Occasionally on an excursion, Mark will look at me and say, Monster Park, Maer, and I’ll know exactly what he means. It sums up for us in one short phrase all the squealing delights of wandering around, looking at things, and getting surprised. We went there in 2016, midway through our 9 month are-we-really-going-to-pack-up-and-move-to-France-? tour.
What the hell is Monster Park? It’s a 16th century sculpture park/garden near Viterbo, that was commissioned by a great patron of the arts as a place of consolation after his beloved wife’s death. It was done in the Mannerist style, which is what art became after everyone got sick to death of the stifling symmetrical classicism of the High Renaissance. Which basically means art got weirder and a lot more fun. Then it fell into decay (the park, not Mannerism), and that must have made it all the more delicious, spooky, and surprising for anyone stumbling upon it. Dali made it famous in a short film and then in a painting in the 1950s, and afterwards the park was renovated and reborn as a tourist attraction. Without further ado: Monster Park!
Monster Park, y’all !