Pinocchio Has Roots in Old Italian Village
Sleuth thinks author got characters, plot lines from area
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2011 12:26 PM CDT
Pinocchio takes part in the 'Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams' during the Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration at Disneyland Park.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A computer expert says he has traced the real-life roots of Pinocchio to a village in Italy, Discovery News reports. Allessandro Vegni pored over old maps and concluded that author Carlo Collodi set the 130-year-old tale in the Tuscan village of San Miniato Basso, whose original name he discovered to be ... ta da, Pinocchio. Vegni thinks Collodi based some of the characters in the tale on its inhabitants and drew inspiration from nearby landmarks and villages.

Among them: A rural building Casa II Grillo, or Cricket House, a possible reference to the Talking Cricket; the Fonte delle Fate, or Source of the Fairies, which might have inspired the story's Field of Miracles; the village of La Lisca (Fishbone), known for a giant prehistoric fishbone on a house facade, which could have inspired the story of Pinocchio getting swallowed by the giant whale. Click for more examples in the full story, which notes that not all experts are convinced.