Located in the Montegabbione area of Umbria, La Scarzuola is a Franciscan convent and a complex made by a Milanese architect- Tomaso Buzzi.
Buzzi bought La Scarzuola in 1957 and began restoring it to create an “Ideal City” (Città Ideale).The complex is nothing but a result of a series of hundreds of sketches that Buzzi made. The place was built and rebuilt after which it collapsed and re-done countless times.
But what is the Ideal City? I wonder.
Buzzi wanted to create a city that shows the ideal path of life to each individual. For me, it was unusual, quirky, imaginative yet hard to understand. The place is strange and requires a guide to take it all in.
I was lucky to be with Brian- an Australian who loved the place so much that he converted and settled in La Scarzuola and has been living since the past 20 years. Brian filled me with the history from Buzzi’s time. He told me that after Buzzi passed away in 1981 his nephew Marco Solari and Brian himself redid the gardens.
La Scarzuola consists of 7 theaters:
–Theatre of Apollo
–Theatre of Diana
–Theatre of Bees
–Theatre of the Ideal City
–Theatre of the Big Lawn
–Tower of the Babble
La Scarzuola as you can see from the pictures is nothing like any place I have seen yet. There is a certain eeriness in the grounds even though I went during the day. Maybe it was because it was in a secluded area of Umbria. Or maybe the architecture and the mystery behind it got me thinking so. The lush green Umbrian countryside certainly did not help me there.
La Scarzuola is lesser known among tourists and I’d suggest you to visit pronto before it gets run down by mass tourism. I could visit the place in a heartbeat and more eager to see it at night.
How to Reach:
La Scarzuola should be booked via email through their website. There are guides in English and Italian both that will show you the interesting complex and its gardens for EUR 10. The place can be best accessed by car.