) in 1956. It brings Pinocchio’s story to life by having visitors experience the tale through the park’s artwork (sculptures, mosaics) and attractions (little rides, puppet shows, interactive games, an adventure park, a forest walk, a museum, and more).
Are you thinking about heading to the Pinocchio Park in Tuscany? Have the TripAdvisor reviews made you think twice about it?
I’ve known about Collodi’s Pinocchio Park for years but always chose something else to do when the option to visit came up.
We finally visited and my boys (1, 4, 7) loved it! True, it may not be for everyone, but I do think it’s a worthwhile park to visit for families with young kids.
Read on for more details about the park that will help you decide if you should make the trip. I promise, I’ll tell the truth (see what I did there?).
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The Tale Of Pinocchio
First off, if you decide to visit, make sure you know what you’re visiting. This park is all about Pinocchio.
The Pinocchio Park of Collodi is based the book, The Adventures of Pinocchio, written in 1883. It’s the story of a little wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy. Pinocchio is created by the carpenter Geppetto and Pinocchio’s nose grows when he lies.
The book started to gain fame around the globe in 1940 after the Disney film was released.
There have been other film adaptations in English and in Italian. Over 80 years later, in 2022, Disney will remake the movie as a live-action film with big-name stars like Tom Hanks, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The book is a little darker than the movie, but the park feels very cheerful and was totally appropriate for children of all ages.
Who Wrote Pinocchio?
Carlo Lorenzini, who wrote under the pseudonym Carlo Collodi. He used Collodi as his surname because he had fond memories of where his mother worked (in Collodi’s Villa Garzoni).
Where Is The Pinocchio Park?
The Pinocchio Park is in Collodi, the author’s childhood village near Florence.
The town of Collodi is all about Pinocchio, and you’ll find little souvenir shops, toys and reminders of the dear puppet all throughout town. We loved looking at the statues and sculptures as we entered and left town.
Good To Know: The tallest statue of Pinocchio in the world is in Collodi. The 16 meter statue is on the right as you leave the park/town on the one-way road.
Is The Pinocchio Park Worth A Visit?
Yes, the Pinocchio Park is worth a visit!
The entrance fee seems a bit steep (check the official site for the latest prices), but you can easily spend the day there and your ticket also includes entrance into the adjacent Butterfly House and the Garzoni Gardens.
Good To Know: If you’re a local, you can show your COOP Firenze card to get a substantial discount.
It’s not a Disneyland-style theme park. It has a retro feel, which I appreciated and found charming. When you walk in, it feels like you’re stepping back in time to more innocent, screen-free fun.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Pinocchio Park?
The park can be enjoyed during all seasons. The park has quite a bit of shade, so even on a hot Tuscan summer day, you can escape the heat. It’s also fine in the winter with a coat.
If you can, arrive in late morning when it opens, take a break for a picnic lunch, and then explore some more in the afternoon.
The park is large and the attractions are spread out so you don’t need to worry about large crowds.
Good To Know: Your ticket price includes entrance into the Pinocchio Park, the Garzoni Gardens, and the Butterfly House. AND, you can visit on two separate days, within 60 days. So, make sure you keep your ticket!
The Pinocchio Park and the town of Collodi have a special celebration on May 25th, Pinocchio’s birthday.
How Long Does a Visit To Pinocchio Park Take?
Plan on spending a half day to full day. If you only stay for half of a day, you won’t be able to experience everything at the park (but that’s ok – just plan out what you’d like to see/do).
Good To Know: If you’re driving back to Florence or Lucca after visiting the park, try to leave before 4:00pm so you can avoid the evening commuter traffic.
Things To Do At The Pinocchio Park
Visit the Museum
The museum houses versions of Pinocchio in different languages, Pinocchio art, and Pinocchio toys from around the world. This was more interesting to me than my kids, but my seven-year-old (who’s reading the book in his class) wanted to see what other versions of the book looked like.
See The Characters
You can experience the Pinocchio characters in two different ways. First, you’ll see the park staff dressed up and walking around or working in the park. You’ll also see the characters as artwork in the park, including on a special forest walk.
Some of the artwork you’ll see:
- Pinocchio (everywhere you look!)
- Blue-haired fairy and her home
- Cat & Fox
- Jiminy Cricket (Grillo Parlante in Italian – the talking cricket)
- Giant Dogfish (or Whale) Fountain – This was a favorite for my kids. You can walk out into the pond to go inside the mouth or take the stairs to walk on top of its head!
Watch The Puppet Show
The puppet show usually runs once in the morning and once in the afternoon. My boys were laughing out loud. It’s in Italian, and I don’t think it would be fun if you don’t speak the language.
Go On The Vintage Rides
There’s a little play area with slow-moving, retro-style rides: a canoe ride, a carousel with horses, and a carousel with vehicles.
