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Sammezzando Castle

The building complex is located in the Municipality of Reggello, in the village known as "Il Leccio", about 30 kilometres from Florence, adjacent to the historical castle of Sammezzano.

The castle was founded by the Romans, developed by the Carolingians, later became a Medicean residence, and is now characterized by a Moorish silhouette which was applied at the end of the 19th century by Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d'Aragona. The castle is surrounded by an ample park, with an interesting variety of botanical species. THE BUILDING COMPLEX

The polychrome stucco vaults, which recall the form of the peacock's tail, inspired the name of this salon. The lower part of the walls are tiled, with a marble plinth, while the columns are of painted stucco. The paving is of majolica.

Placed at the centre of the castle, this salon is surmounted by a glass dome surrounded by a balcony. The shields which adorn the base of the dome bear these inscriptions: "fortitudo, misericordia, elementia, temperantia, pax, prudentia, justitia, libertas", while the second passageway around the dome has an inscription which names the Marquis d'Aragona as author of the hall in the year 1863. His initials, "F.P.X." are repeated on the walls. The decorations above two doors also repeat the attribution to the Marquis d'Aragona, while proud mottoes adorn the other two doors. The hall is entirely decorated with white stuccoes, and is enriched by a rich polychrome caisson ceiling and stained glass panels.

The outstanding characteristic of this salon is the ceiling, which has many gold-plated ceramic dishes set into the polychrome stucco decorations.

This salon is dedicated to the most famous couples of chivalric literature (Clorinda and Tancredi, Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Iseult, and so on), whose names are written in gold among the elaborate white stucco decorations, while other inscriptions praise the power of love. The Hall of the Lilies

Decorated with stuccoes, ceramics and stained glass panels, the hall is named for the heraldic lilies which enhance the columns.

The park is a vital component of the property, and is identified in the official territorial development maps (Variante di P.R.G.) as P.T.S. (Parco Territoriale di Sammezzano). The total area is approximately 65,000 hectares. The Marquis Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d'Aragona did not limit his efforts to the reconstruction of the castle, which included noteworthy additions to the artistic and historical treasures harboured there, but also dedicated his attention to the surrounding park where rare species from the United States and the Near East were implanted. One of the largest in Italy, this park has not undergone substantial changes: over the years maintenance has been constant and the overall distribution of the species has been respected.

Many of the plants are of particular interest to botanists, such as the group of Sequoie Sempervirens which is unique in Italy, the Chamaegy Paris Lawsoniane and the Atlantic cedars at the castle entrance.



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