This place is so dear to my heart..! When you first arrive, you can scarcely believe a place
like this could exist. A park? How many parks do you know boasting an enormous (and marvellous) statue of a giant, lurking behind lush trees and plants..?
So, this giant dwells in Pratolino, half an hour by car far from Florence, in the garden of a former villa once belonging to the Medici family (namely, to the Grand Duke Francis I). Giambologna sculpted the statue from a metal structure covered in pumice and petrified sponges from 1579 until 1583.
Had it been made in ancient times, and not in the 1500s , it would surely be listed among
the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, alongside the Colossus of Rhodes ..!
This colossus was intended by the Grand Duke to embody the Nile River. Later, it transpired
to be a personification of a terrible mountain god (the Apennine chain), struck by lightning by Jupiter himself (whose statue is upstream of the colossus', and is not possible to visit). So our colossus knelt before him, allowing the river’s invigorating water to run through the Grandduchy of Tuscany (as Nile river used to do in Egypt).
Where does this water come from..? It springs from the mouth of a dragon, whose head is
pressed down by the Apennine, creating a jaw-dropping pond overflowing with lotuses, which stretches out in front of the Giant.