L’antro di Cagliostro

L’ANTRO DI CAGLIOSTRO is an apartment on the ground floor of a Tuscan farmhouse, consisting of two rooms, one double and the other single, as well as a living area with fireplace and a tiny kitchen.

The whole apartment revolves around the figure of the Count of Cagliostro, a controversial figure, considered by some to be a Freemason, charlatan, swindler, cheater; by others “enlightened man”, doctor, benefactor of humanity. He was imprisoned and executed in San Leo, but his death is also shrouded in mystery…

In the apartment you can appreciate a contrasting iconography between good (represented by angels) and evil (represented by grotesques). On the wall of the living area a fresco represents the four elements with their divinities: fire represented by Vulcan, earth by Cecere, air by Juno and water by Neptune. There is a painting from the 1600s in Emilia, which tells the legend of the Fonte Aretusa: Arethusa was a nymph with whom Jupiter had fallen in love and wanted to covet her, but Diana saves her and, to avoid subsequent problems, transforms her into a fountain. Here too evil is represented by Jupiter while good is personified by Diana (it depends on your point of view!).

The single esoteric room has a panel representing a grotesque as its headboard and in the 18th century painting on the chest of drawers a bearded man with study tools depicts the allegory of science. To counterbalance the evil on the external wall there is a carved crucifix from the 1700s.

The master bedroom of Count Cagliostro, sumptuously furnished with a four-poster bed, is frescoed with tarot cards and embellished with signs of the zodiac on the stones of the wall. The most curious thing about the room is in the bathroom: it is a large tub lined with painted ceramic, where anyone, even Count Cagliostro, could relax after walking around Pisa and Lucca, visiting museums and monuments.