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THE COLOSSUS OF VILLA DEMIDOFF -VAGLIA, ITALY

Commissioned by Francesco I de’ Medici in the 16th century Villa Demidoff and the nearby Villa di Pratolino took over 12 years to complete. The end result was a stunning near-labyrinth of natural caves, lakes and massive sculptures. Of the statuary, the 16th century “Appennine Colossus,” is the main focal point of the landscape. Hesits atop a grotto in apparent anguish at his fate.

After changing hands a few more times, the wild grounds eventually fell into the hands of the government of Florence, who operated the area as a public park during the spring and summer months.

To learn more of the beauty and mystery of these gardens visit Atlas Obscura