Italian publishing magnate Franco Maria Ricci, 77, says there's nothing Masonic about his 80,000-square-meter, star-shaped labyrinth with a gold pyramid in the middle.
"Yes, I can see how it would remind you of that. But in reality I love it because it’s a symbol of secularism," Ricci told the Huffington Post.
Debates about its religious significance aside, the bamboo Masone Labyrinth is the largest maze in the world. Ricci originally sold FMR, his publishing house (he's now in the process of buying it back), to focus on the building the topiary puzzle, which will now serve as both a tourist attraction and event space. The central pyramid is capable of hosting weddings and the surrounding building includes areas for multiple restaurants, guest rooms, a dance hall, convention areas, and exhibition space—where, Ricci says, "My idea is to exhibit art, statues and books in the same areas where young people, researchers and bibliophiles can gather together to work."
The main draw, however, is definitely the maze. "The labyrinth is what will bring people here, a desire for something new. The thought of losing oneself and finding oneself again."
The €10 million ($11 million) project was completed earlier this year and is now open to visitors, with individual tickets costing €18. Check out the video by the Daily Mail below for a drone's-eye view: