The San Michele Foundation was founded on June 16, 1950 with the aim of administering the property donated by Axel Munthe for the Swedish state, as well as creating a guesthouse for scholarship recipients, and to promote cultural links between Sweden and Italy. On November 16, 1948 Axel Munthe dictated his final will and testament. By the spring of 1949, a few months after Axel Munthe’s death, the architect Jan Wallinder was sent from Sweden to inspect the property. That same summer saw the arrival of Josef Oliv, Axel Munthe’s choice as the first director. Thanks to Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and Professor Axel Boëthius, the government accepted the donation, despite reservations about the economic consequences of the property’s deterioration. For the architect of the Swedish Institute in Rome (in 1925) Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, and for its first director (1926), Professor Axel Boëthius, it was obvious that the board of the San Michele Foundation would be the same as that of the Swedish Institute in Rome. But unlike the organisation in Rome, the Foundation is only partially operated with government funding.
(From ”Presentationshäfte Villa San Michele - Ett svenskt kulturinstitut i Medelhavet”, San Michele Foundation, Peter Cottino, 2005)