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

Latest posts

Lamporecchio: The history of Brigidini from Lamporecchio.

Local Traditions

Brigidini…so tasty, who hasn’t heard of them? Their sweet scent pervades the air of any countryside fair or festival. They immediat...


Pistoia: Castagno of Pistoia: the small village-cum-museum.

Unknown places & works

Near Pistoia, to be precise only 12 km from the enchanting medieval city center, there is an equally charming village: Castagno di Pite...


Tuscany: A corner of Tibet near Pisa.

Unknown places & works

Pomaia is a small village in the Municipality of Santa Luce in Pisa and here, among the hills, is the largest Buddhist center in E...


Pisa: Pisa’s torta coi bischeri.

torta con i bischeri
Local Traditions

Torta coi ‘bischeri’ is typical of San Giuliano Terme, in the province of Pisa. Just look at the photo to get an idea of how sweet ...


Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Big Names

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...


Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...


Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...


Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Local Traditions

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...