The Fata Morgana Fountain in GrassinaMysteries & Legends
The Fata Morgana Fountain in Grassina
Just outside Florence, exactly in the hamlet of Grassina, there is a timeless and, sometimes, surreal place: we are talking about the Fata Morgana Fountain, also known as the Casina of the Fairies. Even though it is currently closed to the public, we advise you to visit it to feel enwrapped by the mysterious and magical aura that looms over this charming building. 'Magical for what?' You are probably about to ask: we will give you a few clues... nymphs and fairies. I bet that’s not enough, is it? Right then, we'll then tell you the whole story!
A classic example of 'garden' architecture – L-shaped and with various types of stones inside it - the Casina was designed by Giambologna in 1574 after being commissioned by the noble Bernardo Vecchietti. The floor consists of a mosaic whose pebbles make up the words 'Fata Morgana': a statue that was originally placed in a special niche was also dedicated to her.
According to legend, also fuelled by the fame of the mythological figure of Morgana, the water of the spring inside the Casina has immortal properties that can bring youth back to those who desire it. But that's not all! It is said that, in the warm summer nights, ethereal and beautiful winged fairies turn up but then disappear mysteriously. But the myth does not end there: a secret tunnel would directly connect the spring to Vecchietti’s Villa, allowing the fairies to easily reach it...
Vasari also mentions the Casina in his biography titled 'Le Vite':
'The Legend of Immortality and the Fata Morgana Fountain
A plaque, on the fountain, has these words:
'Io son quella, o lettor, fata Morgana
che giovin qui ringioveniva altrui
Qui dal Vecchietto, poiché vecchia io fui
ringiovenita colla sua fontana'.
At this point I would say that you should pay the Casina a visit... you never know, you might end up being young again! If you want to discover other mysteries and legends on Florence, we suggest you take part in our 'Guided Tour of the Secrets of Florence'. If instead you are after a bit of suspense, our private tour 'Spooky Florence' is just the thing for you!
Pistoia: Where does the name of the Ospedale del Ceppo in the city of Pistoia come from?
Mysteries & Legends
Ospedale del Ceppo undoubtedly counts among the many masterpieces that the delightful city of Pistoia has to offer. What fascinates tou...View
Florence: The 'Rificolona': a funny name tracing back to the mischievous spirit of Florence’s people!
Lanterns are now very fashionable and are used at parties and weddings. Florence, however, has always been ahead of time, so much so th...View
Florence: In Florence people are known to be a 'short arm'!
How many times have you heard the expression 'avere il braccino corto' (lit. to be a short arm)? Many I guess. You will also then know ...View
Siena: When the 'drappellone' in Siena was stolen…
Usually, the Palio in Siena takes place twice a year: on July 2nd in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano and August 16th in honor of the...View
Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music
In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...View
Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens
It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...View