Stibbert Museum

Stibbert Museum, Florence: Hours, Address, Stibbert Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Stibbert Museum
4.5
Military Museums • Art Museums • History Museums
Monday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
A museum showcasing the eccentric and eclectic tastes of Frederick Stibbert, a 19th century art collector.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from $14.46
All you need to step foot in the door.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella train station welcomes the majority of the people arriving in Florence, which might explain the hectic pace. Commuters and tourists come across the constant hustle and bustle of the station before exiting, taking a few steps and stopping amazed in Piazza di Santa Maria Novella. It is impossible not to admire the the square, housing one of the most charming basilicas in Florence. The area has plenty of local spots to taste Tuscan specialties, but don’t stop in the main streets alone; the narrower side streets always ensure satisfaction. The huge Parco Delle Cascine provides a solution to the need for a green area as well as a historic welcome in the form of a bronze statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II riding a horse.
Popular mentions

4.5
722 reviews
Excellent
464
Very good
206
Average
32
Poor
11
Terrible
9

davidw142
Fayetteville, NC36 contributions
Jan 2022 • Solo
This museum is a hidden gem, the collection of art and treasures is wonderful they even have a boticelli painting! A definite must see, be sure to reserve ahead of time you can only see it with a tour guide
Written January 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul S
San Diego, California356 contributions
Aug 2021
House of an obsessive collector becomes a museum. Plenty of armor, swords, spears, guns and so on arranged rather densely in the rooms. The Japanese collection up the circular stairway is interesting.
Written August 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phillips3675
Brooklyn, NY158 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
Magnificent collection of arms and armor set in a glorious mansion in a lovely park.
Tens of thousands ( literally) of beautiful objects laid out in a fantasy house.

Not what I expected to find in florence but a great place
Definitely worth visiting
Written December 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jaygeetee19
Forres, UK65 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
I’ve been to Florence twice before, but never made it to Stibbert, this time when the town was under a thunderstorm it was the ideal time to go.

My wife and I were the only visitors at our time slot so we had the undivided attention of our guide. She conducted our tour entirely in English, her grasp of which was first class. The tour consisted of her taking us to each room and giving us a brief introduction to the contents. After that we had about ten minutes to explore. Our guide did not hurry us and were able to explore at our own pace, albeit we knew that our time in each room was limited.

For me the first part of the tour is the highlight, with a massive collection of mediaeval armour and weapons. There are also early firearms, both flint lock pistols and muskets. There is also a large collection of horse armour, with one of the highlights being a cavalcade of a dozen horses and riders in armour. The European armour is overshadowed by the Japanese collection, but for me the star was the Islamic armour - the craftsmanship was breathtaking.

The second part of the tour was good too, but for me the tour of his house did not my attention like the earlier armour.

This museum is certainly worthwhile. It is one of the highlights of a visit to Florence, especially if you are a military history enthusiast. My hour tour certainly whizzed part. My only gripe is the concept of the tour. I was especially lucky to go there with just my wife. I believe that the maximum tour size is 25, which I don’t think would be enjoyable. The rooms would be too crowded. I get that the museum wants to control costs and protect the exhibits, but what this way of working does is limit your time to enjoy the the exhibits, which is not ideal.
Written December 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Simo and Paola in Tuscany
Florence, Italy164 contributions
Nov 2019
This Museum is out of the touristy routes but the building is interesting and the collections are extremely valuable to be seen.If you spend more days in Florence, go and visit it
Written December 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

J3mullen
New Hampshire1 contribution
Nov 2019 • Solo
I visited the Stibbert Museum alone while my daughter, a study abroad student, was in classes. It was everything I expected from reading about it and so much more.
The sheer variety of exhibits was amazing but what really set the Stibbert apart was the ambiance and the careful attention to detail in every display. My favorite sections were the Japanese room, especially the masks, and the Cavalcade. But there were far too many fascinating and curious sights throughout to make a proper list. The collection of polearms and ancient firearms were also among my favorites.
My guide, Flavia, was wonderful. Her passion for the museum and knowledge of each room made my visit even more memorable. Aside from the arms and armor, I found what Flavia told me about the history of the house itself and how Stibbert built his collections to add an extra element of interest to my visit. I was so happy I made the short trek out to see the Stibbert, and for anyone interested in the weapons and armor of different eras, this should absolutely be on your "can't miss" list.
Written December 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter S
11 contributions
Nov 2019
This is possibly the best 6 euros you will spend. Its a fantastic property absolutely full of armour, including Suitss of armour, armour for horses, hundreds os swords, flintlock pistols, wheel lock pistols. I think this eclipses the Royal Armoury in London Tower.
Then you get to see the private living rooms, all fully furnished.
There is so much much to see, you not fail to be amazed how one family can collect so much.
If you go nowhere else visit the Stibbert Museum, you will not be disappointed.
Written November 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JeffNNN
St Helens, UK95 contributions
Oct 2019 • Solo
Stibbert was born in Florence but served in British Army. Fought alongside Garibaldi and amassed a fabulous collection of arms and armour he donated to the city. It's a bit out of the main touristy bit, not on those maps they give out so I got a taxi. Had booked online well in advance as there are only hourly tours, max 25 people.

It was an "accompanied" visit not a "guided" one. Not sure what difference was s. house is also well worth seeing. There's a garden/parkland area that looked good but I didn't have time.

The bookshop is good and sells a bilingual guidebook and lots of other stuff. I bought an account (again bilingual) of Stibbert's time with Garibaldi and do wish there had been a little bit more about this in the museum. Finished off my visit with a coffee outside the welcoming little cafe. At €1.10 it was the best value coffee in Florence
Written October 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Fanatic-Gastronome
San Francisco, CA302 contributions
Sep 2019
Have you ever want to see what Bruce Wayne's (aka BATMAN) mansion would look like in real life? You better get over here because the Stibbert Museum is as closed as it is going to get.

