During our first week in Florence, we spent a good deal of time wandering rather aimlessly through town, discovering little gems and places we didn’t even have on our radar. One of these spots was the Giardino del Museo Stibbert, just a short walk from our apartment north of the centre.
The museum holds the private collection of Frederick Stibbert, and apparently the armour and ceramics are a pretty impressive lot. We didn’t go inside (it was near closing when we happened upon the gardens) but we were happy to look at the beautiful structure and imagine what it might have been like to grow up here. In his will, Stibbert left the home to the city of Florence, and the museum was opened to the public in 1909.
We were really intrigued by the amazing family crests on the exterior wall of the museum. The details carved into the stone was incredible, we spent a lot of time looking at the different images and playing I Spy with the kids, who searched for various animals on the crests.
Designed by Giuseppe Poggi in the 1800s, the gardens behind the museum were like stepping into a bit of a fairytale. Gloriously shaded by mature trees, a perfect respite from the hot sun, we felt like we were exploring a secret garden! Orange trees everywhere dripping with fruit, ivy-covered garden walls, a small lagoon with a tiny Egyptian temple. It made for a fun afternoon of exploring.