In his will, dated January 5, 1948, Axel Munthe describes how he thinks the property he has donated to the Swedish state should be used:
For example as free, or for a suitable fee, housing for Swedish students, artists, researchers, journalists or other guests, who could be presumed to share my feelings for Italy and Classical culture, as well as humanistic research on the whole.(Axel Munthe’s will, certified transcript in the Villa San Michele archives)
When the San Michele Foundation adopted its charter on June 16, 1950 the goals were clarified as:
…to promote and expand Sweden’s cultural links with Italy, and to encourage these in both directions. (from the Villa San Michele archive)
With the guidance of this phrasing the directors of Villa San Michele have tried to put Munthe’s last wish into practical form. The vague qualification has meant rather extensive room for interpretation of what cultural exchanges might mean. In support have been the traditions of the house, for example, the concerts, which had already begun in Munthe’s time.