Amalfi's Paper Museum

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 03:00

The Museum of Paper (Museo della Carta) in Amalfi celebrates the long-established paper-making tradition of Amalfi.

The museum is located in a 14th century paper mill, in the northern part of the modern town. It was once owned by the Milano family, famous in Amalfi for the production and manufacture of paper. In 1969,  Nicholas Milano, the owner of the mill at the time, decided to convert the building into a museum.

The strong paper-making tradition of Amalfi dates back to the 10th century, when the town was a thriving sea power with a wide network of trade routes. The high demand for paper, needed to document the transactions between merchants, propelled the Amalfitans  to learn the technique of paper-making from the Arabs, and Amalfi eventually became a major center for this craft - the method of producing blank sheets was so painstaking and tedious that it was considered an art.

The museum contains the machinery and equipment, restored and fully functional, that was once used to manufacture paper by hand. Among the ancient tools in the museum, it is possible to admire the wooden mauls, operated by an hydraulic wheel, the press used to remove the water in excess from the paper, and the printing machine. It is also possible to see the hand-making production of paper and the ancient water-mills at work. Several manuscripts, engravings, posters and documents are on display.

Where: Museo della Carta, Via delle Cartiere 24, Amalfi

When: 10 am to 6:30 pm every day from March 1 to October 31; 10 am to 3:30 pm from November 1 to February 28, except Mondays.