The Park of Wonders

Venture carefully into the eight hectares of the Roccanivo Park: you might make some strange encounters;

In the Park of Wonders, everything is its opposite, every attribute is transformed and every adjective is its contrary;

Drink me, says the bottle on the coffee table, and you shrink down enough to look the ladybirds and ants in the eye. Eat me, says the biscuit tin, and you get up enough to touch the highest branches of the ancient oaks.

Follow the white rabbit as it runs up and down the forest, but try to keep up with it; you may lose track of it. Too late: you lost your way and the white rabbit ran off, always late for something even he doesn’t know what it is. Who will help you?”

You see a big top hat: its owner is a rather nice man, who talks non-stop about time, space, birthdays and unbirthdays; You agree with him that celebrating a non-birthday is much more convenient because there are many more non-birthdays, but when he shows you his watch that doesn't tell time you get a little suspicious; Perhaps it is better not to accept his tea and continue on your way;

You’re a little hungry, but you just don’t want to risk eating another biscuit, just when you’re back to normal size: you approach a cherry tree; “Halt!” a spade card stops you “the cherries are not yet ripe. It would be a shame to eat them now! Have an apricot instead, they are very sweet these days.”

The hunger problem is solved, but you still don’t know where you are or what time it is. You try to approach a card of hearts, but you hear it mutter to itself something like “cut off his head“, so you think it’s best to steer clear. A flower card tells you something strange… “There is someone in this Park who should not be there.

You’ve been wandering around for some time now (But does time really exist or is it just a construct? If there is no clock, can we swear that time has passed?) when you discover, hidden in a corner, an ace of diamonds. “Please don’t look at me!” seems a little strange to you so you want to know more;

“My family is friends with the Hearts family, the nobles of my kingdom: I live in the castle with them, in luxury. But gold bores me and I do not like lace. I prefer to stay here in the cool of the park and enjoy the real wealth, the Nature that surrounds me. Where is the exit? I’m sorry, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. I’ll never get out of here. Don’t tell the Ace of Flowers that you’ve seen me!”

You walk away quickly, ready to swear you have never seen an ace of diamonds in your life, and continue your walk: in a clearing surrounded by trees you notice something.

First a smile appears (with slightly sharp little teeth!) then two pointed ears, a big tail… and then a cat looks at you slyly.

You’re not sure whether to ask him something, give him a pat or run for the hills, but he doesn’t seem threatening and then he’s looking right at you, so you have no choice, at least for politeness.

"No, I don't know how to get out of the Park," he tells you, still with the same smile, "We were born here and it is the Park itself that created us: we are not separable from it. But there is someone who, like you, arrived by following the white rabbit: I will take you there, he can help you."

You would have thought anything, but not to find yourself in front of a little blonde girl, dressed in cards of all suits, with eyes as good and old as time; “I am Alice; Like you, I got lost behind the rabbit and like you, I looked for the exit: but after finding it, I realised that the hustle and bustle, the noise, the hustle and bustle of everyday life could not hold a candle to the calmness that one breathes here; In this timeless place, I live in harmony with my animal friends and my plant friends: I sleep when I feel like it, I do not suffer from hunger or thirst; This is my place: I don’t need anything else; Come, I will walk you towards the exit, but remember: the doors of the Park of Wonders are always open for those who want to taste its peace.”

When Alice waves her hand, you notice a path leading upwards to a large flower terrace and a large Borgo with arches and stained glass windows; But how is it possible that I hadn’t noticed it before? You thank her and walk on; she waves to you while stroking the smiling cat;

Here you are on the terrace, looking down on the Park of Wonders from above: looking at the Casalotto clock you realise that not a minute has passed since you followed the white rabbit into the park.

The gates of the Park of Wonders are always open for those who want to taste its peace;