Once a modest farmhouse on the Settignano hillside, La Gamberaia overlooks Florence and the Arno Valley. The villa takes its name from the 15th century owner, Matteo di Domenico, who became Gamberelli in reference to the local freshwater crayfish ("gamberi"). The architecture and gardens were originally built by the Florentine nobleman Zanobi Lapi and his nephews in the 17th century. During the Second World War the villa became a Nazi headquarters; the house was almost completely destroyed when German officers set fire to their maps in anticipation of the Allied advance. Marcello Marchi purchased the grounds in the mid-1950s, and began a restoration project that his descendents continue to the present day. The premises are currently rented out as holiday accommodation.