CASTLE OF SAMMEZZANO
The Castle of Sammezzano, which is surrounded by a spacious park, rises above the small town of Leccio. It took on its present-day form, thanks to the work of Marchese Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes of Aragon who, in the years 1843-1889, transformed and enlarged the pre-existing building.
However, the history of the place is much older: we can date it back to Roman times and continue over the following centuries. The great historian Davidsohn, in his History of Florence, affirmed that in 780, Charlemagne himself on his return journey from Rome, where he had had his son baptised by the Pope, might have passed through there. The estate of which Sammezzano was a part belonged later to very important families: in particular, that of the Altoviti and, subsequently, at the wish of Duke Cosimo, to Giovanni Jacopo de’ Medici who, in turn, sold it to Sebastiano Ximenes. These properties were to remain the property of the Ximenes d’Aragona family until its last heir, Ferdinando.
On the wave of the cultural movement known as Orientalism, which was widespread all over Europe from the beginning of the 19th century and witnessed one of its main centres in Florence, Ferdinando began to modify the existing structure and to realise new premises: the Entrance Room in 1853, the Corridor of the Stalactites in 1862, the Ball Room in 1867, and the central Tower, which has the date of 1889 engraved in it.
To know more about:
• Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes of Aragon
• The park
• Recent history
for further information, consult:
• the web site of the Comitato FPXA: www.sammezzano.org and the relative Facebook page;
• the web site of the Save Sammezzano movement: www.savesammezzano.com and the relative Facebook page