Nominated 7thin the list of Most Endangered Monuments of Europa Nostra, the magnificent Castle of Sammezzano (Tuscany) still languishes in a state of neglect, despite the efforts of the Save Sammezzano committee, set up in 2015 to acquire funds to restore the building and open it to the public. The Sammezzano estate at Leccio, 30 kms from Florence is a practically unique example of lavish moorish-style inspired decor and architecture, and has provided the backdrop for a number of films, notably Matteo Garrone's “Tale of Tales”in 2015, winner of seven Davide di Donatello cinema awards. The building and park date back to the 17th century but the present structure was created by Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d'Aragona who inherited it in the 19thcentury and spent forty years redesigning it and transforming it into the most important example of orientalism architecture in Italy, with a succession of Arabian Nights-type reception rooms. Most of the decorative features, like the maiolica tiles and stucco carvings, were created by local craftsmen. The surrounding park is one of the largest in Tuscany. Designed in the mid-19th century, it contains over 50 examples of giant sequoias plus many exotic plant species. The castle and park were voted top of the FAI (the Italian version of the UK National Trust) list of sites to be saved and promoted in 2016 with over 50,000 votes. Sadly, however, in its present state of disrepair, this unique monumental building has been declared unsafe and is closed to visitors, despite continuous appeals launched by the SaveSammezono committee for government and private funding to restore it to its original glory.   









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