Shrouded within the park of Villa Demidoff (just north of Florence, Italy), there sits a gigantic 35-foot-tall 16th century sculpture known as Colosso dell’Appennino, or the Appennine Colossus. The brooding structure was first erected in 1580 by Italian sculptor Giambologna. Like a guardian of the pond in front of him, the giant is in an endless watchful pose, perched atop his earthy seat.
His beard is heavy with stalactites and by his pose one can tell his heart is heavy with time itself.
He used to have other neighboring bronze statues, many of which were lost or stolen. The massive brick and stone structure has stood for centuries in the same spot, weathered and worn, but still magnificent. The park that the colossus is situated in, once built as an estate for the mistress of an Italian duke, serves as the perfect setting for the gentle giant. The colossus suggests a bond between man and Nature himself.
But the Colossus isn’t merely a statue… it’s also a building. There are chambers inside his body, and even a fireplace in his head that when lit would allow smoke to come out of his nose. One special room could hold a small orchestra to play music for people visiting the site.
The rugged, mountainous statue hides a wonderful secret – his interior hides several rooms with different functions that made this colossus come to life. The monster that his left hand holds spewed water from an underground stream, and it is rumored that space in his head was made for a fireplace which, when lit, would blow smoke out of his nostrils.