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.
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.