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Off the beaten path

Palazzo Davanzati. Antique family home in the city center, recently restored. Visitors can see what domestic life was like during Renaissance, and enjoy the reconstruction of the interiors of an ancient local home. Nice example of 14th century housing architecture, showing the transition from the medieval tower house to the Renaissance building. All rooms are decorated with frescoes, old tapestries and original furniture. Must see: Sala dei Pappagalli and the Bedroom, the latter with life scenes of the Lady of Vergi.

Via Porta Rossa.

Open: Monday-Sunday From 8:15 a.m. – 1:50 p.m.

 

Villa Petraia. One of the original Medici Villas, the estate is especially interesting for its architectural highlights, original interior design, paintings, frescoes and the English-style terraced gardens and park landscape. The old castle that already existed in the 14th century changed owners several times (Brunelleschi, Strozzi, Alessandra dei Bardi, Salutati) and was finally acquired by the Medici in 1530. Only 6 km northwest of Florence, visitors are offered special tours through the adjoining chapel, the ball room, and the living quarters with representative examples of Florentine paintings and several antique fabrics and furniture decor. Via della Petraia 40, Località Castello.

Open: 8:15 a.m. – 5:30p.m. Open later on some days of the week. Free admission.

 

The Bardini Gardens. The Bardini Gardens is a four hectare large green space situated between the Piazzale Michelangelo and the Boboli Gardens. It is less frequented, has a romantic feel and is beautifully landscaped. The garden is full of unexpected surprises, like the Baroque flight of steps, hidden statues, fountains, grottoes, a small amphitheater and breathtaking views of the Florence’ skyline. The Bardini Villa also offers several permanent exhibitions and a traditional Kaffeehaus.

Via de’ Bardi 1 / Costa San Giorgio 2.

Open: Tuesday – Sunday: From 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

The Civic Archeological Museum and the Bardini Museum in Fiesole. Founded in 1873, the Archaeological Museum exhibits cover a wide chronological band with examples from the Etruscan and Roman eras, and providing a complete panoramic view of Fiesole’s ancient history. The collection includes the Antiquarian Costantini, a special compilation of over 150 pieces of ceramics from ancient Greece and Etruria. The outdoor area sees remnants of the massive, ancient Etruscan walls, and the remains of Roman baths and the Roman theater which have managed to survive for centuries.

Via Portigiani 1. Open: 9.30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

The ticket to the archeological area and museum also covers the entry to the Bardini Museum. Via Dupré 1. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Open: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

 

The Stibbert Museum. The Stibbert villa, surrounded by a stunning English park, presents one of the most spectacular interior decorations in Florence. The museum is most famous for its collection of ancient weapons and costumes, which includes European, Middle Eastern and Japanese pieces dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries, showed to guests by competent tour guides. Frederick Stibbert, born in Florence in 1838, was a businessman of British ancestry who devoted his life to collecting treasures. After his death, he wanted the estate and his collections to be given to the city of Florence.

Via F. Stibbert, 26.

Open: Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

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