While shopping at the Outlet you can see it at your back, towards north-east, on top of a lush hill. The Castle of Sammezzano is something unique: a Moorish palazzo in the typical Valdarno landscape.

The castle of Sammezzano got its current appearance thanks to the marquis Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona (Florence, 1813- Sammezzano, 1897) who renovated and expanded the pre-existing building during the period between 1843 and 1889.

Walking through the many rooms characterized by hidden niches, corners, windows, columns, labyrinthine paths, capitals, arches, vaults and domes it seems to travel from the Moorish Spain to China passing through Arabia and India. The marquis Ferdinando never visited the East, but was inspired by books of travel and architecture.

Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona belonged to one of the richest families of Florence and was an eclectic person: businessman, politician, botanist, scientist, philanthropist, bibliophile, paintings collector, photography and music lover. He was also architect and engineer: he spent most of life designing and supervising the construction of the Castle of Sammezzano and its amazing park, one of the biggest of all Tuscany. Two hundred and sixty hectares of vegetation, with exotic trees – palms and sequoias – and local species, like maples, junipers and various types of oaks, among them the holm oaks, in Italian “lecci”, which give the name to the nearby town Leccio.