Sometimes there are treasures to be found in Tuscany that aren’t like any others. Tuscany has its share of fantastic and beautiful castles, but none quite like the Sammezzano Castle in Regello. This stunning estate is south of Florence and to see it, you must visit Tuscany at the right time of the year.
The original palace was erected in 1605. Ferdinando d’Aragona inherited the property in 1853. It underwent a major transformation under Ferdinando’s ownership, to become one of the best known examples of Moorish Revival architecture in the world. The structural details of the castle’s interior, including the ceilings, the Ballroom, the Hall of Stalactites, and the Peacock Room, all give a nod to the wake of the popularity of “Orientalism” which spread across Europe in the 1800s. The building materials were made locally, on site, by Italian laborers. Sammezzano boasts 365 rooms, one for each day of the year, where the craftsmanship of the local workers may be seen in all of its breathtaking splendor.
The area around Sammezzano is a park of 450 acres. It is one of the largest parks in Tuscany and contains many exotic trees, including some of the largest sequoias in Italy, with 57 varieties all measuring over 35 meters.
After WWII the palace served as a luxury hotel and was later closed. The palace has been through various transformations since that time, as a hotel/restaurant and later was planned to become another tourist accommodation that never came to fruition. The castle sat empty and abandoned for nearly two decades. It was not until 2012 that a group organized to promote the palace, and to pay tribute to Ferdinando d’Aragona.
Today, the castle is mostly closed to visitors. However, in May, June and October, organized tours of the castle are offered by local volunteer groups in Regello. There is no electricity in the castle, so visits are best planned on sunny days when the sunlight can enhance the castle’s beauty.
Tuscan Muse hosts private tours in Tuscany for small groups. If you would like to schedule a private tour in Tuscany that includes the Sammezzano Castle on the itinerary, be sure to contact us. We would love to take you there!