The Monuments

The underlying ideology that permeates the "scenes" that make up the garden can be used as a key to understanding in order to capture in its richness and originality the vast architectural-environmental heritage created by Puccini. The general composition, the result of a process of successive constructions of buildings and monuments from the early 1821 to 1844, underlined by arboreal arrangements to configure the different "scenes", bears clear imprint of the mind and the mind of its owner-author . Through the dedication of buildings, the celebration with busts and columns accompanied by epigraphs, Puccini, permeated with the cosmopolitan spirit of the Enlightenment, exalts, celebrates the great men of European history (Gutenberg, Napoleon, etc.) alongside the Great Italians (Galileo , Dante, etc.) as examples of commitment and patriotism offered to the emulation of contemporaries. Nor are there any symbolic representations in the garden drawn from the ideology and values ​​of the nascent bourgeoisie (industry, wisdom, etc.) and virtue that is not lacking in distant enlightenment echoes (reason, friendship, philosophy). This iconographic material is not, on the other hand, used by Puccini in the composition of the garden with exclusively celebratory intent, but mainly with didactic and educational intent; intentions purposely educational towards the people, in particular towards the peasants of his lands, because Puccini believes in multidisciplinary knowledge, in progress, in the factors of civilization. The iconography of the new nineteenth-century gardens of English taste, to which the Puccini Garden is linked, expresses in itself the triumph of contemporary history, as opposed to the formal, eighteenth-century formal garden, mirror of the proud awareness of total knowledge , geometrically proven. The educational itinerary desired by Puccini therefore finds the appropriate place in this new conception of the garden. In the development of this itinerary, in fact, since the beginning of the design, the fixed-focus prospective system of the eighteenth-century garden has been excluded (optical spyglasses, perspective symmetries, rigidly obliged points of view). Buildings and monuments are distributed according to the conformation of places and the invention of "scenes", underlined by natural elements, is intended to surprise and suggest stop and reflection. Architecture and commemorative monuments are also present in the real agricultural area. The inclusion of large areas cultivated in the landscape garden of the nineteenth century, also highlighted by the disappearance of massive enclosure walls, responds to the purpose of enlarging and dissolving the boundaries of the perspective views of the garden and underline the leit-motif of the contrast between the 'work of man and nature. In the composition of the Puccini Garden the cultivated countryside seems to play, however, a further function, perhaps even more important than the others. It has the function of bringing, alongside the monuments of thought and the ideal, the testimony of the earth understood as economy, as an agricultural industry. The monuments that punctuate it not only form the formal link with the remaining part of the garden but also, through the utilitarian functions assigned to them, express the tangible "interest" of the owner towards the agricultural activity and the peasants. The morphology of the area that slopes into gentle terraced slopes up to the opening of the Pistoia plain near the villa of Scornio, allows Puccini to articulate more points of interest. Some, which appear in succession of scenes to the visitor, are located in the plains, near the artificial lakes and the woodland area; others, on the terraces, to enhance the natural emergencies or to constitute themselves, landscape emergencies visible from almost all the points of the garden. The Pantheon and the Gothic Castle are in close relationship with the artificial lake. The placement of minor monuments (columns, hemicycles, kiosks, busts) also responds, in most cases, to some rule of relationship with the landscape and the natural environment. They are, in fact, mostly located in blocks or in groups, in correspondence with singular elements of the garden (clearings, vantage points, ancient trees). So some significant monuments such as the statues of Ferruccio and Dante are placed in large grassy clearings, others almost immersed in the vegetation are however marked by particular natural elements: the bust of Machiavelli, shaded by a majestic oak, the monument dedicated to friendship surrounded by a group of laurels. «Two large lateral avenues rejoin the middle near the northern end; other minors in all directions and in various forms make it easier for them to consider the most remarkable things, and to take delight in the scenes that the garden now offers to the eye ».

Originally the Pantheon, placed on a relief, dominated the scene at one end, while the Castle, lower down, was placed in direct visual relationship with the waters of the lake. The scenic effect was completed by an island with the ruins of a temple dedicated to Pythagoras. Currently these visual relationships are altered by arboreal curtains between the lake and the monuments.

The Fortress, the Gothic Temple, which in the iconography of the romantic garden expresses regret and melancholy, was placed according to the canons near an ancient chestnut wood (now disappeared) on the edge of the park towards a panorama of open fields. Similarly, the Romitorio was dedicated to sweet melancholy and contemplation, also according to the rules of composition, placed in an isolated position, on the border with the cultivated countryside, along the slope of the hill.

