Maria Montessori was born on 31st August 1870 in Chiaravalle in Italy. Her father Alessandro Montessori 33 years at the time she was born was an official of the Minister of Finance working in the local state-run tobacco factory. Her mother Renilde Stoppani was 25 years old and was a well educated for the times and was the great-niece of Italian geologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppani.
She was very close to her mother who readily encouraged her. She had a loving relationship with her father. Beginning in her early childhood years, she grew up in Rome, a paradise of libraries, museums and fine schools.