Libraries in Florence, Part 1
Florence is one of the most praised centres of cultural excellence in the whole world. This breeding place of such awesomeness makes for some amazing reading spots, and places to lose yourself in literature. If you speak Italian or can scope out your own language section in these recommendations, the literature is great too. So, let’s see what we have here:
1.Biblioteca delle Oblate
Located on via dell’Oriuolo 26, the second street behind the Duomo, the Biblioteca della Oblate is a well-known student-friendly venue. Influenced in modern times by the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, the library was actually built by the same guy that in 1288 built the Santa Maria Nuova hospital. It was intended originally as a place to look after elder women in their dying days.
Once you enter the second floor, expect to see the place mainly full of Italian students with their heads buries in textbooks. The place is equipped with air-con to ease your sweaty pits in the blazing Italian summer, surprisingly cheap coffee and food. This specific area of the library is known in Florence to be a great area to meet-up and be social. You have an amazing view of the Duomo while you’re getting together to chill out and relax. Sometimes you will see free jazz concerts being advertised around the place, so look out for the opportunity to go to one of those.
Make yourself into the literature area on the first floor, where the area is more quiet. Once you sign-up for free you can borrow up to 8 different books, 2 CDs and DVDs. The wi-fi is limited to an hour per day, but the place is actually open each day for a conveniently long time: Mondays 2 to 10, and 9 in the morning until midnight Tuesday to Saturday.
Founded in the middle of the 18th century by Franceso Marucelli after he won a public contest for its design. You can see a bust of Marucelli in the main reading room, dated for 1749. The library originally contained the contents of Abbot Francesco’s collection, as a resident in Rome of a similar period. Marucelli donated his own collection of literature under the conditions that the place would be open to the public; a condition which is reflected in the egalitarian message inscribed on front: “Marucellorum Bibliotheca publicae maxime pauperum utilitati ” (Library of Marucelli for public use, especially the poor – see below). This particular library has fulfilled this promise to the public ever since.
Once it also became law that all publishers must submit their work to the library in 1911, the book collection soon grew. The library has two floors, and an open design. Once you walk into this part of the library which is the reading room it’s breathtaking. This location differs significantly to the previous entry. You won’t be allowed to bring any food or drink, and finding a Wi-fi connection is highly unlikely. So, ignore any screens on your person, register, enjoy the incredible ambience, and delve into a piece of literature.
Stay tuned and we will write the next part in two weeks!