Reasons to strike out on the open road and seek adventure are many. You can sip a sour and spicy lambic in Belgium’s Pajottenland. You can chase the origins of your favorite pizzas across Italy. You can make a pilgrimage to a hallowed donut maker for the pastry of a lifetime.
Sometimes what drives us to travel is the beauty of our achievement in the world of art and architecture. Strolling the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, or climbing the steps of the Buddhist temples at Borobudur in Indonesia are quests into another time and place. The castle of Sammezzano outside the sleepy town of Leccio in Tuscany is just one of those places you have to see to believe.
Sammezzano was built in 1605 by a Spanish noble. What makes Sammezzano famous today took place in the mid-19th century when another Spanish nobleman named Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona purchased the castle and converted it into one of the best examples of Moorish Revival architecture found in Europe. The castle has 365 rooms — one for each day of the year. Each room is meticulously decorated in a technicolor lucid dream of pillars, frescos, and tiles. Walking throughout the castle is like strolling through a rainbow.
The castle was abandoned in the 1990s when the hotel that ran it folded. Today a company provides private tours and parties on the site. So you can totally go and visit this architectural marvel and take in some of the best Moorish architecture in Italy: