Ah, Italy. Land where ancient meets modern, where towering mountains meet pristine shores, where indulgence is a daily habit, where modesty takes the form of decadence. One country, officially, but Italy is really several different worlds combined into one or perhaps, a microcosm of our entire world.
Most of these worlds are majestic and beautiful but all leave you speechless. Unfortunately, if you happen to visit a hilltop called "Colletto Fava" near the town of Artesina, in Italy's Piedmont region, your speechlessness probably won't result from the scenery, the people or the architecture.
No, it will come from sheer and utter terror.
As you're walking up the hillside, you might notice that one of the ridges is pink in color and doesn't seem to match the rest of the grass in texture, either. That's because it's not grass: It's a 200-foot long stuffed rabbit, colored a Pepto Bismol hue, and affectionately named Pinky. Chances are, however, you're not going to have a lot of affection for Pinky. Not if you're sane, anyway.
Who Installed a Huge, Stuffed Rabbit in the Italian Countryside?
Back in 2005, an artist's collective called Gelitin from Vienna decided that hikers in Piedmont needed to experience more joy as they traipsed through the countryside, and therefore decided to leave the huge, pink rabbit (whose official name is "Hase") on top of the hillside.
To quote their homepage (translated from German):
Happily in love you step down the decaying corpse, through the wound, now small like a maggot, over woolen kidney and bowel. Such is the happiness which made this rabbit – I love the rabbit the rabbit loves me."
Good intentions – and Google's translation skills – notwithstanding, that quote sounds absolutely terrifying, to say nothing of the stuffed carcass itself, which Gelitin expects will in some form last until the mid-2020s. Instagram, for its part, is full of recent pictures of the giant pink bunny—2018 and 2019, so far.
(You know, in case you were in the process of planning a hiking trip to Piedmont – or an eating trip there.)
Can You See Pinky from Google Earth?
One of the most astounding facts about Pink...er, Hase, is its size, which in case you've already forgotten is 200 feet. When news of this spectacle first began circulating online, many reported that you could, and we quote, "see the bunny from space."
While you probably don't have access to your own personal spacecraft in order to confirm or deny this, you can clearly see that the bunny (or at least, the significantly decayed shell of the bunny atop Colletto Fava) is visible from Google Maps, a screenshot of which you can see attached to this post, although a pesky "Colletto Fava" label, which denotes the hillside itself, covers up most of the carnage.
How to Visit Italy's Huge Stuff Rabbit
If you have your own car or can rent one, Artesina is approximately two hours away from Turin and Genoa, Italy, or from Nice, France. You could alternatively take a combination of buses and trains from any of these cities, but doing so would necessitate a significantly longer journey time, which means that you might want to simply admire Pinky/Hase from Google Earth, considering that he may very well be decayed by the time you arrive.
And if you do decide to visit Italy? Make sure to check out TripSavvy's excellent Italy itinerary, which will help you enjoy a fulfilling two weeks in Italy, whether or not Pinky lives up to your expectations.