by Melinda Gallo

Museo Stefano Bardini

Last week while I was working at my desk, I saw out of the corner of my eye a long blue banner being placed on the side of a building. The sign said Museo Stefano Bardini. I stopped working immediately and searched the Internet to find more information about when it would open to the public. I had read that the museo (museum) was going to open this year, and had planned on going as soon as it opened. And today, only six days after it officially opened, was my chance to visit it.

Living in Florence :: Museo Stefano Bardini

I met my friend Erin and her mom on the corner of via dei Renai and Piazza de' Mozzi, which is right on the other side of Ponte alle Grazie. We walked in the entrance of the museo into the biglietteria, which was open, bright, and modern. Unfortunately, like the Palazzo Vecchio, the museo didn't accept our Amici degli Uffizi cards because it is a museo communale (city museum).

After purchasing our tickets, we walked up the stairs to the beginning of the museo. I fell in love with the museo the moment we walked through the iron gate. I had read on the sign that Stefano Bardini was an antique collector who left his estate to the city.

Because I had never visited this museo before, I don't know what changes were made to it. I was personally struck by how beautifully displayed each and every piece was. Each room grouped similar items together. In one room were sculptures and stone plaques hanging on the walls. In another room were wooden pieces of furniture and statues, of which one I captured in the picture shown here. In the staircase were antique rugs hung on the walls, which led to a room with a large collection of guns, swords, and spears.

The one item that did surprise me was the original bronze statue Porcellino. I read the sign and it seemed a little ambiguous to me since there is still one at the Piazza del Mercato Nuovo. I asked a custode (museum guard) if it was the original or just another copy. He told me that the one in the museo is the original and the copy is at themercato.

The museo reminded me of a more personal version of the Bargello. Stefano Bardini purchased some beautiful pieces of art that years later are still giving people a lot of joy. I would love to go again because I enjoyed seeing the artwork as well as the rooms that showed it off even more.

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