A treasure trove of jewel-like colours, ornate Arabic architecture and intricate woven patterns, Castello di Sammezzano, near Florence, is a yet another architectural gem that is in danger. Each of the 365 rooms is a new wonder, some maze-like in rainbow hues, others pure white with decoration dripping like icicles. Its presence is mythical, the surreal product of an extraordinary imagination.
The man responsible was Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona, born in Florence in 1813. He spent 40 years remodelling the existing property into a pattern book of Moorish Revival architecture. All 365 rooms have a different name and unique decoration. The labyrinthine journey leads you through a Hall of Mirrors, a multicoloured Peacock Room, the glistening White Room, and many more wonders. See photos of the most important rooms here.
But the Castle has become a hidden jewel, tarnished and dusty, left abandoned for years. For a while it was open to the public, but now it is deteriorating and in need of restoration. A impassioned petition has been established to save Sammezzano and is collecting signatures. They state that regional and national institutions have not come forth to save the Castle, and as such their mission is to reveal the architectural splendour, and now degredation, to the world. They are also asking people to publish their photos of Sammezzano on social media with the hashtag #savesammezzano. Their instagram page, full of delightful decorative details and sumptuous scenes, can be viewed here. Please sign the petition, share it on Facebook, and like their Facebook page! Save Sammezzano!