What Is the Setting in the “Pinocchio” Story?

The novel “Pinocchio,” serialized in 1881 and then published as a novel in 1883 by Italian writer Carlo Collodi, was set primarily in a small village in Tuscany, Italy. There is some dispute as to which village provided the main setting.

The two most probable villages providing the setting of “Pinocchio” are San Miniato Basso, between Florence and Pisa, and an unnamed small village between Florence and Costello. San Miniato Basso was once called Pinocchio, probably after a small river nearby, and the inhabitants were called Pinocchi. In addition, several locations near the village resemble or reference things that happened in the novel. Carlo Collodi was familiar with both regions, so it is also possible that the novel was set in a fictional village with elements of both real villages.

Born in Tuscany and raised in Florence, Collodi’s real name was Carlo Lorenzini. Collodi, his pen name, was in honor of the Tuscan village where his mother was from. Collodi began his writing career as a political satirist, publishing a paper, “Il Lampione,” that was ultimately shut down by the government. Some scholars believe that Pinocchio, on the surface a children’s moral fairy tale, was written in part to satirize the volatile Italian political scene during Collodi’s life.