The Museo di Arte Povera (Museum of “Arte Povera”) is the only one of its kind in Italy. It displays old books of great value, advertising flyers and greeting cards from the 19th century. It further contains historical maps and artistic works produced with paper. Especially popular from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries, the so-called “carte povere” (literally, “poor art papers”) were characterized by a captivating aesthetic quality and an effective combination of words and images which stimulated the desire for consumption, thus representing one of the first forms of advertising. The museum displays old prints from the East, paper nativity scenes, “pianeti della fortuna” (fortune-telling sheets) with recommended numbers for the lottery, small barbers’ calendars and old postcards.
Of great interest and historical value is the section of book facsimiles. These are reproductions of illuminated manuscripts from all over the world which have been executed with modern technologies. The most important volumes include the Bible of Federico da Montefeltro (c. 1400), the Bible of Borso d’Este (1470), the Book of Kells (Gospel book from 850 CE) and the books with gold leaf, made with the addition of pure gold.
From June to September: Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; from October to May: Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
For visits and reservations outside of opening hours, please call 0541- 948418 at least 3 days prior to the tour.