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Parco Chigi


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The Enchanted Forest

Published by Jasmin Pampana — 3 years ago

There's a place, situated in Ariccia - a small town next to Rome - where magic happens during Christmastime. It is a green area called Parco Chigi which is part of a historical palace, palazzo Chigi. It hosts a seasonal event  that lasts for the whole month of December and in Italian it is called "le luminarie di Ariccia" - which means literally "the Christmas lights of Ariccia". 

I've been there yesterday night, so here's my experience.

There was an entrance ticket to pay, nothing exaggerated anyway. We passed the ticket check and then we entered a green space completely lighted up. There was a path we were supposed to follow and lots of colourful lights were set in order to guide us. First of all we came across a ship entirely made up of lights. It was a small ship of course, we wanted to hop on but we thought maybe it wasn't the best idea, especially because of the banner which stated "do not hop on". After that we found a coach which was lead by a reindeer. That too was completely made up of lights. Kids were going mad about it, everybody wanted to take a picture inside the coach. We didn't, just because we were six grown-ups and we would have probably destroyed the entire thing.

Then the path lead us to a lights wall.

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It had a crack in the middle, and if you went close enough you could see a flash of yellow light coming out of it. Instead of a crack, I liked to think of it as a window though. I thought it was meant to state something deeper than it seemed - even if you feel like you have enough light/happiness in your life, keep walking and you'll see that there are brighter, happier things to come. At least I like to think about it that way. 

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This is what we saw from the window in the wall. Following the path we came across this source of yellow light that we saw from the window. It was a willow. The willow of hope, according to the signpost in front of it. Here it is from a closer perspective. 

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We took a lot of pictures all together in front of this willow, there was a happy atmosphere around it. 

We went past the willow and we found ruins of an ancient building, maybe a house, where a static, made-up-of-little-lights bear was hiding. It was as tall as I am - so not that much, but still taller than a child.  I think it might have been supposed to scare us - in a good way of course - because every time people went near to it, a sudden growl came out of it. The thing is, there were so many people that the surprise effect wasn't exactly effective. But it was fascinating anyway.

Going on with the lighted up path, we came across a kind of crossroads - one pathway leading downwards, one other leading upwards. We took the one going downwards, - we had to pass through an enormous star entirely made up of steel and bright white lights, and I felt like I was a little kid. The pathway was supposed to lead us to an aviary. There was a swan, a small river where ducks were swimming - all made up of small coloured lights of course - and other birds. The aviary was at the end of the pathway - it's the towering shining white thing in the picture below. 

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I know the picture is dark and super blurry, but that's the best I could accomplish with my hands shaking for the cold. (It was extremely cold). We took pictures in front of the aviary too, then we began to make our way upwards to the other pathway. The next things we encountered was an giant amphora, reversing "water" on the ground - once again, everything was made up of little coloured lights, the amphora was not actually spilling anything on the ground.

Following the path again we reached a huge present-shaped tunnel - you can spot it in the  previous picture, right up the aviary. I tried to take a decent picture but I'm not sure I did it right. You'll be the judge.

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As you can see from this picture, people could go inside of it - and that's what everybody did. From the inside I had the impression of being in a sort of cage or gallery, where all I could see was pure white-and-red light. It was a pleasant feeling actually, it made me feel safe and reminded me of Christmas. 

After the huge present there were two decorative Christmas balls, like the ones people usually put on a Christmas tree but waaay bigger. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of this. We had the chance to go inside of them though, and it was a magical moment. When we all were inside a song started to play - Hallelujah, the cover song by Pentatonix. The moment after we were all singing and smiling.

Eventually we had to get out - mostly to let other people enjoy it too. The tour through the Enchanted Forest was over, and I was pervaded with happiness. It was the kind of peaceful happiness that one usually experiences during the Christmas holidays. So if you find yourself in Ariccia or in the around areas and you feel like you need a bit of Christmas-ish cheering up, I suggest you definitely go check out Parco Chigi and its temporary exhibition. 

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