The Villa Capponi garden, commented upon by Edith Wharton and Geoffrey Jellicoe, dates from the seventeenth century. It was extended by Lady Elizabeth Scott after 1882 and by Charles Pinsent after 1939.
The villa, built in the 14th century, was purchased in 1572 by the Capponi family which extended it and enhanced it, turning it into a noble residence. In 1882 it became the property of Lady Scott, daughter of the Duke of Portland, and later passed into the hands of the Clifford family. The building, which is quite simple in layout, was further embellished at the end of the 19th century with the additions of two panoramic loggias, the columns for which were, it seems, taken from demolition work done during the redevelopment of the old city centre to create Piazza della Repubblica. The garden, which comprises terraces on different levels, extends along the Pian dei Giullari hillside, from where the view over Florence is quite breathtaking, and blends in with the surrounding farmland. The first terrace, immediately behind the villa, is a broad grassy area stretching the length of the northern side of the building, on which an ancient wisteria hangs. To the east, on the same level, is the entrance to a delightful secret garden, rectangular in layout and edged in box hedges. Access to this formal garden, separated from the lawn by another box hedge, is marked by two columns surmounted by two terracotta griffins. To the west, on different levels, are another two secret gardens with box-edged parterres and surrounded by high walls with elegantly curving crenellations and earthenware urns. The first of these gardens, which lies five metres lower than the level of the villa, is reached by a narrow flight of steps beside the boundary wall. A wrought-iron gate leads to the second garden, at the centre of which stands a fine stone lily-pool. The recently-built rectangular swimming pool lower down is surrounded by tall rows of cypresses.