Villa Arceno, San Giusmè

TIME-TABLE: Wednesday only by appointment.
ADDRESS: Località San Giusmè
DESCRIPTION: From the 11th century there are notices about the village of Arceno. In the 17th century it became a property of the Sienese Grisaldi del Taja family. In 1823 the Piccolomini Clementini family bought it and in 1833 let it restored by Agostino Fantastici, a famous neo-classical architect. One year later he built also a park.
The park is a very particular one, it is a beautiful example of “landscape” park, that had developed in that time following the diffusion of the English park and the influence of the romantic literature, that wanted a return to nature. The wood’s vegetation is the frame of an artificial lake, where very rare plants from America can be admired, as the sequoia, the camphor and a cider from Lebanon 30 m high and 20 m bright. Of interest are also the building on the little port, the ships’ house and the large birdcage, and the little neo-classical temple with a Pandora’s statue.
Here can be seen interesting engineering solutions for the irrigation but also only in order to offer something very nice to be seen (fountains, little lakes). The artificial lake, that has three little islands connected with the ground from three wood’s bridges is fed by the waters of the Ombrone river.
There is also a chapel of 1730, dedicated to San Giovanni. The farm has a lot of buildings and the typical structure of the “Valdarno”. Today it’s transformed in an hotel.