This article is geared toward the visitor that has possibly already been to Florence and elbowed and trekked his way through its top destinations (with blisters to prove it); or for the visitor looking for a different experience; or even for a local that has yet to stumble upon this hidden gem of a museum– The Stibbert Museum.
The Stibbert Museum is the private collection of Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906) who was born to an English father and Italian mother. Born in Florence, but sent to England to study, he obviously held Florence dear to his heart.
His grandfather and father were very wealthy and Frederick inherited a vast fortune at a very young age. He began acquiring artifacts for his private collection at the age of 21 and had soon turned his home into a museum. When he passed away in 1906 he left the entire collection to the municipality of his beloved birth city Florence.
His amazing collection contains over 50,000 items ranging from tapestries, religious artifacts, paintings, furniture, and the most impressive- armory. Ranging from European to Islamic to Japanese– even those among us that snoozed through world history will be frothing at the mouth with this impressive collection. His European armory collection even contains pieces from the Roman Empire, but the vast majority are from the 16th century.
The Salone della Cavalcata will literally take your breath away. The other two collections include Middle Eastern (Indian, Ottoman, Persian) and Japanese armory (mostly from 1570-1868).
It is a museum where obviously rules have to be respected, but with its enormous garden, it is actually a wonderful place to take children.
So we thank you Mr. Stibbert for your amazing contribution to the city of Florence and for sharing one of the most impressive private collections of armory in the entire world with us, but most of all, for creating an experience of a lesser-known Florence.
Stibbert is slightly on the outskirts of the city center, but easily reachable on the number 4 bus from Santa Maria Novella train station.
For more information visit the official website:
Article by Marie Contino