Villa Castello Smilea is found in Montale, along the road to Agliana. It is a historical home with outstanding architectural charm and owes its name to the six miles – “sex milia” – which separate it from Pistoia.
During the Middle Ages, it served as a mighty Fortress for the Panciatichi family but was taken away from them in 1466 by the Florentines who wanted to punish the family from Pistoia for having taken part in the conspiracy against Piero di Cosimo dei Medici.
After several struggles it came under the possession of bourgeois princes who turned it into a villa-farm, while still keeping the appearance of a fortress. Two tall towers rise up from the large square building while the bordering cornice with hanging pointed arches cover a large part of the front of the entire structure.
From the street you can access the villa via a beautiful ashlar gate in the courtyard surrounded by the villa and two symmetrical buildings with elegantly shaped windows.
Villa Smilea is home to the library, the historical municipal archives and, in a permanent exhibition, a significant collection of works by Jorio Vivarelli, a famous sculptor and graphic designer born in Montale.