Significant visual meanings on a larger scale, take the Bridge and Theater of Napoleon which rises above the gora that feeds the two lakes and which was, in the intent of Puccini, destined to "pass in plain" the valley of St. Anna. This vast building, which undoubtedly represents a strong connotation of the landscape, is also the visual linking point of the most significant elements that characterize the landscape on the garden: the ancient Villa of Bellosguardo, to which Puccini associated three impressive columns and parts of trabeation to represent the ruins of a Greek temple, and in the background, isolated and inaccessible, the Tower of Catiline. This last monument, a singular observatory placed in a woodland, rises at the highest point and dominates the whole area of ​​the garden, visible from almost all open places.

From the Bridge and Theater of Napoleon to the Val di Brana there is the "beautiful countryside" where the "Festa delle Spighe" was held annually, established by Puccini to celebrate and support the agricultural activity. While the Theater of Napoleon was a gathering and refreshment place for the participants, the religious ceremonies of the festival took place in the chapel of the Romitorio not far from the bridge, near the Madonna delle Vigne shrine now in the countryside, at the center of the cultivations on an artificial hill where you can enjoy the view of the Val di Brana.

Monument to Francesco Ferrucci

The statue stands in the meadow in front of the Gothic Castle. It was commissioned by Puccini to Luigi Zini around 1835, who took care to paint it in metallic gray to make the illusion of the armor that dressed the hero.

Monument to Industry

It represents a woman of classical origin who supports a cornucopia, "minister of God's Providence" according to the inscription dictated by Lambruschini.

Hemicycle of Galileo

What remains of the original monument today is only the central portion, the semicircular niche containing the acephalous statue of the mathematician. Almost completely missing the wide wall wings that outlined with their slight curvature a sort of wide open space to end with two statues on a base work by Luigi Zini and dedicated to the one Torricelli, to Viviani the other. Some steps lead into the niche. Completely disappearing the plasters from the perimeter walls, even the semi-dome shows little traces of the original decoration with wall drawers. A chain placed in an unknown period has contributed significantly to the sealing of the roof of this curious construction that still maintains the two Doric columns on either side of the entrance. Very eroded and, as mentioned, headless, and hands, the statue of Galileo, entirely in terracotta. The hemicycle is the only one of the monuments of the park that can still be seen in the wide grassy space that lies between the complex of Ponte Napoleone in the north, that of the Pantheon and the Castle in the south and the Romitorio in the east. All the others have largely disappeared.

Monument to Dante Alighieri

Merlini was commissioned in 1825 to iovanni. It stands in front of the Pantheon and depicts the poet holding the Commedia in the right-hand side, now missing with part of the forearm. It is the largest monument still visible in the Garden. The epigraph dictated by Pietro Giordani has also disappeared.

Fine Arts's Square

It is a large circular area where the long tree-lined avenue that once came directly from the Villa's "garden of flowers" ends. The square is surrounded by eight short stone columns, each surmounted by terracotta jars and pine cones, decorated with shoots, reptiles and other phytomorphic motifs. All that remains is a trace of the shaped wall bearing the statues of architecture, painting and sculpture, and a plaque commemorating the plane tree planted by Puccini to celebrate the third decade of the nineteenth century.


It was one of the fulcrum of the Garden, built as a family burial, open to even the most deserving citizens of the area. The temple also housed the tomb of the mother of Puccini and later the burial of the same Puccini. The church has two side chapels, designed as little baptisteries on a domed polygonal plant, attached to the main building and as this originally decorated with black and white horizontal bands. Inside it was adorned with paintings, choir, wooden, altars now disappeared, largely by Giovanni Gianni, to which we must also ascribe the Gothic arcade that at the beginning of the 40s was placed in front of the entrance of the church, when the Romitorio, between 1842 and 1846, became one of the places most dedicated to the celebration of the Feast of the Spikes. On this occasion the complex was the seat of all the liturgical ceremonies, of the masses and blessings of ears and herds, of choirs, of processions, of sermons. The Romitorio was certainly the most degraded of the monuments wanted by Puccini but its restoration is under way. Deprived of the original function of a place of worship and not replaced by any other task, the building remained for decades in complete abandonment. The loggia has lost the roof entirely and the same was happening to the body of the church, although the roof was later protected by sheet metal plates. In the best conditions the two side chapels, the covering of which is still intact. The portion of the building that served as a sacristy and which is orthogonal to the church keeps the ancient volume and the same decorations visible in the nineteenth century engravings. In front of the church is still visible what remains of the so-called Calvary, a simple mound of rough stones mixed with the vegetation on which is stuck a rough wooden cross. Originally the monument was completed by a stone and a kneeling figure in terracotta. The Romitorio is currently undergoing restoration.