milwaukee’s villa terrace arts museum

For anyone that follows me on social media, you know that yesterday Phil and I went sky diving for the first time!! It was such an incredible rush – I can’t wait to recap the experience!

For this week, I’m recapping our first explorations in Milwaukee. After our few days exploring Chicago, we were heading to Milwaukee for the reason we came on the trip – a friends wedding! With the wedding being on Saturday we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to get settled and do a bit of exploring so we began our 1.5-hour drive early Friday.

Our first stop in Milwaukee was at the charming Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. I had found this place during my research and knew immediately it was a must-do stop. When first walking in you’re transported to a villa on the Mediterranean with a brick whitewashed building, stunning greenery, and red roof accents. I thought that it couldn’t possibly get more beautiful until we walked around the front and saw the balcony overlooking a steep and lush garden with Lake Michigan sitting on the horizon in the distance. The balcony had elegant touches like statues, potted flowers, and lime trees! I couldn’t believe the unexpected beauty of a place like this in Milwaukee.

We learned that this place was created by a wealthy family in 1923 after returning from their honeymoon in Italy. The husband and wife wanted to recreate the beauty of that trip so they could experience it every day at home. The home came to be called Sopra Mare which means “above the sea” in Italian.

We took the many steps down to explore the garden and marveled at the rolling lawn and the view of the house sitting atop the greenery. It is places like this that reinforce my love for travel! We found a stone bench to sit on so we could soak it all in. It was quiet as we were a few of the only visitors. Sitting we enjoyed the views while the wind rustled the leaves on the trees and birds happily chirped.

One of my favorite parts was the garden tunnel. It felt like a scene right out of the book Secret Garden or a romantic movie!

It’s also worth noting that the inside is actually an art museum! It was too beautiful of a day for us to want to spend much time inside so we opted to skip the inside tour. Regardless, your admission ticket will get you views of the garden and of the art inside.

If you’re visiting Milwaukee then it will come as no surprise when I recommend this as a stop! Next week I’ll share my other top Milwaukee spots including what to do and where to eat.

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