(If you just want the tips, scroll to the bottom)

First, I mean no disrespect to the Stibbert estate and trust. On the contrary, this comparison is a compliment.

Since there are a lot of Batman movies, let met clarify. I am referring to Batman (1989) starring Michael Keaton. There is a scene in the movie which shows one of Bruce Wayne's rooms, composed of various types of armors and weapons.

Now, that I got your attention, please read on-

Getting to the museum is a bit tough since the Stibbert Museum (aka Museo Stibbert) was someone's home in the past. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood and surrounded by a large garden with walls to protect its inhabitants and ensure privacy, the museum is on top of a hill about 2.6 km or 1.6 miles from the train station/Basilica of Santa Maria Novella (about 30 min walk). I walked from the Westin Excelsior/Regis Hotel location 3.2 km (2 miles) which takes about 45 min. Give yourself an extra 15-20 min in case you get lost.
The last 10-15 min is the toughest because you will be walking uphill. Not fun on a hot summer day (96 F /36 C). Luckily the house has air conditioning, but not waiting room for the tour.

As you take a breather in the waiting room, you wonder who is Frederick Stibbert and how big is his collection.
A brief history- The Stibbert family started when Thomas Stibbert moved from Norfolk, United Kingdom to Florence, Italy where he met his wife, Giulia Cafaggi. They had three children, the eldest being Frederick Stibbert, born in 1838. Since Frederick's grandfather was involved in the Indian trade and was governor of Bengal (India), the family had a lot of money. By the time Thomas Stibbert died, all the money was left to Frederick Stibbert.

Frederick was only in his twenties when he inherited the family fortune. During the next 40 years, Frederick Stibbert collected mostly armor and weapons from Europe, the Middle East and Asia (primarily Japan). The military pieces were then displayed in separate rooms based on geography and time period.

Let the tour begin- Your first room, led by your tour guide, is huge with a 10 ft (3 m) wide fireplace composed of emerald green marble laced with gold details, walls of paintings and tapestries and a ceiling with high vaulted arches culminating in the center resembling the dome of a cathedral . This room is unique because it is a mix of history and privacy (think gigantic family room with 30 ft ceilings adorned with famous paintings and guarded by over 30 suits of armor). Yes, Frederick loved his home and loved to entertain.

As you continue the tour, you realize that the museum rooms (or shall we say history rooms) have been transformed with the architecture to fit the time pieces from floor to wall to ceiling. There is even a war room with a tented ceiling composed of flowing fabric to give you a sense of a command center in the battlefield. Take a deep breath and allow the ambience of each room to sink in. You might imagine what it must have been like to be a kid in here, going from room to room, playing with your friends and creating your own stories, based on the artifacts from each time period.
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The living quarters are separated from the museum rooms and resemble rooms of King Louis XIV's the Palace of Versailles. Frederick spent a lot of money on art and tapestries to decorate the 15 to 30 ft (4.5 to 9 M) walls and ceilings. You might notice that some of the paintings resemble famous museum pieces (Mona Lisa), but give him a break. This is his home and he wanted to have the best. Like everyone else, if you can not get the original, the next best thing is an excellent reproduction. Kudos to him (proof that you can not buy everything even if you are loaded with money. LOL).

He had a team of craftsmen to restore the artifacts, sometimes creating replicas to replace missing parts.
You appreciate how one man has traveled the world, collecting and transforming his 64 room home (over 5000 sq meters/ 55,000 sq ft) into the Stibbert Museum containing over 50,000 items (the museum website states that only 35,000 are on display).

Overall, great home and great museum.
Note- the outside of the home and garden is not in great shape. Translation - Please come and enjoy it now. Who knows how long the government can keep up the maintenance.

Tips-
1. Provide a little extra time for that climb up the hill.
2. If you have bad knees or hips or just don't want to end up perspiring, take a taxi.
3. Each tour has a maximum of 25 people and starts at the hour mark.
4. If you bought a ticket online and arrive more than an hour early, the staff will allow you to change your ticket and tour with earlier group before you.

Dress code- very casual, shorts, T-shirts, etc.

The tour guide speaks Italian and moderate English. He seems to be improving on his English since past reviews mentioned little to no English.

Please inform me that you enjoy this by hitting the "thumbs up" button.
Thank you.
Written September 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JN65
Liverpool, UK263 contributions
Jul 2019
It feels like being in the film A Night at the Museum. It's an amazing, strange, theatrical space and experience. We loved it.

Stibbert was a man with vast wealth, some talent and time on his hands. He collected what he liked, put it where he liked & when he died left it all to the city on condition they left everything as is was. So what you get is a very personal collection, eclectic, unique and intact. You feel like Stibbert is still around, hiding behind a curtain somewhere keeping an eccentric eye on things like the Wizard of Oz.

We walked from the centre of town. Took maybe 25 mins? Nothing amazing to see en route but was quiet and more suburban, made a change from the clamour around the main sights.

At the museum you need to be escorted around. We would have liked to wander on our own and been able to take more time but that's not allowed, for understandable reasons. It's not a guided tour as such, only limited info is given about each room, but you can't opt out of it so best to check the times.

It did not detract from our enjoyment at all but just a bit of feedback.....the museum's gift shop is rubbish!
Written August 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Stibbert Museum

Stibbert Museum is open:
  • Mon - Wed 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Fri - Sun 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

Stibbert Museum can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 2 Stibbert Museum tickets and tours on Tripadvisor