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Art & History

Hidden gems in Milan: the Pinocchio fountain

News > Art & History | Hidden gems in Milan: the Pinocchio fountain

Besides the most famous attractions, Milan is a city full of places lesser known by tourists as the Fontana a Pinocchio (fountain dedicated to Pinocchio), one of the monuments that are worth a visit.

If you try to ask info about this fountain to Milanese people, we can bet that many won’t know what to answer.
Yet this unusual fountain exists in Milan since 19th May 1956, when a big celebration inaugurated the playground at the gardens of Corso Indipendenza, a central avenue of the city.

In front of the curious eyes of a small crowd of people it was unveiled this monument, designed by the sculptor Attilio Fagioli in 1955.

When the children of the neighboring streets went to play at the small park in the following days, they were amazed by the striking statues of Pinocchio, the Cat and the Fox!

The origins of the fountain

The fountain portrays Pinocchio became child, who looking down at the lifeless body of the puppet he used to be.

The statues of the Cat and the Fox are at the base of the complex, and on the pedestal where Pinocchio is standing, there is an inscription by the poet Antonio Negri who inspired the sculptor’s work: “Com’ero buffo quand’ero un burattino! E tu che mi guardi, sei ben sicuro di aver domato il burattino che vive in te?”.

In 1955 Attilio Fagioli had shaped his Pinocchio just as Mastro Geppetto did it in Collodi’s book.

The face of Pinocchio seems true even if it is bronze.


A fairy tale with a happy ending

Just like in a fairy tale, this Pinocchio bronze statue lived many adventures.

The fountain of Pinocchio, in fact, was threatened by neglect, but fortunately was preserved just one year ago thanks to a careful and painstaking restoration.
La Fontana a Pinocchio, during the last 20 years, suffered numerous acts of vandalism, including the theft of the cat statue, one of the main characters of Collodi’s book that was paired with the fox.

Furthermore the fountain was without water, a neglected jewel reported by citizens through social channels as a “monument to be saved.”


The happy ending comes in December 2013: a new statue of the cat was built, the fountain has been cleaned up and put back into operation, and the surrounding gardens were redesigned.
The granddaughter of sculptor Fagioli, Sandra Tofanari, contributed to restoration works and attended the opening ceremony of the new fountain.


If you are planning a trip to Milan, perhaps with your children, include a visit to Pinocchio Fountain at Corso Indipendenza bringing with you the Collodi’s book to read to children, you will experience the feeling of being surrounded by a really fabulous atmosphere.

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