Have you climbed a Big Bench yet? Let's find out where to go back to childhood while admiring a wonderful panorama in Italy.
Big Benches were born in 2010. The architect Chris Bangle built his first creation at Clavesana, the place where he lived for some time, near Cuneo. To him, that was a new point of view from where to contemplate natural surroundings, taking anything for granted.
The project was intented as a non-profit one and public financing is not allowed. The first built Big Bench gave fame to little villages which where only known by locals. A winning idea born in Piemonte and now spreading to Italy and Europe.
Big Benches: how they were born, who pays for them and what’s their meaning?<
Big Benches’idea was to realize a work that could become an experience to share jointly.
The involvement in this project requires two conditions: the first is to be financed by private sponsors or by voluntary labor; the second is to build them in panoramic and easy to be reached places. Following these terms, anyone can take advantage of the Big Benches’ design, which is covered by copyright.
In this way, you will be able to build your Big Bench, according to directions that Chris Bangle gave free of charge. There is also a Foundation, the Big Bench Community Project (BBCP): it regulates new born official benches, giving to each of them their progressive number.
Big Benches’ intention is to suggest an adventure which will make you feel forgotten emotions:
• let you feel like a child, enjoying the sensation of being little in a world of adults, and looking ath the landscape with different eyes
• connect yourself to nature, because when you are sitting on a Big Bench you will be able to see the world from another point of view ad open your mind
• meditate, in peace with yourself and your world, and restore thus recharging your batteries
Each Big Bench has different colours, so that they can fit perfectly inside the scenery and become an harmonic part of it. This aspect adds emotions to this deep experience and it will let you fully enjoy the panoramic view they give.
Where are Big Benches in Italy?
Big Benches are built in panoramic points which are easy to reach. Their presence represents a great appeal for tourists. It brings a lot of people towards villages that were known only by locals, bringing up the value of these places.
The ideal position is at the top of hills and far from towns. Even if they may seem an out-of-the-way place, they are provided with marked paths or with pathways in ordert to be easily reached.
You can find them in many italian regions: in Italy we have strategical spots. You will be amazed at those views andit’s really difficult to say which are the most beautiful. Big Benches’ presence are alternative paths for a day trip but they can also be seen as a relaxing moment in a longer excursion.
Some oft hem lie among vineyards, others make you see the most beautiful lakes from above. The most charming join the view of the mountain to that of the sea… where are you going to take your wonderful pictures from?
If you are looking for yout next trip destination, think about one of the many Big Benches in Italy and leave at once. Sometimes you don’t have to go far to live unforgettable emotions, you just have to look around carefully.
How can you get to your favourite Big Bench?
Big Benches are well marked, both on navigation apps and on the spot. If you follow the suggested way, you will easily get to your destination and to the most accessible parking. Then you will be ready to start your trip. On the web there is plenty of reviews, pictures and advices: suggestions about best time and day for your trip, hints about how and when you can take your best pictures and then post them on Instagram, advices about local products that you will be glad to take home.
Big Benches’ climbing is always made easy by stairs made with wood or other materials, suitable also for children if accompanied by an adult.
Big Bench: a social phenomenon and its community
Big Benches are very celebrated, they have become a social phenomenon. On the web you can find the Foundation official Profile, but also groups on Facebook and hashtags on Instagram: using them you can share pictures, information and curiosities written by people who visited the benches. This community also gives tips to enrich your trip to Big Benches, such as local activities or interesting sights in the surroundings.
The increasing phenomenon gave life to products and gadgets that remind to Big Benches’project. They are made by the official Foundation as a supporting source and fundraising. They also created an official passport to be stamped after each visit to a bench by local shopkeepers.
It’s a gem for fans and you will be able to show it with proud during your storytelling.
Big Benches’ map: where can you find Big Benches?
You can find Big Benches in many Italian regions. The first were born in Piedmont, there is a path going through Langhe and Monferrato to see them all. The second region that made them was Lombardy, particularly in the area of Lake Iseo. Then they spread to the area of Como and Lecco and now they are present in the most interesting Lombard places. There are also Benches in Valle d’Aosta, in Liguria and some are placed between sea and hills in Tuscany. Tou can find them in Emilia Romagna and they go till Molise, Basilicata and Puglia.
The list grows constantly, the project has positive feedbacks, both from tourism and on media level. Some structures have an easier access for disabled persons and for people having mobility difficulties: a kindness toward integration which is marked by a special logo.
Not all benches can have this extra detail: the ground must be flat to settle a suitable access, parking space is needed nearby and the path to the Big Bench has to be esay for people with mobility difficulties.