Play At The Playground
There are a couple of playground areas in the park and they have climbing areas and a small slide. We loved the swing/zipline and my boys could’ve played there for hours.
Check Out The Pirate Ship
We were a little disappointed in the pirate ship. It’s big and looks fun from a distance, but aside from a couple of cannons, it didn’t really hold my sons’ interest. They were entranced by what they saw above and next door – the adventure route.
Tackle the Adventure Route (With Zipline)
A fairly recent addition to the park is the adventure route. There are two routes and one of them includes a zipline across the river at the end!
There are helmets and safety demos AND once the child is clipped in, they stay clipped into the line for the entire route – no need to unclip/clip back in during the route. So, your child can go on their own, without an adult. This is great if you have other kids that you need to stay with. Children need to be at least 5 years old and between 100 and 150cm.
There are workshops throughout the day in a little cabin. Activities include drawing, painting, and other Pinocchio arts and crafts.
Run Around in The Mosaic Piazza
There’s a huge piazza that’s surrounded by mosaic walls. It’s a beautiful spot for the kids to run around in, although in the summer it’s too exposed and hot.
Find Your Way Into and Out Of The Labyrinth
At the far end of the park, you’ll find a small labyrinth. It’s fun to wander through, for kids and adults!
More Activities and Attractions at The Pinocchio Park
You can also visit the Fairy’s Home, explore the Interactive Pinocchio Museum, play with the large outdoor chess set, go on the forest art walk, and play outdoor musical instruments and games.
Tickets, Opening Hours, and General Info
Visit the official site for the most up-to-date information on ticket prices, opening hours, and events.
Via San Gennaro, 5
How To Get To Collodi
By Car – Collodi is about a 1-hr (65 km) drive from Florence on the A-11 Autostrada (take the Chiesina Exit).
By Public Transport – It’s less convenient than traveling by car, but you can take a train/bus combo to get to Collodi. The quickest routes take about 2 hours and involve at least one change. Once you arrive in Collodi you’ll need to walk about 20 minutes (1.5 km) to the Pinocchio Park.
By Car – Collodi is about a 25 min (17 km) drive from Lucca.
By Public Transport – There are frequent 30-minute bus trips from Lucca to Collodi, and then you’ll need to walk about 20 minutes (1.5 km) to the Pinocchio Park.
Tips For Visiting the Pinocchio Park
Map – You’ll get a map when you buy your tickets, and there are maps displayed in a few places in the park.
Restaurant – There is a little cafe inside the park. You can also eat at the Osteria del Gambero Rosso next to the park (more expensive), as well as other small bars in town. You are allowed to leave and re-enter with your ticket.
Picnic area – There are a couple of large picnic areas with picnic tables. There are also plenty of benches throughout the park (except for in the Mosaic Piazza).
Diaper Changes – Changing tables available in the bathrooms.
Strollers – You can visit the entire park with your stroller. There is a wheelchair accessible path that you can use. I was able to go everywhere with a double stroller. The only issue I had was exiting – the elevator was too small for our large stroller. Someone had to help us carry it up a couple of flights of stairs.
Parking – There is a small row of free parking right in front of the park but the main lot is pay parking. It’s just after the entrance, on the left. Pay with coins or credit card in the blue ‘P’ machines and leave the ticket on your dash.
Things To Do Nearby
Collodi Town Center – The Collodi town center was Carlo Collodi’s inspiration for the setting of Pinocchio. Walking from the Pinocchio Park to the top of town takes about 20 minutes and it’s a hearty uphill.
Butterfly House – A small butterfly house. It’s best visited from March through November, when you can see the butterflies. The rest of the year, you can enter and see the plants.
Garzoni Gardens – Wander the 18th-century gardens of the 17th century Villa Garzoni. It may sound boring to visit a garden, but the Garzoni Gardens are worth exploring for kids and adults. There are fountains, a water staircase, a labyrinth, a theater, and of course, the beautiful gardens.
Pistoia Zoo – Spend a morning (or entire day) hanging out with the animals at the Pistoia Zoo.
Florence – Head into the Renaissance capital to see Michelangelo’s David, eat bistecca alla fiorentina or wander the halls of the Uffizi. You can also visit the Bartolucci toy store (one of our favorite toy stores in Florence) and its wooden Pinocchio toys. Read about our favorite things to do in Florence with kids!
Lucca – Walk or ride on the city walls.
Fun Fact: Vernante is a small village in Piedmont, in Northern Italy. It’s the final home of Attilio Mussino, a.k.a. the Zio di Pinocchio, or Pinocchio’s Uncle. He is known as the best illustrator of The Adventures of Pinocchio. The town is full of murals based on Mussino’s illustrations of the book.
I hope this info has helped you decide if you should visit the Pinocchio Park. If you do decide to visit, maybe we’ll see you there!