Biblioteca dei Girolamini

Paper treasures at Girolamini library

Don’t you think that if Giambattista Vico had lived today he would have walked the few meters between his home and the Girolamini library within a fraction of seconds to bite Coccia brothers’ creations yesterday morning?

The unique smell of paper, dear to the Neapolitan philosopher, was combined with the aroma, equally singular, of Enzo and Ciro’s pizzas in the oldest and largest Neapolitan library on the occasion of the preview for the special opening of the beautiful eighteenth century rooms at Via Duomo.

A special preview, enriched by the montanare with smoked mozzarella and little cherry Piennolo tomatoes and the deep-fried pizzas made with fresh ricotta cheese and cicoli or salami, for a few invitees to present the initiative that, from 2010, puts the huge cultural heritage kept in the Italian institutions at the mercy of anyone who wants to join the Domenica di carta.
Enzo Coccia nella biblioteca dei Girolamini

Organized by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the project involves libraries and state archives that transmit our past and our history through the types printed on the yellowed and moldy pages of manuscripts, scrolls, newspapers, but also drawings, prints, photographs and priceless works kept all along the Peninsula.

Today, thus, the precious collection of works, which since 1586 are filling the shelves on the building five floors, is going to be, for some hours, under the eyes of all, the teenagers and the elderly, the families and their children, anyone, without exception.

Christian Theology, Philosophy, History of the Church, the Christian Church in Europe, sacred music and General History of Europe: as the soft warm light that therein spreads through the rooms, enlighten the shelves of the building which was founded by St. Philip Neri’s followers and hit the headlines for the looting (and therefore closed to general public) of a great number of ancient and valuable books.

The Sunday event is an opportunity to show the charm of these places, mainly to young minds, which, too often, consider them as dusty spaces, where you get the feeling of being engulfed in an air that smells of old and is too far from the “here and now” of the digital era.

If culture is openness, as the slogan of the annual meeting states, and is the key to decrypt the world, this moment is good to open our locks and our doors to the huge literary and figurative repertoire that MiBACT is serving on a silver platter. If we add the gastronomic repertoire too, as happened in the morning of October 10, it is even better for us.

This edition, in effect, will see the knowledge interplaying with the food thanks to a path created in another historic library, the National one, aimed at disseminating the vast local culinary tradition. And of this we are so proud!