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Florence/Venice Compiled

Here is a compilation of the comments sent on Florence and Venice for
those of you interested:

Obvious, maybe, but the Laurentian Library is a must.  The art suppy
called Zecchi's at Via Dello Studio 19R near the Duomo is great.  I made
sketch book when I was in Florence a few years ago.  I bought my
at Zecchi's but when I returned to my room I found I had forgotten paper
for the endpapers.  I used the Zecchi's bag.  Have fun.  I'm jealous.

Takes a while to loosen the trap doors of memory.  Totally unrelated to
books but fascinating if you're interested in the history of science and
strange collections --- the  museum called La Specola near the Pitti
is, well, wierd.  It's a  motley collection of taxidermy and an
collection of full size anatomical wax models of the human in various
of undoing.

Also in  the Museum of San Marco see the huge choir book and it's
stand behind the altar.

When in Venice - buy Tarot cards , walk and walk and walk, and take the
to the cemetary or to Torcello - peaceful open fields and Sta. Fosca -
century).        Kim Itkonen

I would also go and see the plutei in the Museo di San Marco (among the
other treasures of this lesser frequented museum!), the Biblioteca
Ricciardiana (if you can get access), the rear reading area of the
Marucelliana (very Kafkesque); check to see if there are any special
going on as well; if i find an URL for the Florentine concierge, I'll
it on.  SJ

I will be attending a University of Alabama  summer study program in
Florence this summer (I'm an MFA student in the Book Arts here)  and
have so far discovered two book binderies / paper decoration places
that may be of interest to you.  I haven't yet contacted them.
The Instituo per l'Arte e il Restauro Palazzo Niccolin
        Via de Foss 12 50100
        Florence Italy

"Offers courses in paper conservation and binding" (from GBW website)

The other is Guilio Giannini e Figlio,  a bookbindery/marbling studio
and stationery store.

There is an article about this fabulous sounding studio in the
GBW newsletter Aug. 1996 p. 2 - 3.

Also, you may want to contact someone at the University of Geogia in
Athens.  They run a summer program in Cortona, Italy which includes
courses in the Book Arts.  To date, it is the only Study Abroad
program that offers book arts courses (to my knowledge).

Good luck.  and, if you have time, I'd love to hear about great
places to visit in Florence (book arts or no) since I will be there
studying for five weeks this summer!


Rory Golden

Just remembered a bindery shoppe I visited in Florence - Lo Scrittorio.
Can't find the address anywhere, but it's in the main part of town
walking distance of the railroad station.  Nice leatherbound books,
marbled papers, etc.  Not the workshop, I don't think - a small
storefront.  But they said they do their own work.  JK

>Re. Charles' question about Officina Bodoni / Stamperia Valdonega >still being open.
A book I'm binding just now was printed there only recently, so I assume
they are still open.
Stamperia Valdonega
Via Genova 17
Arbizzano I-37020
tel: 0039 45 6020 444
fax: 0039 45 6020 334
Yehuda Miklaf

On Venice:

Be sure to visit Legatoria Piazzesi which sells its own handblocked
papers. Can't remember the street name but if you follow the crowd
trailing between Piazza San Marco and the Accademia Bridge you will
pass it on your left. Several shops sell marbled papers but they are
mostly from Florence these days I understand. The Piazzesi stuff is
done there and they have the big printing blocks in the shop.

Best regards, Martyn Ould, The Old School Press
               e-mail press@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
           web page at http://www.praxis.co.uk/ppuk/osp.htm

Harry's Bar in Venice is a nice place to stop for a drink or a meal. You
sit around and think of Hemingway chasing women around Harry's bar in
during the Liberation. Very heady literary stuff. May even have
something to
do with books.

Art Rubino

Many years ago, in Venice there was a beautiful little paper shop
called Legatoria Piazzesi (sp?).  It had beautiful old woodblocks of
various interwoven designs for end papers and cover papers.  They also
marbled papers and had alot of papers that were mass manufactured and
readily available in many places in Europe.  But the most special
papers were from their old woodblocks.  The shop was near Campo St.
Stefano (statue in the middle with a man sitting on books), which is
across the bridge from the Academia (must see) and on the way to San
Marco (also Harry's Bar is on the way from Campo St. Stefano to San

I believe the Officina Bodoni - press of Giovanni Marderstieg - who
revitalized the Bodoni typeface - is outside Verona.
Alison Hardage

Mardersteig also designed a *great* typeface, Dante, which is still
in monotype (& digitally as well). There was an associated commercial
operation, Stamperia Valdonega, which at some point was taken over & run
his son, Martino. Is this still operational? Stamperia Valdonega was the
printer for an elegant series of poetry books published by the Elizabeth
in NJ mostly  in the 70's, including titles by Larry Eigner, Cid Corman,
William Bronk, Ted Enslin & John Taggart.

Charles Smith

check into Museum of Natural History inVenice, the last of great white
hunters, very stange and wonderful collages of animal heads. In florence
at the Medici tomb there are drawings in a small basement  room done by
Michangelo. They took some effort to find but were worth all 20 min. the
guards let me stand draw in the air over them

best Steve

  I've never been there myself, but was given a very nice leatherbound
blank book, with three-deckel pages, great tooling, etc. from Paolo
San Marco, Calle della Mandola 3653;
tel 041/52.85.025.  I don't know if they have a bindery you can visit,
anything else about them, but they do nice, traditional-style work.


Also, if you get a chance to go to Siena, I highly recommend going to
Museo della Biccherna, in the  Archivio di Stato,
Banchi Di Sotto, 52.  The "tavole di biccherna" are the boards, with
striking illuminations and miniatures, that were used to to cover, among
other things, municipal record books.

More info can be had at the following URL:



And for general fun and interest:
Webcam Live from Italy:

Florence around the World - A new image of Florence

Cupola Live - WebCam on the roof of Florence and  VRML of Brunelleschi's

Live Events in "Real Time Live Image" (web-cam live)

Live Image Gallery

Peter Sramek
Book°Sequence Gallery

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