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Stibbert museum
Photo © Marcello
Photo © Marcello

The Tuscany you don't expect: the 5 most original museums

Ideas for unusual outings to hunt for stories and legends

Tuscany is a chest of art treasures, housed in some of the most famous and most visited museums in the world, but there is a whole world that goes beyond the Uffizi or the Accademia Gallery.

We have chosen for you 5 unusual museums, for an itinerary off the usual routes.

Contents
  • 1.
    The Stibbert museum
  • 2.
    Museum of Straw and Bind
  • 3.
    Truffle Museum
  • 4.
    Ecomuseum of Alabaster
  • 5.
    The Football museum
1.

The Stibbert museum

Stibbert museum
Stibbert museum - Credit: Leila Firusbakht

The Stibbert is one of the most unexpected museums of Florence and is definitely worth a visit. The house-museum hosts an extraordinary collection of weapons and objects of art coming from the East and accumulated during the nineteenth century by Frederick Stibbert. In the Hall of the Cavalcade you will run out of words in front of the European and Ottoman life-size knights, not to mention the katana and armor from Japan, belonged to the actually last samurais. The garden is no less eccentric, with fake ruins and an Egyptian style temple.

1.

Museum of Straw and Bind

Straw hats in Florence
Straw hats in Florence - Credit: Grevi Mode

Just a few steps away from Florence, in Signa, the Museum of Straw and Bind is dedicated to one of the oldest craft traditions of Tuscany. Here you can find out how straw is grown and hats are shaped, as well as admire the most beautiful models of the past and present, like the famous straw hat, made since the early eighteenth century, one of the most well known symbols of Florence in the world.

1.

Truffle Museum

Truffle Museum
Truffle Museum

Located in San Giovanni d'Asso, a hamlet of Montalcino, is Italy's first museum dedicated to the truffle: an exhibition itinerary that spans 250 square meters in the basement of an ancient castle. The first section is dedicated to the "mystery of the truffle" and the plurality of interpretations it has had over time. The second section of the museum offers different sensory experiences through paths involving touch, hearing, taste and finally the so-called "odorama", dedicated to the sense of smell.

1.

Ecomuseum of Alabaster

Working alabaster in Volterra
Working alabaster in Volterra - Credit: Allegra Ricci

But there is another feature that is even older then the one of the straw: the alabaster, already used by the Etruscans to make urns and ornaments. In Volterra, home of the deposits of alabaster, there is a museum dedicated to this precious material, transparent and tough at the same time. The museum, housed in a former Augustinian monastery of the twelfth century, brings together over 300 works in alabaster from the eighteenth century to the present.

1.

The Football museum

The Football Museum
The Football Museum - Credit: Museo del Calcio di Coverciano

The paradise for all the soccer ball fans is located in Florence: the Football Museum, a unique in Italy, collects the entire football/soccer's history of the country. Here you can admire memorabilia, such as medals and cups, films and photographs from 1934 to the present, with a special focus on the Italian national team victories at the World Cup, the Europeans and the Olympics.

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