Florence's First Public Library
Marucellorum Bibliotheca publicae maxime pauperum utilitati
'Marucellorum Bibliotheca, for the benefit of the public, especially the poor' reads the inscription on the façade of this delightfully old fashioned library. Bibliophile Abbot Francesco Marucelli (d. 1703) accumulated an impressive number of books in his life, and left them to the public in his will but it took his equally book-loving grandson, owner of the Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi to commission Roman architect Alessandro Dori to design a building dedicated to housing the collection. His wooden model of the library is still on display.
The Biblioteca Marucelliana opened in 1752, complete with the Mare Magnum a catalogue of all the works available at the time (you can find them all online now via the library's website). Since 1910, it has been deposit library for any book published in Tuscany and expanded to fill several other adjacent buildings.
Via Cavour 43-47
Hours Mon-Thurs 8.30am-6pm, Fri 8.30am-2pm.
Adm open to everyone 16 and over.
+39 055 272 2200