The Stibbert Museum is located in Florence a few steps from the historic city center.
The Stibbert Museum is one of the most fascinating and unexpected places in Florence. In a house-museum built by its owner, Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906), the exceptional collections that he left to the city on his death are collected and arranged in an exciting and scenic setting: the famous collection of weapons, but also objects of art and everyday life of the European, Islamic and Far Eastern civilization, in particular Japanese.
Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906), of an English father and Italian mother, was born in Florence but was educated in England. His father was a colonel of the prestigious Coldstream Guards, his grandfather commander in chief of the forces of Bengal, India, from where the wealth of the family that the young Stibbert inherited when he was twenty years old began.
The villa that he owned on the slopes of the Florentine hills is transformed by him into a neo-Gothic castle, with large rooms on the ground floor designed to house the collections in the succession and in the scenographic form he conceived, in particular the famous European, Islamic and Japanese armories . The other part of the building houses the sumptuous private apartments, furnished and decorated according to nineteenth-century criteria, which gave each room a re-enactment style: neo-Renaissance for the ballroom, rococo for the sitting rooms, empire for the bedrooms.
The same eclectic taste, the same curiosity for the past and the exotic characterizes the park surrounding the villa. Groves, pavilions, statues, false ruins and a small Egyptian temple are the destination of seemingly random naturalistic-evocative itineraries: a romantic vision of the garden that represents a further adhesion of Stibbert to the cultural environment of the time.
"My museum", as he called it in his will, "which costs me huge sums of money, so much care and effort", was bequeathed to the city of Florence.
The Museum is now managed by a Foundation, established by the Municipality of Florence following the will of Stibbert himself, with the mission of keeping the collections in the place and environments designed for them and to open the Museum to the public for the knowledge of scholars and the education of young people.