Visiting the Gardens of Villa Gamberaia
Our gardens are opened from 9 am to 7 pm (last entry 6 pm) on weekdays.
On Sundays, the gardens are open from 9 am to 6 pm (last entry 5 pm).
Please note that from time to time the gardens are closed for a private event. We therefore recommend that you always contact us to be sure that a visit is possible on a given day.
Cost of the entrance for the garden visit:
€ 15 per person, regular and students
€ 12 per person, groups
During 2017, the gardens will be closed on these dates:
3 June, 10 June, 17 June, from 23 to 25 June, 15 July, 22 July, from 24 July to 17 August, 26 August, 9 September, from 14 to 17 September, 19 September.
Even if not necessary, a booking to visit the gardens is appreciated.
The visits to the interior of the Villa are reserved for the groups of a minimum of 10 persons and the cost is € 10 per person (by reservation only and closed Sundays). From Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am to 12 noon, individuals and groups of less than 10 persons may visit the interior of the villa, preferably by appointment.
To reach the Villa from Florence, you may take the bus number 10 to Settignano, from Piazza San Marco in Florence, conintuing until the last stop in Settignano. After that, it is a 10 min. walk to reach Via del Rossellino, 72. By car, simply follow the signs for Via Gabriele D’Annunzio and continue on to Settignano and through the village to Via del Rossellino, 72.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any other question or concern.
Edith Wharton, Italian Villas and Their Gardens (London, 1903), pp. 33-37.
Probably the most perfect example of the art of producing a great effect on a small scale… because it combines in an astonishingly small space, yet without the least sense of overcrowding, almost every typical excellence of the old Italian garden: free circulation of sunlight and air about the house; abundance of water; easy access to dense shade; sheltered walks with different points of view; variety of effect produced by the skilful use of different levels; and, finally, breadth and simplicity of composition…
Charles Latham, The Gardens of Italy (London, 1905) p. 113.
If you get pure beauty, you get about the best thing God has to give. Long ago, so spoke an old painter, and his words came back to me again and yet again as on a June afternoon I strayed in Villa Gamberaia. From the moment you pass the gate, with its sentinel cypresses, the impression is one of such perfect loveliness that at last by force of contrast, the mind goes back to strong Caprarola or tragic Este, only to turn once more to bathe in the perfection of the Tuscan villa.
Gamberaia stands on a long narrow piece of land; it is not large, but it is utilised and managed so as to give all that the mind can desire of variety, and space itself.
Geoffrey Jellicoe, Italian Gardens of the Renaissance, (London, 1925 and 1953) p. 19
At the Villa Gamberaia, however, the aim of elaborate variety was extended into the colour scheme, which begins in the ivory and brown tones of the house, and changes to all shades of green, from deep cypress through the varieties of box, yew, ilex, and privet to the light green of lemon trees and grass.
Geoffrey Jellicoe, The Studies of a Landscape Designer over 80 years, vol. I, (Woodbridge, Suffolk 1993) p. 26
Certainly the minds of the Florentine family of Capponi were original and inventive. First, in 1570, they created the beautifully detailed asymmetrical gardens at Arcetri overlooking Florence, a simple design that has the archetypal similarities to Bingham’s Melcombe in England; and in 1717 they finally synthesised and completed the slowly evolving complex of the Villa Gamberaia at Settignano across the Arno valley, whose concept of a domestic landscape is by general consent the most thoughtful the western world has known.
Harold Acton, Tuscan Villas (London, 1973) p. 151.
Nowhere else in my recollection have the liquid and solid been blended with such refinement on a scale that is human yet grand without pomposity… It leaves an enduring impression of serenity, dignity and blithe repose….
Bernard Berenson, Sunset and twilight – the last diaries 1947-1958 (Milan, 1966) pp. 54-55
March 4th, (1948) I Tatti
Walked over to Villa Gamberaia, found it neglected, unkempt, grass not mown, trees with branches broken looking like elephants with broken tusks, the house burnt out with the beautiful courtyard fallen in, vases and stone animals on parapet thrown down and broken – and yet the place retains its charm, its power to inspire longing and dreams, sweet dreams. Its beauty though so uncared for is still great enough to absorb one almost completely, the terraces, the ponds, the great apse of cut cypresses, the bowling green as you look at it from the grotto toward the south like a great boat sailing through space, the view over the quiet landscape of the Chianti hills and further over domes and towers to the snow-capped Appennines and the Arno glimmering in the plain.
March 5th, (1948) I Tatti
Fifty years ago I began to frequent this paradise, then belonging to a narcissistic Rumanian lady who lived mysteriously in love with herself perhaps and certainly with her growing creation, the garden of the Gamberaia. … for years the Gamberaia remained one of the fari (beacons), one of the haunts of my life, well into his century, till 1910 at least.
Cecil Pinsent, Giardini moderni all’italiana, “il giardino fiorito” June 1931, (translated from Italian)
Today… the garden should give the impression of a house extended into the open-air, and its diverse aspects should succeed one another in such a way that when walking through it one is confronted by a series of impressions rather than a single effect…
The best example of this design is at… Villa Gamberaia… after having walked in that garden, relatively small in size, one goes away with the impression of having spent more time there and having discovered more than was in reality the case.