Niki De Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden in Tuscany

Niki De Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden
Even Kids Will Love This Museum

[Regions of Italy]

Occupying a beautiful hillside overlooking the picturesque Tuscan coast, this completely unique sculpture garden is the result of twenty years' loving labor on the part of artist Niki De Saint Phalle. Born in France, raised between New York and Europe, Saint Phalle began her adult life as a stunningly gorgeous and eccentric top model. But she was also a voracious reader and daring artist whose declared inspirations were American comic books, Antonio Gaudì's "Parc Guell," and the early horror movies of Hollywood.

When De Phalle confided her lifelong dream to build a sculpture garden based on the symbols from the Tarot cards to her friend Marella Caracciolo, wife of Fiat owner Gianni Agnelli, Marella and her brothers gave her a large piece of land where Saint Phalle could erect huge figures made of colorful ceramic and glass tiles. All the figures represent characters from the Tarots, and many can be explored on the inside.

When asked why she chose Tarots as her theme, the artist, who has created children's parks throughout the world, answered, "Life is like a card game, and we are born not knowing the rules, but each of us must continue playing the game we are dealt."

Il Giardino dei Tarocchi is a great place to introduce small children to art, and it's a wonderful place for adults to relax as well. It is located on the southern edge of the Tuscan coast, just outside Capalbio in Pescia Fiorentina. The telephone number is 0564-895-122, fax 895-700 or email them. Click here for information about hours and entrance fees. A delightful place to use as a base for your explorations of this area is Country Villa Fattoria le Guardiole, just ouside Capalbio. For lunch after your visit, two nice places in Capalbio are Da Maria and La Torre da Carla.

[Regions of Italy]