The Tarot Garden

Amidst fantasy and reality


The Tarot Garden, one of the wonders of the Tuscan hills, was built on the Garavicchio estate in Capalbio. In 1979, the famous French sculptress Niki Saint Phalle began working on the structure. Her aim was to create a grand esoteric garden—an idea that came to her after having visited Gaudì’s Guell park in Barcelona. She began her artistic adventure, which she personally funded, in collaboration with her husband, Jean Tinguly.

The sculptures are twelve to fifteen meters high and they are made out of iron rounds of varying thickness and cement. These cyclopic structures were built this way so that they would be anti-seismic.

Successively, the works were covered with mirror mosaics and precious glass from Murano in addition to ceramic pieces. Some of the garden’s works were created by other artists. French artist Pierre Marie Lejeune created the ceramic benches you’ll find outside of the garden and the iron and ceramic chairs located inside ‘The Empress’. He also designed the ticket office’s furnishings. The frescos inside ‘The Magician’ were created by painter Alan Davie, while the sculpture inside ‘The Priestess’ was created by Marina Karella.

Architect Mario Botta designed the ticket office. Today, the garden is currently a private foundation. Entrance fees serve to maintain the garden.


Official website:

Stunning views of the Maremma and crystal blue sea
Capalbio is at the southern border of Tuscany and perches on top of a hill covered by trees and Mediterranean scrub. Originally, it was the castle of the Tre Fontane di Roma (8th century). During the Middle Ages, it belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family, then the Orsini Counts, and in 1416, it was annexed to the Sienese Republic. ...