The largest labyrinth in the world was created in Fontanellato from an idea of Franco Maria Ricci, publisher, designer, art collector and bibliophile, and a promise he made in 1977 to the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, who had always been fascinated by the symbol of the labyrinth, also as a metaphor of the human condition. There are labyrinths with Minotaurs. And gardens full of delights. Edens where wandering is wonderful, mental labyrinths where you can lose and then find yourself. The one built by Ricci is an elegant, enticing maze. A place of culture, extending over seven hectares (70,000 sq. metres) of land. The Labirinto della Masone, which opened in June 2015, is a cultural park created and devised by Franco Maria Ricci along with the architects Pier Carlo Bontempi and Davide Dutto at his country home in Fontanellato, just outside Parma. The Labyrinth, which takes up seven hectares of land, has been built entirely out of several varieties of the bamboo plant. The Labyrinth complex includes cultural spaces of more than 5,000 square meters in size, which house Franco Maria Ricci’s art collection –around 500 artworks from the 16th to the 20th century, a space for temporary exhibitions and a Library dedicated to some of the most illustrious and famous examples of typography and art, including many pieces by Gian Battista Bodoni and the complete works of Alberto Tallone. All of the books Franco Maria Ricci created and edited over his fifty-year career are also included in the collection and can be bought at the bookshop. At the center of the labyrinth lies a piazza of 2,000 square meters, with a pyramid-shaped chapel and surrounded by colonnades. Generously proportioned salons are the venue for concerts, parties, exhibitions and other cultural events. For visitors there is also a cafeteria, a restaurant, a food area selling traditional Parma products, all managed by the starred chef Massimo Spigaroli.
Overlooking the central plaza and, on the opposite side, the bamboo maze, the Bodoni Room is the largest room in the complex. Thanks to the large windows it is well-lighted, while the bamboo wood floor and the wall decorations make it sober and elegant at the same time. Ideal for banquets, large receptions, meetings, and conferences.
Thanks to its size the Borges Room is ideal for people who need a place where they can focus. It is suited to small groups and meetings. Enriched with photographs by Mauro Davoli and several sculptures from the private collection of Franco Maria Ricci it is the perfect place for small receptions.
The Calvino Room is to all intents and purposes an exhibition room: it hosts the last acquisition for the private collection of Franco Maria Ricci, the Neoclassical library designed by Rodolfo Vantini in 1844, which makes the room scenic and especially suited to conferences, exclusive meetings, and cocktails.
the smallest, ideal for small groups or meetings. It is located on the first floor of the entrance courtyard right inside the museum