Set on the hillside of Settignano, with extraordinary views of Florence and the surrounding Arno valley, the Villa Gamberaia is renowned for its splendid gardens, celebrated throughout the world by leading landscape architects and garden historians.
Completed in the early seventeenth century by the Florentine noble Zanobi Lapi in the Tuscan style, the villa combines interesting architectural features of both an urban palazzo and suburban villa. In the eighteenth century the property belonged to the Marchesi Capponi, and by that time the house and gardens had acquired the characteristic elements seen in the famous engraving by Giuseppe Zocchi (1744): the cypress allée, bowling green, nymphaeum, grotto garden, boschi, parterre and lemon terrace.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Princess Giovanna Ghika began the transformation of the parterre de broderie into the beautiful parterre d'eau, enclosed at its southern end by a majestic cypress arcade. Elegant expressions of topiary art were created by the American-born Mathilda Ledyard Cass, Baroness von Ketteler, in the following decades. After the Second World War, the Villa became the property of Marcello Marchi and then of his heirs Luigi Zalum and family, who have continued the work of restoration and conservation.
Where:Settignano - Florence
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