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World's Largest Maze Opens, Puts The Shining to Shame

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If the site of an 80,000-square-meter, star-shaped labyrinth of bamboo, with a pyramid-shaped, gold-plated chapel at its center, seems mystical and possibly Masonic, don't fret, says owner and 77-year-old Italian publishing magnate Franco Maria Ricci. The Masone Labyrinth, which opened late this spring in Parma, Italy, after years of work, is more about secularism, a statement about losing oneself (though he admits it's been raising the eyebrows of the local bishop). Ricci says that he chose bamboo for his expansive creation because frankly, he doesn't have much time left, and wanted to see the maze finished in his lifetime.

Filled with junctions and blind alleys, the 10 million Euro ($11 million) topiary puzzle was inspired in part by Ricci's writer friend, Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino. The sheer size and breadth of this massive project (and some descriptions suggest, huge metaphor) positioned it as the world's largest maze, beating out the Pineapple Garden Maze in Hawaii. Symbolism aside, Ricci envisions this as a destination, with plans to hold art shows inside the gallery in the center of the complex, as well as host weddings at the chapel. With the distinct possibility of losing guests between the ceremony and reception, the Masone Lanyrinth may even offers its own unique money-saving opportunities.

· Labirinto della Masone
· The Masone Labyrinth [Domus]
· The Real-Life Shining Hotel is Getting a Real-Life Hedge Maze [Curbed Ski]
· Here's How Mind-Blowing the Lawn on D Maze Will Be [Curbed Boston]