giovedì 22 luglio 2010
To all the garden lovers: Florence and Tuscany have extraordinary gardens in the perfect italian style. When you come to Florence to visit the city, after a good rest at Hotel Mario's, you can enjoy a visit to Villa Gamberaia or to one of the many villas there are in the city and around it.
The Villa Gamberaia is located on the hillside of Settignano, with extraordinary views of Florence and the surrounding Arno valley. It is renowned for its splendid gardens, which are celebrated throughout the world by leading landscape architects and garden historians.Among the outstanding gardens of Tuscany, few have retained through the course of four centuries as much of their original design and distinctive character as Villa Gamberaia. From the first decades of the 17 C, when the wealthy Florentine merchant Zanobi Lapi built an imposing villa on the hillside of Settignano (1610–1630), on the foundations of a pre-existing casa da signore, and his nephews laid out the main areas of the garden, generations of owners have maintained and improved the property without significantly modifying its basic plan. During the last half century, owners have been engaged chiefly in restoration and conservation. In the summer of 1944 the villa was badly damaged by fire set by the retreating German army, and Marcello Marchi, who purchased the property in 1954, devoted the following years to rebuilding and renovating the house and restoring the garden. In the parterre the evergreens were carefully reshaped into their geometric forms and the gardener Silvano Ghirelli sculpted the phyllirea into an enormous sphere; the wisteria was revived in the gabinetto rustico; and Albertine roses were planted along the walls of the lower terrace and the limonaia. The photographic essay by Balthazar Korab attests to the rebirth and renewed splendor of the garden in the late 1960s.
During the last fifteen years, Luigi Zalum, son-in-law of Marcello Marchi and the present owner, has carried on the work of improving the property while preserving its historic image. The walls along the garden avenue have been reinforced and their graffito decoration repainted; the conduits have been repaired, and substantial sections of box and cypress replanted; the smaller houses on the property have been renovated; and, with the help of experts from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, parts of the rocaille decoration of the grottoes have been restored. Under the supervision of Mariachiara Pozzana, consultant for historic conservation, many of the plants recorded by Edward G. Lawson in his “Planting Plan” of c.1917 have also been reintroduced, among them the borders of iris, santolina, and lavender in the parterre, the mixed borders of perennials on the lemon terrace, and the many varieties of roses throughout the garden.
You can visit on the web other gardens like the one of Villa la Gamberaia : www.gardens-of-tuscany.net
Check if we have some room available and stay with us at Hotel Mario's
via Faenza 89 in the centre, but close to the bus station. You can catch the bus to go everywhere to discover villas and gardens in Florence.