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Big Bench in Careggine

Big Benches, the giant seats of Tuscany

Where to find the colorful extra large seats, a synthesis of design and territorial promotion. To admire the most beautiful Tuscan landscapes, and support them

This is not just public furniture where you can take a rest and chat with friends, but a whole new dimension and vision, an international project. The so-called big benches are giant seats that are part of a non-profit initiative in support of local communities, of the tourism of "minor destinations" but which are far from minor in terms of beauty. The Big Bench Community Project (BBCP) is an idea by ​American designer, Chris Bangle, who has lived in the Langhe for years, the site of the first giant bench.

These are much larger than the classic benches found in parks, they become a kind of symbol of the place, a reason to visit a new territory, allowing you to admire beautiful views from a unique point of view; the oversized dimensions bring those who sit there back to childhood again, a time when everything seemed larger, allowing you to look at everything in amazement

In Tuscany, there are several big benches scattered in the most lovely places in the region, here are some of them.

  • 1.
    Careggine (big bench no. 55)
  • 2.
    Pietrasanta (big bench no. 109)
  • 3.
    Castiglion Fibocchi (big bench no. 111)
  • 4.
    Gaiole in Chianti (big bench no. 136)
  • 5.
    Piombino (big bench no. 150)
  • 6.
    Comano (big bench no. 153)
  • 7.
    Stazzema (big bench no. 160)
  • 8.
    Rosignano Marittimo (big bench no. 192)

Careggine (big bench no. 55)

The big bench of Careggine
The big bench of Careggine - Credit: Sheila Niccolai

A delightful village in the heart of the Garfagnana on the slopes of Mount Sumbra, Careggine is one of the main gateways to the Apuan Alps Regional Park. The first big bench in Tuscany was inaugurated in 2019, and it can be reached by travelling along a mule track that leads to the panoramic promontory "Dei Monti". From the giant, bright yellow bench, you can enjoy one of the most charming and wild views that the Apuan Alps can offer.

Pietrasanta (big bench no. 109)

View of Pietrasanta
View of Pietrasanta - Credit: Graeme Maclean

The cradle of contemporary art in Versilia, Pietrasanta was a sure choice for the perfect synthesis of design, art and territory. The soft green color is harmoniously placed at the Rocca viewpoint a few steps from Piazza del Duomo. It was the second created in Tuscany and for some time it was the only giant bench to have a view of the sea, while also casting your eyes on the city of art.

Castiglion Fibocchi (big bench no. 111)

The big bench in Castiglion Fibocchi
The big bench in Castiglion Fibocchi - Credit: Discover Arezzo

On the Strada dei Setteponti of Valdarno, the town of Re Bocco can be found on the slopes of Pratomagno. Just outside the medieval village of Castiglion Fibocchi, a road makes its way through lovely hills and oak groves, passing the historic Romanesque church of San Quirico in Alfiano, up to a natural terrace where the big bench finds its ideal location. From here, you can enjoy the beautiful panorama that sweeps over the Arno valley and the village up to the city of Arezzo.

Gaiole in Chianti (big bench no. 136)

Hills around Meleto Castle
Hills around Meleto Castle - Credit: colddayforpontooning

The first giant bench in Chianti was installed in 2021 in the land of the Black Rooster. Lying on a hill and surrounded by vineyards, it's in the "Meleto green" color like the one on the Chianti Classico Riserva label that's produced in the Castello di Meleto winery, the manor next to which the big bench has been installed to allow you to admire the world-famous hills.

Piombino (big bench no. 150)

The small gulf of Calamoresca and a giant bench to admire it. Yellow and orange in color like the tones of the wonderful sunsets seen from here, the big bench overlooks one of the most beautiful beaches in the Val di Cornia, letting us enjoy the horizon and the Tuscan archipelago. Located in a panoramic point on the promontory of Piombino, it marks the starting point of the Via dei Cavalleggeri, the hiking itinerary between sky and sea that retraces a historic military coastal path that reaches the Gulf of Baratti.

Comano (big bench no. 153)

Comano - Credit: Zeke

Located at an altitude of 1000 metres, it's been nicknamed the "Big Bench of the Sky". This giant bench is framed by the beautiful landscapes of Lunigiana. It can be reached by passing the town of Comano, continuing along the road to the Lagastrello Pass that lies between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. A short distance from the pretty village of Groppo San Pietro, bright green and yellow colors send a sign to you that the time has come to sit down and admire the Ligurian Mountains and the sea of the Gulf of Poets.

Stazzema (big bench no. 160)

The big bench of Stazzema
The big bench of Stazzema - Credit: Comune di Stazzema

Close to Versilia's oldest village, on the slopes of Mount Corchia, you will find a big green bench positioned on the outskirts of Terrinca, a hamlet of Stazzema, to be precise in Passo Croce. It offers a front-row seat to the natural spectacle of the Apuan Alps, starring the imposing massif, its steep valleys covered by the untamed and lush nature and, in the background, the golden coast bathed by the Ligurian Sea.

Rosignano Marittimo (big bench no. 192)

The big bench in Rosignano Marittimo
The big bench in Rosignano Marittimo - Credit: Agriturismo Cappellese

Cherry-red in color, the maxi bench in Rosignano Marittimo, in the Etruscan Coast, sits in a landscape that looks like a painting. Big bench number 192 is in the park of Agriturismo Cappellese. On the hill facing the bench you can make out the Camaiano Cross, a symbol commemorating an ancient Roman Pieve from the year 1000. Reaching the giant bench in Rosignano is possible thanks to different routes and scenic trails.

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