castle sammezzano



“The original palazzo was erected in about 1605 by the Spanish nobleman, Ximenes of Aragon. In the 19th century, Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes inherited the property and, between 1853 and 1889, remodeled it into one of the largest examples of Moorish Revival architecture. Umberto I, king of Italy, visited Ximenes at Sammezzano in 1878.[1]The palazzo served as a luxury hotel in the post WWII era; then was vacated and closed. A committee called FPXA 1813-2013, abbreviation for Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragon, was organized in 2012 to attempt to restore and preserve the palazzo, which has 365 rooms, each with unique, Moorish decoration”


Castello di Sammezzano, Tuscany, Italy

The technicolor, Moorish Revival Castello di Sammezzano in the Tuscan hills of northern Italy defies its abandonment — empty, neglected, vulnerable to vandalism and to the elements.  Built in the early 17th century, it has a labyrinth of 365 rooms.  It was in the 19th century that the castle took on its Arabian identity.  During the life of the final inheritor of the castle, when Orientalism was all the rage, Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona embraced the trend, designing every detail himself.  

After his death, the castle passed through the hands of numerous buyers.  In the 1970s it was converted into a high-end hotel, but that closed in the 1990s. An Italian company then purchased the property, and soon its new caretakers, two restoration societies, began gradually restoring it.  Today, the castle, on rare occasions, is open for tours.  The castle is no longer abandoned, but it still stands empty and alone.

Image  1


Save Sammezzano

The Sammezzano Castle is an excellent witness of the Moorish aesthetic taste, which is greatly valued by art critics.

The Castle has been closed long time ago, just tree or four times a year it is opened for free visits, the maximum number of visitors allowed is around 800, but the requests, on the on-line servers, are always more than 11.000 (in the first minute!). Each year lots of people try to visit the castle in vain, it’s needless to say that these people would be open to buy a ticket, to help with the maintaining.

The whole structure, today, is left in a total state of abandon, soon it’s going to be sold at an auction (along the castle are going to be sold the park and other 13 buildings)

Considering the high historical and artistic value of the mainson we would want to ask to the administrations of Reggello and Tuscany and to the Italian Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Heritage to use their authority to prevent the closing of the castle, and further turn the building and its park into a public museum to preserve it and highlight it as part of our cultural heritage.