The Park of the Giant

The mystery of the huge man imprisoned in the mountain

A sculpture set among the greenery of the Val Cavallina holds a secret and a great power. The Giant of Luzzana was such a potent protector of the nature around this work created in the 19th century that it subsequently became a park. Who knows if the young artist Giosuè Meli could ever have imagined when he sculpted it, that his giant would be capable of preserving intact the pathways, breath-taking views and delicate ecosystem of the area. The nature surrounding the sculpture remains intact, but so do its secrets too:
who really is the Giant of the Mountain?


According to popular tradition, the great man who emerges from the rocks is the Giant who holds up the mountain, but according to others, the sculpture is a Deposition of Christ. Confronted by this colossal sculpture, each person has his own version of the sculpture’s meaning. What is yours?

The meaning intended by Giosuè Meli remains unknown: we know only that the artist sculpted this gigantic human figure found by the steps of Via Costa in Luzzana in 1841, when he was a young student at the Accademia Carrara. It is believed he wanted to demonstrate to himself that he was capable of sculpting in the manner of Anti-Classical Michaelangelesque Gigantism, as well as that of the ‘Bella Maniera’ of Giambologna, before going on to a neo-Classical Rome where he would eventually achieve fame and recognition.

His sculpture can be seen along the Bragazzo river, before it flows into the Cherio, on a steep slope which overhangs the valley of water, with its ponds that form beautiful little water-falls of transparent water.

A network of walkways and paths run by the river, offering the viewer many observation points from which to admire the unspoiled nature all around and the rock shelf opposite with The Giant: giving us both a spectacular view of the sculpture as well as its surrounding environment.

Nearby is the old mediaeval hamlet of Luzzana, which houses many sculptures by the artist, the majority of which are kept safely within the walls of the Castle. Perhaps, amongst the masterpieces that Meli created, we might one day be able to discern hints regarding the meaning of the colossal figure… which keeps its vigil over all the valley like a gigantic good fellow.


This site is promoted by the Associazione Culturale Il Gigante di Luzzana.