Yesterday I went to Villa Stibbert to enjoy a walk in the park and to visit the museum... I didn't know how nice and interesting it was until my friend Daniela took me there! Thank you Dany :-)
The villa was once Stibbert's home, and has 57 rooms that exhibit all of Stibbert's collections from all around the world. Frederick Stibbert was a rich heir born in 1836 and grown in England, but lately moved to Florence. He had no need to work so he lived his life collecting objects and turned his house into a museum.
Paintings are displayed throughout every room, including still lifes and portraits. There is also collections of valuable furniture, porcelains, Tuscan crucifixes, Etruscan artifacts, and an outfit worn by Napoleon I.
Sure the most interesting exhibition is the Stibbert's Arms and Armour collection: more of 12.000 pieces of arms and armour from the 15th trough the 19th century, from all over the world: European, Oriental, Japanese, Arab pieces.
In the Cavalcade Room you can admire a large collection of medieval knights on horseback and foot-soldiers dressed with original armours and holding their weapons… that’s impressive! In the Samurai Room there are more than 80 armours and hundreds of swords.
Outside the museum, over the walls of the villa, there is a large collection of stone coats of arms from the most important nobile families from all over Europe.
The museum also contains a small cafe and a bookstore.
The garden of the villa is pretty interesting too, it’s a nice English garden full of strange things and historical quotes, as it was very popular and appreciated in the second half of 1800.
Walking around the park you can find a nice small temple in classical style, with a dome covered with coloured pieces of ceramic, some ponds, a lot of wild vegetation, an elegant “limonaia” (typical rural building used to recover citrus plants like lemons), and even an odd small neo-egyptian temple built on an island in the main pond, with sphinxes, pharaoh statues and a small obelisk.
The paths are curvy and quite wild, and are dotted with statues.
It’s a very curious garden, full of odd things that play with history, geography and cultural quotes, a perfect example of the 800esque ideas of Sublime and Beautiful, typical of Picturesque.
the classical small temple in Stibbert Garden, Florence.
the weird neo-egyptian temple in the Stibbert Garden in Florence