Sammezzano Castle

Sammezzano Castle is located in Leccio in the Province of Florence, Italy. It is one of the largest examples of Moorish Revival architecture in Italy. Built around 1605 by Spanish nobleman Ximenes of Aragon, the castle sits upon a hill surrounded by 450 acres of parkland. In the 19thcentury, Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes inherited the castle, enlarging and remodeling the structure between 1853 and 1889. King Umberto I visited the castle in 1878. During WWII, German soldiers looted the area, removing Moorish fountains and statues, including an entire bridge and a grotto with a statue of Venus. After WWII, the castle served as a luxury hotel, but was closed and left vacant in 1990. The castle was purchased at auction in 1999, but still remained unoccupied as the company had economical problems. In 2013, a non-profit committee was organized to restore the palazzo. In 2014, the castle was sold to a developer of hotels, but the castle was back on auction by 2016. The non-profit continued to protect the castle in the hopes that the castle will one day be restored. In 2017, the castle was sold to Helitrope Limited Company out of Dubai for 18.1 million dollars. The castle has 365 rooms, one for every day of the year. The entire palatial villa is beautifully tiled and each room in unique. Sammezzano Castle is not open to the public. Picture Credit: Dan Raven, Darme, Martino Zegwaard