Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A bright and colourful treasure..

We really wanted to share an incredible find with you, the stunning Castello di Sammezzano located in Regello, near Florence. What made it an extra special discovery is that the castle is only open to the public a handful of times each year with no fixed dates. Unfortunately its future is a little uncertain and local organisations are trying to save the building from falling to ruin. We were extremely lucky to be in the right place at the right time and therefore got to explore its magic last year. Its colourful interiors were very much an inspiration for some of the coloured glassware in our own collection (its hard not to be inspired by this place!!) and the workmanship an indisputable reminder of the incredible beauty artisans have been able to create through time and continue doing so today.

This amazing building was originally bought by Edward Ximenes Cavalier Ferdinand of Aragon in 1605.  The Castle as we see it today, however, is thanks to Nicholas Panciatichi, heir of Ximenes who in the1800s decided to turn the villa into something really rather special! 

Panciatichi was a great admirer of Arab culture and architecture and despite never having travelled to the arab world for himself, he based his vision on tales and images brought to him by the many foreign visitors he had to stay at his home. In fact the outside structure of the villa recalls the Taj Mahal yet is entirely decorated using terracotta, while the inside halls, decorated with intricate white and coloured stucco, are inspired by the Alhambra in Granada.

The thing which amazed us most about this incredible location however was the fact that local artisans from all over the area, who had probably never read or seen pages from exotic arab books or gone further afield than the capital city of the region, were capable of undertaking the job of reproducing Arab design and architecture with incredible attention to detail using stucco and terracotta.  

If you're interested in finding out more about the history of this incredible building and its surrounding park or when it's open to visitors you can use this link  As unfortunately the website is in Italian some google translate action may be required! If we find out any upcoming opening days we'll post them on our facebook page. Do tell us what you think of this fascinating building and we hope you get the opportunity to visit. 

1 comment:

  1. That looks absolutely amazing! Will have to plan a trip there sometime.