The castle of Sammezzano and the legend of the “weeping lions”


The castle is located in the municipality of Reggello, about 30 kilometres from Florence. The oldest part was built on Roman ruins around 200 BC, in the 13th century the castle passed first into the property of the Florentine family Cipriani, passed then to the family of Gualtierotti and then to the Medici family. It was Ferdinand, the son of Cosimo I, who sold the property to Sebastiano Ximenes of Aragona. He left it to Ferdinand Panciatichi, who planned and realised the construction from 1853 to 1889) and transformed the castle in a Dream of “1001 Nights”.

The building is a mixture of styles ranging from Moorish to the neo-Gothic. The halls, the Peacock Hall, the White Hall or Ballroom, the Hall of Love, the Hall of the Spanish Plates, the Hall of the Lilies and the Hall of the Oath are decorated with columns, capitals, arches, painted stucco, polychrome caisson ceiling, ceramics and stained glass panels.
The castle is surrounded by an ample park, with an interesting variety of botanical species, including 57 large sequoias which are over 35m high with a trunk diameter of 10m.

Exist a legend about the castle, it is said that first the furniture has been stolen, after chandeliers and other things of the household, then thieves have stolen the dog made of stone and the Sphinx, which were made in a brickorks of Leccio, and finally in August 2005 one of the “Weeping Lion” were stolen, they were manufactured in 1887 and established to protect the crypt in order to protect the remains of the noble owner.
On the two lions, is a curse, which says that who desecrate them has ill have the same death the Panciatichi which died in 1897, from progressive paralysis.

In February 2006, two persons suffering from progressive paralysis and were admit in a regional hospital, confessed shortly before their death, “We have stolen the weeping lion from the castle and we sold him to an antiques dealer.” In March 2006 this antiques dealer died from progressive paralysis, but the lion was not found. In January 2007, a Lombard collector, who had acquired the artwork in Assisi, died from progressive paralysis, the lion was no more in his villa. ... Continues the curse?


© 2009