Paper is a material for which some people have a real passion. Its texture, texture, smell, and the noise it makes by browsing it: the “fetishists” of books, notebooks, magazines and newspapers are often not only lovers of reading and writing, but of the material that composes them. If you also have this passion, or simply love the ethnographic museums, in Amalfi you can visit the Museo della Carta and discover curiosities and anecdotes about the precious material.
But why a museum in Amalfi? The link between Amalfi and the paper industry is ancient. The discovery of paper was a milestone in the history of humanity, and many sources agree in saying that it took place in China, in 105 AD The path that this material undertook from then on crossed the whole world, and from the East it reached the Arab countries and therefore the Mediterranean. The first places where a real ‘industry’ of paper production grew were the Maritime Republics: Genoa, Venice, Pisa and Amalfi saw the major centers arise. Thanks to the close relations with the East, in these cities first techniques and knowledge came to produce a material that was revolutionizing the whole world, and in particular it was useful in keeping records of trade and shipping routes.
The Amalfi Paper Museum is located in a 13th century paper mill. Entering the structure partially excavated in the rock of the coast, you are catapulted into an ancient laboratory, where there are still machines from the Middle Ages up to the more recent ones of the 1700s. Machines for shredding flax, cotton and hemp fibers. Hydraulic wheels for wooden hammers. Presses to remove water from the sheets. A visit to the Amalfitan museum allows you to learn about the ancient production techniques also thanks to guided tours (in various languages). The machines are all working, and can be seen in action.