This 17th-century villa near Settignano just outside Florence is home to one of the most impressive gardens in Italy, with manicured lawns, lemon and olive groves, and baroque-style fountains and statues. A lush oasis overlooking the Arno Valley, the villa is an ideal quick escape from the crowds and chaos of the city.
Villa Gamberaia is one of the most beautiful estates in Tuscany, built in the 18th century by the Capponi family and combining elements of a Renaissance Italian garden with more French and English flourishes like a water parterre created by the Romanian Princess Catherine Jeanne Ghyka and an expansive bowling green. You can explore the villa and garden on a day trip to the Florentine hills after touring the city's most famous sights like the Uffizi Gallery and Michelangelo's David at the Accademia Gallery.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The garden at Villa Gamberaia is not large, but touring requires a bit of walking.
- The garden is open to the public daily; the villa is only open mornings from Tuesday to Saturday and tours must be booked in advance.
- The grounds are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers; the ground floor of the villa is accessible.
- This is an ideal tour for avid gardeners and garden aficionados.
How to Get There
Villa Gamberaia is located in Settignano, a village in the Florentine hills. To reach Villa Gamberaia from Florence, take bus number 10 from Piazza San Marco in Florence to Settignano. It is about a 10-minute walk from the bus stop to the villa at Via del Rossellino, 72.
When to Get There
Visiting the garden is most pleasant in the spring and fall, when the weather is clear but mild. The garden is sometimes closed for private events, so check before scheduling an excursion.
There are a number of famous Renaissance gardens in the hills surrounding Florence, including Villa Medici in Castello and Villa I Tatti in Fiesole, designed by Cecil Pinsent.