SCARZUOLA, the Surrealist City

Located in Montegiove, district of Montegabbione in the province of Terni, La Scarzuola is one of the most mysterious spots of Italy. Locals say that Saint Frances from Assisi built a hut here using a plant called “scarna” – which gave the name to this place – and saw the apparition of Christ.

The monastery of La Scarzuola was abandoned in 1956 and was bought by Tommaso Buzzi, a famous architect from Milan, who restored this place to create his “ideal city”: a complex game of mystical structures and esoteric perspectives. Buzzi worked in this place for 24 years, and some say his work was left unfinished on purpose because this would have kept it in a continuous construction and evolution, meaning that this artwork represents the universal chaos, an eternal incompleteness aimed to stimulate the visitors’ fantasy.

In 1981, Tommaso Buzzi died leaving this artwork as a legacy to his nephew, Marco Solari, who continued building up his uncle’s projects and designs with an absolute dedication. From the entrance to this secret garden, we have the sensation of needing to abandon every mental scheme and all our certainties in order to appreciate and understand Buzzi’s work.

This path aims to be both an experience and an initiation, where water is the dominant element that will accompany you for the whole journey to a spring above which stands Buzzi’s first monument – a lion carrying the infinite symbol. Inspired by the magical abstraction of the Monster Park, La Scarzuola’s garden melts reality with the unreal and the imagination, building an intimate relationship with the surrounding environment.

Buzzi’s extremely creative architectural style makes this place an actual theatrical show consisting of seven scenes, the most substantial of which are the infinitive theatre, the unfinished or human body, Naumachia’s theatre, Arnia’s theatre – or Alps’ theatre.

In one of the last pieces of this artwork, you can find a dark tunnel that represents the inner journey, the destruction of all senses and human being’s deepest fears, synthesizing the alchemic “nigredo” of this path. At the end of the path, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel which will literally throw the visitors into a new life where they will have everything to learn.

Come raggiungere La Scarzuola:

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