Trip Planner: Europe / Italy / Emilia-Romagna / Province of Forli-Cesena / Cesena / Biblioteca Malatestiana
Biblioteca Malatestiana, a historic library in Cesena, is famous for being the first European civic library, meaning that it belonged to the community rather than the church. Constructed in the mid 15th century, the building is the only example of a perfectly preserved humanist monastic library. As you walk into the main aula, you will have the impression of being in a basilica, with three naves divided by rows of white stone columns and 44 Venetian windows that let in light. Continuing to the library, you will see over 400,000 books, including 340 codices and 3,200 16th-century manuscripts. A 40-minute tour will guide you through this historic building, and includes a visit to the aula, a historic reading room, and the Pope's Library. Before you head to Cesena, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Cesena online day trip planner, to make sure you see all that Cesena has to offer, including Biblioteca Malatestiana.
Biblioteca Malatestiana Reviews
This is a hidden treasure in Emilia Romagna. It's only possible to visit it through a quick and explanatory tour. From the moment you step in, you enter in a magical atmosphere where time seems to have frozen. Simply amazing how well is kept after all these centuries. Stunning.
A couple of things I wish I would have known before coming here: 1) It is on the 2nd flr of the current, modern Public Library 2) You can only just walk in the door; the reading desks and essentially the library itself is roped off 3) The "guide" is just the guy that opens the gate and the door and plays the "history" off his phone in whatever language you request That being said, even though I was a bit disappointed in experiencing the library itself, it was still a major book/history nerd moment to even be there. To see the old reading alters with the manuscripts still attached with the original chains and the two keyed door that was also part of the original library, still standing just as they 550+yrs before; it was actually surreal to process. And the fact that I had it all to myself, (I lucked out as it was just me and the guide) made it all the more special! There is a large room adjacent to the library hall where some of the previous popes' personal collections as well as manuscripts from the early 1400s-1600s and old medical, botany, and other scientific books from the 15th century on, are encased. You can also walk around the enclosed bookcases and see some of the old books throughout the collection, which is extremely impressive! For me, however, the smell was the most intoxicating part of the whole experience. The smell in the ancient reading hall, and the smell in the book museum. That old, earthy blend of vellum, antique inks, and timeworn leathers was ethereal and well worth the 5 euro price of admission! I had specifically come to Cesena to visit this library and was only there for just over 2hrs as a detour on my way to Rome from Venice; it took me longer to travel there than time spent! But, it was so worth the visit to experience such a venerable and only humanistic-conventual link to the past. That, in and of itself, was worth the effort! Tip: Unless you are part of a pre-scheduled tour group, you will need to purchase a ticket and request a guide from one of the receptionists in the unmarked office behind the wood door immediately to your right as you come up the stairs to the second floor.
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