Hidden treasures

The Fata Morgana Fountain in Grassina

Mysteries & 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!


By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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