In Gapyeong, there is a theme park called “Petite France” themed after France. Established in 2008, Petite France quickly became a representative theme park in Gapyeong.
Subsequently, in 2021, a new theme park named “Italian Village” was opened behind Petite France. Its subtitle is “Pinocchio and Da Vinci.”
“A Homage to the Tuscan Village of Italy”
The Italian Village, “Pinocchio and Da Vinci,” pays homage to the Tuscan city in Italy. As the subtitle suggests, you can also see exhibitions related to Pinocchio and Leonardo da Vinci.
Similar to Petite France, the Italian Village impressively displays various European cultural antiques collected by the owner over several decades. While there may be reproductions, many genuine antiques sourced locally in Italy or domestically can be found here, making it a popular destination for vintage enthusiasts.
“A Feeling of Entering a Small Castle – Italian Village”
Situated on a hill, the entrance of the Italian Village gives the impression of entering a castle. This immediately evokes a sense of grandeur upon entering.
While Petite France exudes a quaint, comfortable, and charming atmosphere, the Italian Village feels somewhat more grand, massive, and rugged.
“A Giant Pinocchio at the Entrance”
A large Pinocchio welcomes visitors at the entrance of the village. This makes it easy to spot people taking commemorative photos before entering the village.
If you turn away from the giant Pinocchio and enter the entrance, you can also find a medieval carriage. You can actually climb on it for a great photo opportunity.
“Enjoying Various Antiques at the Italian Village”
Continuing further into the village from the entrance, you’ll see various exhibition halls on both sides. With the village concept on a hill, you’ll find a wide array of European antiques on display in each building. Particularly, in the building on the right, you can experience various masks, and there’s also a designated area for wearing masks and taking pictures.
A bit further up into the village, you’ll find cafes and restaurants, providing a place to rest for tired feet. You can also enjoy drinks and snacks.
“The Da Vinci Experience Hall”
Descending to the underground of the central building, you’ll find various artifacts related to Da Vinci on display. They provide explanations about the various devices and inventions he created, making it an interesting space for those interested in mechanical devices.
Additionally, Da Vinci also made significant contributions in the artistic field. You can appreciate exhibitions related to his artwork. Moreover, there’s a small trick art exhibition space here, providing a great opportunity for photography.
“A Somewhat Disappointing Observatory”
Upon reaching the top of the central building, you’ll arrive at the observatory. However, it’s not what you’d typically expect from an observatory. It doesn’t boast a breathtaking view. The most disappointing aspect was that it appeared to be poorly maintained, with cobwebs and insect remains scattered about.
“As You Go Up, the Buildings’ Completeness Decreases”
As you continue further up into the village, you may find that the completeness leaves something to be desired. Some buildings that appear complete from the outside turn out to be scale models when you get inside. To enter the building, you open the door, and instead of an actual building, there’s a wall with an outside view.
Of course, the overall atmosphere is not bad, but in this regard, I couldn’t help but wonder if budget constraints led to the creation of this theme park in a slightly less polished manner compared to Petite France.
“Operating Hours and Admission Fees”
The operating hours are the same as Petite France, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, open year-round. The admission fee, when visiting only the Italian Village without Petite France, is as follows:
- Adults: KRW 16,000
- Teenagers (Middle and High School Students): KRW 12,000
- Children (36 months – Elementary School Students): KRW 9,000
While slightly less impressive compared to Petite France, the Italian Village is still a noteworthy destination in Gapyeong. If you were planning to visit Petite France anyway, taking advantage of the discounted admission and exploring both places would be a good idea.
“Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do, Theme Park – Italian Village Pinocchio and Da Vinci”
- Address: 1073-56 Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
- Phone: 031-5175-8929
- Operating Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Website: http://www.pinovinci.com