A marvel nestled in the green Tuscan hills. Exactly in Leccio, near Florence. So we could define the Sammezzano Castle, residence in the centuries of some of the most important Florentine families: Gualtierotti, Altoviti, and even Medici. It was originally built in 16th century, and then rebuilt in the 1800s according to Moorish style, with Syrian-Muslim artistic influences. Twisted arches and domes, ceramics and refined drawings: inside the Castle you could admire all this. “You could”, we write: in fact at the moment the building is closed to the public, except for rare visits organized by FAI in collaboration with Movimento SaveSammezzano.
The Castle, its transformation and the decline
This Florentine Castle have seen it all. It was born as a portion of an agricultural estate, in the period of WWII it was used by the Allies as an emergency hospital. When the conflict ended, a new ownership bought it at auction and turned it into a luxury hotel and restaurant, consisting of 365 rooms decorated in different ways: this “new status” lasted until 1990. In 1999 it was auctioned again and was bought by an Italian-English company that managed it, with obvious shortcomings, until September 2015. From that moment the recovery work was entrusted to Movimento SaveSammezzano, but to achieve the goal would require considerable investment. Most of all a new ownership would be necessary with a clear and wide-ranging redevelopment project achievable over the medium to long term.
Sammezzano Castle: emblem of a rundown Italy
Sammezzano is a castle that witnesses the past of our territory, an architectural representation left to us as a legacy to tell us our story. All that, at least till now, has not been enough to bring the Sammezzano Castle back to its former glory. Seeing a piece of history abandoned to itself is extremely sad, it’s a real waste. It’s the emblem of Italy that does not believe in art, that is unable to understand that art can become decisive for the territory and tourism, the real driving force behind Italian economy.