Tuscany Planet

Your tourist travel guide for Tuscany

Big benches in Tuscany

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Big Bench Community Project

The “Big Bench Community” project is a unique initiative that sees the creation of giant benches in various locations around the world. The aim of the project is to create meeting and socializing spaces for local communities, as well as promoting art and urban design. In fact, the giant benches were designed and built by local artists and designers, making them truly unique and representative pieces of the place where they are located. In this article, we will explore the giant benches of the “Big Bench Community” project in Tuscany, analyzing their structure, meaning and location.

How giant benches are born

Giant benches are becoming more and more popular all over the world and their installation is also increasing in Tuscany. Conceived by designer Chris Bangle in 2010, these colorful and maxi benches invite people to “experience well-known things but in a different context”, offering a change of perspective and a new contact with the surrounding environment. Bangle provides the blueprints and building instructions, but local communities build them. The only constraint is that the bench must be positioned in a panoramic place, accessible and reachable on foot.

Big Bench in Rosignano Marittimo
Big Bench in Rosignano Marittimo (Photo by Marco Becheri)

Big benches as tourist attractions

Over time they have become increasingly famous and these giant benches have now become a real attraction, a travel experience and a goal to achieve. There is also a passport dedicated to those who visit the giant benches on which stamps are affixed that certify each attraction visited.

The giant benches in the world

At the time this guide was written, there were 280 existing benches and 59 under construction for a total of 339 benches! On the official website of the Big Bench Community Project you can find a map showing all the benches. The giant benches are almost all found in Italy and by now almost all regions have at least one, but benches are starting to appear abroad as well. In particular, the first “foreign” benches can be found in Spain, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Wales, Scotland and Sweden. Who knows if in the future the project will also extend outside Europe, reaching other continents as well.

Big bench in Careggine
Big Bench in Careggine (Photo by Cristina MaioglioCC BY)

The big benches in Tuscany

And Tuscany? Our region is well represented with a good number of benches distributed among the various provinces. At the moment there are 13 benches already built in Tuscany and 6 under construction. Now let’s see what are the benches already built in Tuscany and where they are:

  • Careggine (n° 55)
  • Pietrasanta (n° 109)
  • Castiglion Fibocchi (n° 111)
  • Gaiole in Chianti (n° 136)
  • Piombino (n° 150)
  • Comano (n° 153)
  • Stazzema (n° 160)
  • Rosignano Marittimo (n° 192)
  • Castellina Marittima (n° 206)
  • Pieve a Nievole (n° 219)
  • Porto Azzurro (n° 224)
  • Fucecchio (n° 256)
  • San Vincenzo (n° 275)
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