Perhaps if Giambologna had built his Colossus in a grand piazza in Florence, it would would now be considered one of the greatest masterpieces in the world, but alas, it resides off the beaten path and is little known. The masonry Colossus once had rooms, caves and inner passageways, and even a hydraulic system that connected the head of the giant to the various water sources in his body, and the fountain that poured from the fish he is squeezing. Today it has some visitors, but no where near the number it deserves.
Truth be told, the Park of Pratolino, where the giant resides, is one of the most beautiful parks in the area surrounding Florence. Other treats here include the beautiful Chapel of Buontalenti with its hexagonal plan; behind the Colossus is a fantastic Dragon; below it is a decorated grotto. If you don't go behind the immense statue, you might miss seeing it. There is also the Cupid's Grotto by Buontaltenti; the large aviary; the Maschera Fishpond originally used for hot baths; and the Fountain of Jupiter. Some of these can be visited only upon request. The park is open every weekend and has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage site. Guided tours, even during the week, can be booked by directly calling the park, and all at no cost. Yes, there is no entrance fee to this park.
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