Pumpkin theme park L’Orto delle Zucche has opened for one month only in the Valdarno countryside.
From September 29 to Halloween, autumn enthusiasts might be enticed to L’Orto di Vaggio farm shop in Matassino, a 40-minute drive from Florence, to choose a pumpkin and pose for selfies in front of striking set designs. From a bright red barn cutout to a witch’s hut and cute cottage filled with surprises, this is American-style family fun in a bona fide pumpkin patch. Kids can take part in pumpkin carving and painting workshops, while parents indulge in a piece of pumpkin pie and a pumpkin spice latte before popping into the Zucca shop for a memento of the 90-minute experience.
There’s just one requirement to access the fun: you each have to purchase a pumpkin online (prices start at 18.90 euro per person; kids under a metre tall go free) or at the entrance before actually picking a pumpkin from the patch.
“It started out as a farming project, planting hundreds of pumpkins in a field covering 1,500 square metres,” Sebastiano Di Falco explains. “I work as a set designer, so I asked them to let me get creative. There will be a playhouse, vintage games and much more.”
None of the minds beneath the pumpkin patch are American. Instead they are locals in love with elements of the U.S. culture. Sebastiano continues: “We love all things American and tend to stick a turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving, being grateful for everything. Plus, we’re amazed that no-one where we live has ever eaten pumpkin pie. My wife, who works at a bakery in Florence, studied the recipe down to the last detail. We want people to enjoy themselves!”
For additional entertainment, head to L’Orto delle Zucche on October 14 for a Spaghetti Western themed night (pumpkins oddly excluded) or for the Halloween grand finale on October 31.