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Photos in order of appearance: detail of Italian Fountain, 2012; fountain and gloriette, 2012; Italian Garden, c. 1940s (the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Archives).

In 1930, Mr. and Mrs. Cummer took a trip to Italy where they visited the Villa Gamberaia, located just outside of Florence. Their trip provided Mrs. Cummer with much food for thought, and her love of Italian ornaments also may have sparked the idea of making an Italian garden.

The presence of water is an important part of traditional Italian gardens and is integrated into The Cummer’s Italian Garden with the inclusion of the three-tiered fountain shipped by boat to the states from Italy. The original fountain was built from a porous stone that absorbed water over the years and began to crumble. An exact replica was created in 2001 from a stronger, less porous marble to prevent deterioration.