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Off The Beaten Path in Florence

Always charming Ponte Vecchio

Always charming Ponte Vecchio

Once you see the main sights, like Brunelleschi’s dome and the statue of David at the Accademia, you might be ready for some lesser known museums and sites that are off the beaten path in Florence. Here we share some of our favorite places you may not have heard of in this cradle of the Renaissance.

 Museo Stefano Bardini

This museum, located across the Arno river is a peaceful haven away from lines and crowds.

A recent renovation had brought the museum back to the way it’s original founder had intended. Stefano Bardini was known as one of the great art dealers of the 19th century.  He donated the palazzo and his collection to the city of Florence.

The artwork is organized by size and subject on incredibly beautiful blue walls.

The Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero

Love international intrigue and incredible art?  This is the museum for you.

The Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero houses the private art collection in the home of Italian secret agent Rodolfo Siviero.  He became known as the “007 of Art Repatriation” for his work in recovering a great number of works of art stolen from Italy during the Second World War.

In the summer months there are evenings of music and art history lectures.

Museo del’Opificio di Pietra Dure

Established in 1588 under the patronage of Ferdinano de’Medici, today this institute continues to be a global leader in the field of art restoration.  The Museum in the Workshop of Semi-precious Stones is filled with incredible, intricate examples of Pietre Dure works, including cabinets, table tops and plates.

Vasari Corridor

Often referred to at the secret corridor of the Medici’s.  This passageway linking the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Museum with the Pitti Palace is one kilometer long was built in five short months according to a design by Giorgio Vasari for Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1564. It was to celebrate the wedding of Francesco I de’ Medici and Giovanna of Austria.

Inside, the corridor is filled with self-portraits by Andrea del Sarto, Beccafumi, Bernini, Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni, Salvator Rosa, Rubens, Canova, Hayez, Corot, Ingres, Delacroix and Ensor.

This astounding architectural masterpieces of the Renaissance also affords a unique view of the Ponte Vecchio below.

The Gardens at Medici Villa Petraia

Everyone knows about the Boboli gardens, but very few people visit the other Medici gardens at Villa Petraia.  A short bus ride from the city center, these gardens are built on three levels to 16th century plans. You can visit the fresco filled villa or relax in the green quiet gardens with a view of Florence in the distance.

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By Priscila Siano (266 Posts)

Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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