Published: April 20th 2012April 20th 2012
Museo Stefano Bardini
I just got word that the weather was beautiful in Cinqueterra today and the group that did go had a great time. I will have to make sure I get out there before I leave. I spent today in museums, two to be specific, Museo Stefano Bardini and Museo Galileo; both were amazing and I took so many pictures I ran two camera batteries dead.
The first one I went to was Museo Stefano Bardini who was an antique dealer and collector in the 19th
century who donated his collection and his auction house to the city upon his death. The house itself was beautiful with amazing stairways and ceilings. The first room is mainly sculptures from different eras yet fit well together. Then I proceeded upstairs where there was a crucifix in the center of the room and an entire wall filled with different Madonna and Child. In addition to these pieces there was a large collection of bridal chests. The chests showed amazing craftsmanship with different designs, family crests and themes. I went up another flight of stairs to a room with leather tapestries, some woodwork, and frames. The frames Bardini believed to be their own works of
Handle of Sword
Museo Stefano Bardini
art and therefore began to collect them and put them on display. The next room had metal works, small statues made of different types of metals, including door knockers! The last room on this floor contained religious works and different types of furniture.
Upon arrival to the staircase to descend down a level the entire area is filled with rugs. These rugs are hanging along the walls all the way down the staircase. There is a short explanation that rugs were not considered works of art until more recently so they are worn and one even has gashes from the spurs on Hitler’s shoes. The next floor down had one small room, the armory. This room was one of the most interesting, not only were there tombs of soldiers, but the armory they wore, what their horses were suited with, and the weapons. The artistry that went into making these things in amazing, the swords and guns were so ornate. There was armor from different centuries so you could see how the protection of the soldiers progressed, as well as their weapons.
Back on the main floor there was an area of what would normally be found outside;
Handle of Knife
Museo Stefano Bardini
so coats of arms that would be placed on buildings; an outside entryway that had been moved to be placed in the museum, doors and all; and a couple of garden statues. One room over contained a Boar statue, I don’t recall at the moment if this is the original or the copy made way back when and the original is in the Uffizi. Either way, there is a stature of the boar that is supposed to bring a quick return to Florence if you rub its snout and put a coin in its mouth. In addition to the boar are two of the bases that were used to set the boar upon, both with different sculpting on them. I have walked by the boar that is now placed in the market plaza and have never paid attention to the base. Having seen the two here I realize how much detail has been put into it. There are small animals and flowers meant to represent a swampy bog area. Mostly there are crabs and frogs, but there is a snake that has captured a frog by one leg and a small family of mice including some pinkies. The detail put
Museo Stefano Bardnin
into them are amazing I’m so glad I got to see them and appreciate it. There was another half flight of stairs I went down, but what I found here was less interesting, just some still lives and market scene paintings.
Next I went to the Galileo Museum where my brain went into overload. I spent two hours on the top floor where the audio tour begins. On a side note I will say that I’m very happy I paid the extra €5 to get the audio tour, it give so much information about everything displayed! I’m not going to go into much detail on this one because I can’t remember it all; there is just too much stuff. The top floor is dedicated to the family that took over rule after the Medici’s; I believe they are the Lorraines. I do know that the first one was brother to Marie Antoinette. There is a ton of medical items on display here, including figures of babies being delivered and the different positions. Not my type of thing but I did take a few pictures for those of you who may be interested. They should be on my dropbox account
within a few days; it is still behind in loading my images.
The next floor down was all about the Medici’s and their impact on science during their reign. There was a lot about time, navigations, and space. Galileo himself was under the Medici patronage, which helped save his life when he was put on trial for suggesting that the earth went around the sun. It is this floor that you will find the two remaining telescopes made by Galileo, as well as his thumb and index finger, a tooth, and his middle finger on display. I find the keeping of body parts on display creepy, but they are all over around here! The rest of his remains are in Santa Croce Church, also in Florence.
On the ground floor are some interactive displays and the gift shop.
After spending hours wondering museums I decided to pack it in and head back to the apartment for dinner and some rest before my Tuscany hike tomorrow! The forecast says rain, but I hope it says inside the city limits the countryside gets sunshine.
I took plenty of pictures today so message me and let me know if
you want access to my dropbox and I will send you the link.
There are more photos below