Napoleon was a fan, and é vero Italy is amazing, although Parma is amazeballs.
And si, we too have gone round in circles in the very same labyrinth near Padova.
And the Villa Pisani’s Labyrinth of Love by the River Brenta is where Bony and his pals, and Mussolini and Hitler too, played.
Because the prize for those who can find their way into the centre was a fair maiden.
Labyrinths have been with us since Classical Days when Theseus saved the children of Athens from being eaten.
Armed with a ball of string and a sword given to him by the comely Princess Ariadne.
Of course if I’d been paying attention in my Greek class in school I would have known to take string with me to Boney’s maze.
I did though escape, to get lost another day…
And that day was along the Via Francigena from Viterbo in Lazio into Rome in an olive grove.
And peeling pilgrim stickers to guide you on your way.. like pre-Sat Nav trekkers did.
Of course I could get lost in my own room but far more fun to get stuck in the world’s biggest labyrinth…
No, not in Hampton Court or the Palace of Versailles but in Parma at the Labirinto della Masone, the largest bamboo labyrinth in the world.
The centrepiece in the Emilia Romagna town is made with 200,000 bamboo plants between 30 cm and 15 metres in height.
And the path through it is over 3 kilometres in length.
A work of art
All the brainchild of Franco Maria Ricci, an Italian art publisher and magazine editor.
If (sorry when) you get out you’ll want to check out the connected building.
Where visitors can find an art collection, a restaurant, and two suites to spend the night.
Ricci’s personal art collection, amassed over 50 years, includes Napoleonic busts, mannerist works, paintings spanning the 17th to 19th centuries, original illustrations of Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianu and a wooden model of Milan’s Duomo.
The story goes that Ricci was inspired by a friend and contributor in his publishing house whom he hosted.
And here’s the kicker, Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges was blind!
And even he would have a better chance of finding his way than your Bandanaman.
Still Parma is amazeballs. Just remember your ball of string.
Maybe forget the sword… you’ll probably turn it on yourself out of frustration.