Yesterday I heard the sound of a freight train and a sudden memory of being at my grandmother’s house in Italy flashed by. She lived close to the train tracks and in the middle of the night very loud freight trains would go by. At first, it was annoying, but then it became a welcomed hum in the middle of the night. That sound is still a connection to Italy, the memory of “staying at Nonina’s house.”
Another fond memory of being at Nonina’s house was visiting the “Museum Stibbert.” Most people who have visited Florence, Italy do not know about this special museum. When my mother was young she spent many afternoons at the Stibbert gardens and going through the museum. She said that is where her love of travel and seeing the world came from.
Frederick Stibbert was fascinated by antiques, especially military armour (European, Islamic and Japanese), which he collected and staged in battle scenes. In the photo you can see how he staged the armour in life size form, so you could appreciate the armour and the men going into battle. It’s fantastic to see. Frederick spent a lot of time, thought and money into creating each individual room.
Visit the main website for Museo Stibbert where you can view more photos of the different rooms — you’ll be amazed. Frederick’s father was from England and his mother was from Florence. His father left him very wealthy, so that he could pursue his passion in life. When Frederick died in 1906 he left this museum to the city of Florence. They opened it for visitors in 1909.
Every tourist should have this on their list of sites to see when in Florence. Of course, I am partial to it, because it was about 10 minutes from my grandmother’s house, so I have many memories of visiting this museum and its gardens.
Here’s to special memories that come to us when we least expect them – this time it was the sound of a freight train.