Art & Travel Photo Journal

[Photo Journal] Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Firenze, Italy

One of the 'hidden treasures in Italian libraries.'


Myra here.

Every Tuesday, we share photographs from our recent or long-ago travels, or just everyday stuff that appealed to our mindful eye and sharp sensibilities as captured through fleeting images.

Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Firenze (Florence), Italy

I saw this library featured in the New York Times as part of “The Hidden Treasures in Italian Libraries.” And so, while I was in Florence with my family, last year, we made sure that we visited the place.

Designed by Michelangelo, the interior of the library was described as “austere.” While we did not have time to go inside, I took lots of photos of the courtyard that is also part of the Parrocchia di San Lorenzo.

It took us awhile to get to this place, mainly because we got lost. But it was truly worth the trek. Even just outside of the edifice itself, I was in awe.

According to their official website:

The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, belonging to the Italian Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo is an international research library specializing in the conservation and study of its manuscript and rare book collections.

The library has a collection of nearly 11,000 manuscripts, and specializes in rare manuscripts.

Also from their official website:

Amongst the treasures of the Laurenziana are listed some of the most ancient or unique manuscripts containing Tacitus, Pliny, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Quintilian, the codex of Vergil, corrected in 494 by Turcius Rufius Apronianus Asterius, and the oldest extant copy of Justinian’s Corpus Iuris, copied just after its promulgation. 

The Laurenziana also preserves one of the three complete collections of Plato’s Dialogi in so called carta bona, given by Cosimo the Elder to Marsilio Ficino to translate, the Squarcialupi codex, the only existing source for the study of profane music between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, some autographs of Petrarch and Boccaccio, the Storie by Guicciardini with notes by the author as well as the autograph biography of Benvenuto Cellini.

The papyri collection, which counts around 2,500 items, is certainly an unusual sight amongst Italian and foreign libraries alike. It’s origin can be ascribed to the various campaigns which Italian papyrologists organized in Egypt at the beginning of the twentieth century.

This definitely counts as one of the highlights of our trip, while we were in Florence, Italy.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

0 comments on “[Photo Journal] Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Firenze, Italy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: