Castello di Ama Art Collection

The Project

Art in dialogue with the 'genius loci'

The genius is, in Greek philosophy, a divinity who represents all generated things and, at the same time, is capable of generating them. St. Augustine defines genius as "the inventive and creative talent", but it will be Kant who will give it a much more detailed definition in his 'Critique of Judgment': "the talent to discover". The genius is the one who has the possibility to find: it is not necessary for him to know, but he must be able to produce something masterful, that is: reference for everyone. 'Genius' is nothing more than the ability to create original things given by nature to man. The addition of the genitive loci defines the specific genius of a place.

Terroir, on the other hand, is the term, used in oenology, which defines the uniqueness of a wine. Graphically, it is represented by a triangle whose vertices are the soil, climate and variety and at the center of which is man. Not all wine-growing areas are equipped with terroir, and a vineyard without terroir is like a deconsecrated church: it seems that nothing is missing, but in reality the most important thing is.

Being in Ama, listening to their stories, breathing in the air and drinking their wine: this is the best way to introduce ourselves. And this is how the artist ends up being fertilized by the genius loci - just as has already happened to the winemaker with the terroir - and creates something masterful, unrepeatable and specific for that place. Here and nowhere else.

Wine and Art

In Ama, the artist is called to the same effort as the oenologist: to get in touch and interpret the sense of place, revealing it.

“Castello di Ama is a microcosm of time, history, nature and art. Hers is a contained and intimate sphere. Here nothing is monumental, nothing is grandiose or exaggerated, there is nothing that does not blend harmoniously with the landscape. Everything is characterized by a sense of containment, balance, and tranquility. The development of the artistic project was more organic than schematic: although it was carried out, on average, with a commission per year, there were also periods in which nothing was added (just as there are years in which it is decided that no wine will be produced). An open series in which no program or project takes priority over the others, and which will be enriched and enlarged over time thanks to new interventions. With each further addition, the identity of the whole is changed and strengthened at the same time."

Philip Larratt-Smith, Growing and guarding, Corraini Edizioni, 2015

The work created in 2001 by Daniel Buren, "On the vineyards: points of view", is a hymn to Ama's harmony. The work brings us to “room” where we can immerse ourselves in the dialogue between wine, vineyards, and art.

Art in the place

The project began in 2000, with the first installation entrusted to Michelangelo Pistoletto: "Ama's tree: multiplication and division of the mirror". It was clear right from the start what we wanted: to act in and for the place. Each artist, with his own culture and sensitivity, captures his own personal sense of the place, what Ama transmits to him.

Pascale Marthine Tayou's work, "Le chemin du bonheur", dated back to 2012, is a perfect example of interpreting the sense of the place. The ability to be amazed and see beyond: among the gray of the Tuscan stones, a magical kaleidoscope of colors.

The artists

It is thanks to a close and direct confrontation between the artist and Ama that the works take on their uniqueness. Each work is entirely conceived and executed site-specific, modeling itself in respect of the place.

This happened, on several occasions in the realization of Hiroshi Sugimoto's work, "Confession of zero", from 2014.

Sugimoto, in the site inspection a few days before the inauguration of his work, recognized the window that illuminated the apse as a dark room: by making a pinhole, he projected the outside inside, ideally incorporating the entire village of Ama.

Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Pallanti

It is not just a business relationship. A friendship is established with the artists, and a relationship of complicity: towards the place, towards the project, towards a common idea.

Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Pallanti, respectively the CEO and the oenologist, the architects of Castello di Ama, in fact have immediately seen in the contemporary art the way to express what they have always believed in: the feeling of being in a unique place.

"The artist's work is a great point of reference for me", says Marco Pallanti, "because, seeing their ideas materialize, I always learn new elements that make me question myself about my personal work as an oenologist, in contact with that interpretable material which is the wine ".


The contemporary art project was born from the encounter with Galleria Continua, an Italian rising star at the time. The collaboration, exchange of suggestions and interpretations, continues until 2014, when the paths diverge.

From then to 2021, Philip Larratt-Smith, international curator and – above all – friend, entered the Castello di Ama’s path, as if he had always been part of the Ama's project.

The roots

The whole concept behind Castello di Ama, conjugated both in the world of wine production and in the contemporary art, has very solid roots deep in the territory.

As Miroslaw Balka identified, represented and underlined, through his work "Red nerve" of 2019, in Ama there is a vein, a root, which connects what we actually see to something more substantial, placed in the darkness, beyond the visible.

Just as wine is the fruit of our peculiar terroir, works of art are born in this place and nowhere else.

Present and future

Over time, the project has always kept its premises firmly, albeit changing. Each new work increases and solidifies the idea from which Castello di Ama was born.

In 2021 the Jenny Holzer’s work was finally completed, after about 3 years of work and care that were necessary for the good and natural growth of the part of the vegetation.

The future is closer than it may seem, and Ama, a timeless place, faces it with the great certainty of an idea that overrides history.