The Villa Bardini awaits your visit at a stone's throw from the Pitti Palace, splendidly positioned on a hill overlooking the Arno river and Florence. The Villa was built in 1641 on the foundations of a medieval building by the architect Gherardo Silvani (1579-1675) for his friend Francesco Manadori (1577-1656), hence the name Villa Manadora. The villa's panoramic position gave rise to the villa's other name: Villa Belvedere.
The Villa Belvedere later belonged to the Cambiagi family and at the beginning of the 19th century, to Luigi Le Blanc and his son Giacomo. In 1839, following the reunification of the whole property, it passed to the Mozzi family and then to the Carolath von Beuthen family after 1880. The Villa came finally into possession of the Florentine antiquarian Stefano Bardini in 1913.
The original nucleus of the Villa had a simple structure, with a rectangular plan of reduced dimensions (10 x 25 meters, about 32' x 82'). The Villa rose over three floors of different heights, including a penthouse with a series of circular openings. The building was subject to subsequent expansions in the 19th century. In the early 20th century, the Villa was raised one floor by Stefano Bardini, whose family lived here for years.
After the death of Stefano Bardini's son Ugo in the 1965, a long process involving hereditary matters ensued, which ended in 1996. In 2000, the foundation of the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, through the Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron, began an almost 5 year long restoration of the complex. Villa Bardini finally opened its doors to the public in 2008. It hosts museums such as the Pietro Annigoni Museum and the Roberto Capucci Foundation Museum with its precious archive, as well as temporary art exhibitions and the library of the Tuscan Horticulture Society. The Villa is also home to MoBa, the Bardini Restaurant and Terrace with a spectacular view.
Roberto Capucci Foundation Museum
The Museum is dedicated to the art and impulse of the Italian fashion designer Roberto Capucci (born 1930) renowned for his ingeniously crafted and extravagant creations. The Roberto Capucci Foundation Museum was conceived as a place for learning and exchanging ideas and experience on the basis of the principle of Capucci's work - creative freedom. Reaffirming the identity and high level of ancient crafts, the primacy of quality, and the importance of experimentation in fashion are values promoted by the foundation.
Visit the Capucci Museum at Villa Bardini – you'll enter a surprising universe, full of visual and sensory experiences. Resisting the dictate of ever-changing fashion waves, the famous cloth sculptures by this controversial designer are works of art in their own right.
The pieces currently on display were created for the Venice Biennale in 1995. These are the first "fabric sculptures," as Capucci called them, the first clothes whose only purpose was to be exposed and not worn.
Take a look at the stunning casentino plissettato, an entirely hand-pleated Casentino cloth coat created for Artigianato e Palazzo in 2008. There is also the many-shaded Ocean, a hand-pleated blue dress sculpture made in five months for the Expo '98 in Lisbon, and Giorgini, a wild creation in tribute to Capucci's mentor Giovan Battista Giorgini, ambassador for the Made in Italy.
Other rooms in the museum are dedicated to "real" clothes, haute couture that has made history.
Capucci was the first to use the Optical technique – a cloth of woven ribbons, which he would personally hand weave.
Capucci followed each step of the creation of every outfit, choosing to remain on the sidelines of the fashion business, never compromising, protecting his imagination and creative process.
"Beauty? For me it is something difficult, mysterious. Something to discover."
The mystery remains perfect in the timeless pieces, none of which would seem out of place on a woman today – after more than 50 years.
The monographic museum dedicated to the work of Pietro Annigoni (1910 – 1988), Italian portrait and fresco painter, opened its permanent exhibition in the picturesque setting of Villa Bardini in 2008.
Born in Milan in 1910, Annigoni trained in Florence and became one of the foremost painters in post-war Italy. Bearing the influence of Italian Renaissance Portraiture, his work gained world fame when he executed the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in 1956, as well as the portraits of Pope John Paul XXIII, US presidents John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, the Shah and Empress of Iran, Princess Margaret, and other members of the British royal family.
Discover a selection of works from various periods, techniques, and subjects belonging to the collection of the artist. These works testify of the long and fruitful creative career of one of the most unique artists of the 20th century.
In addition to being the “repository” of the precious artistic works of the master, the museum also acts as exhibition center for temporary events related to Annigoni’s work and, more generally, to the historical period of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.