The History of Abandoned Sammezzano Castle in Italy

We created stunning photographs of an abandoned Sammezzano Castle in Italy. Experience the history and breathtaking vistas of Italy’s abandoned Sammezzano Castle.

The abandoned Sammezzano Castle is located in the midst of a huge forested estate, in the same location as a royal palazzo initially erected by a Spanish nobleman named Ximenes of Aragon. The main structure was constructed around 1605. It is styled in an eclectic Moorish fashion. Ferdinando Ximenes Panciatichi inherited the castle when he relocated. He redesigned the Sammezzano Castle between 1853 and 1889. Around this period, King Umberto of Italy was entertained and stayed here in 1878.

From 1842 and 1890, Ferdinando entirely transformed the ancient castle into an Orientalist palace in keeping with the vogue of the period, notably in Florence. The outcome is a remarkable blend of the Moorish with the Byzantine, the Indian with the Chinese. He had all of the bricks, tiles, and friezes manufactured on site under his supervision by purely local workers.

What happened with Sammezzano Castle
after the Second World War?

Sammezzano Castle was utilized as a luxury hotel with apartments, a spa, golf, and a country club after WWII until it closed in the 1990s. The castle’s commercial activity prospered after WWII, but when earnings dropped, the hotel was closed and eventually abandoned.

Sammezzano Castle was auctioned up and purchased by a British investor in 1999, after which some stabilizing and restoration work was completed. After then, it was abandoned and closed to the public.

The FPXA committee (short for Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragon) only acquired the property in 2012, and they have been working hard to raise funding to fully repair the masterpiece since then.

A consortium was formed to locate an owner who will repair and honor the castle. Recognizing the architecture and distinctiveness, a Dubai-based firm bid $18.1 million on the third auction in 2018 and became the current owner.

What makes Sammezzano Castle unique?

Sammezzano Castle was built in the Moorish style, with elaborate decorations and a stunning array of patterns and colors. The castle includes 365 rooms, one for each day of the year, and each chamber has its own name and is unique. The Peacock Room with incredible colors and geometries, the White Room with Moroccan mosaic tiled floors and wrought iron chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, the gallery between the Hall of Mirrors and the octagon of the Smoking Room, the Hall of Lilies, the Stalactites, the Lovers, and a small chapel can all be found within the abandoned castle.

There are concealed nooks, corners, windows, columns, labyrinthine passageways, capitals, arches, vaults, and domes in these areas. Above an archway, the words “Non Plus Ultra” (meaning “the highest point or culmination”) stand out, which in Greek Mythology was a warning that marked the edge of a flat world for explorers; perhaps communicating the architect’s vision to literally transport visitors out of this world with jaw-dropping interiors.

Stunning Photos of Abandoned Sammezzano Castle

How To Get To the Abandoned Sammezzano Castle?

Less over 40 kilometers south of central Florence, in the municipality of Reggello.

  • Reggello may be reached by bus or train. There is a direct bus that runs from Florence Montelungo to Leccio. Services run six times a week, Monday through Saturday. These are the lines and routes that have close stops. 350A, 360A, and TMALL buses R train
  • Florence is the closest airport to Leccio (FLR). A bus from Bologna (BLQ) to Leccio via Firenze Montelungo takes around 3h 21m.

Mr Marat took the fantastic images from inside and around the spectacular abandoned castle. Marat is a photographer that travels frequently and shares his photographs with his fans. Jacopo also snapped a photograph of the Sammezzano Castle from above.

If you want to visit more abandoned sites in Italy, read about the Underwater Town at Lake Reschen and the Italian Haunted Mansion in the Enchanted Forest.

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