Satirical journalist created Pinocchio to express his own views
Carlo Collodi, in real life Carlo Lorenzini, was born on this day in 1826 in Florence.
|A giant model of Pinocchio|
Although he was a satirical journalist who supported the cause of the Risorgimento, Collodi is best remembered for his stories for children about the character, Pinocchio.
The writer was brought up in the small town of Collodi where his mother had been born and he adopted the name of her birthplace as a pen name.
After becoming interested in politics he started the satirical newpaper, Il Lampione, in 1848. This was censored by order of the Grand Duke of Tuscany so in 1854 he started Lo Scaramuccia, which was also controversial.
But in 1856 he wrote his first play for the theatre and, after Italian unification in 1861, he turned his attention to writing for children.
Collodi’s stories about his first main character, Giannettino, were a way of expressing his own political ideas through allegory.
He began writing Storia di un Burattino, The Story of a Marionette, in 1880. He went on to contribute regular stories about his character, who he later called Pinocchio, to a newspaper for children.
Pinocchio was created out of wood by a woodcarver, Geppetto, but he became a mischievous boy whose nose grew when he told a lie. His adventures were allegories of the political times in Italy.
After Collodi died in Florence in 1890, his stories, which became known as Le Avventure di Pinocchio (The Adventures of Pinocchio) went on to become popular with children all over the world.
You can visit Parco di Pinocchio ( Pinocchio Park ) in Collodi near the town of Pescia in Tuscany and walk through woodland, meeting the characters and seeing the places in the stories, which are represented through art and architecture. Visit www.pinocchio.it for more details.
Pescia is in the northern part of Tuscany , close to the beautiful towns of Lucca , Pistoia and Montecatini Terme. It is known as the ‘city of flowers’, because of its large, wholesale flower market. In the church of San Francesco there are 13th century frescoes depicting the life of St Francis, which are believed to be an accurate representation of the Saint because the artist, Bonaventura Berlinghieri, actually knew him.
(Picture credits: Pinocchio by Sailko; Pescia cathedral by Miomiomio; via Wikimedia Commons)