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Classense Library

The Camaldolese abbey hosts the ancient Classense Library, the construction of which began in 1512. Over the centuries, the building has undergone continous expansion works, thus becoming one of the biggest and most impressive monuments of the Camaldolese order.

Paintings and artworks by numerous artists from the 16th to the 18th century are still decorating the library rooms and corridors. The Aula Magna or Libreria is of utmost importance: built between 17th and 18th century by abbot Pietro Canneti, it is adorned with statues, stuccoes, and finely carved wood shelves, and decorated with frescoes and paintings by Francesco Mancini. Together with the monumental cloisters, the large refectory (Sala Dantesca since 1921), and the antique sacristy of the Church of San Romualdo (now Sala Muratori), the whole complex is an authentic architectural and artistic treasure.

The library preserves a wide collection of books of different types ranging from ancient and modern printed works, manuscripts, and etchings to maps, photographs, archive documents, and multimedia materials. The collection of volumes of Classense Library consists of about 800.000 units, most of which are books on humanities; however, science-related works are numerous too. The section dedicated to the ancient collections includes volumes from the 15th to the 18th century as well as around 750 manuscripts, half of which dating back from the 10th to the 16th century.

Opening hours

Admission is allowed in compliance with the rules issued for the Covid-19 widespread containment.

For further information visit

Closing days

During the summer the library is closed on Sundays and public holidays and from 10 to 20 August

Entrance fee

Free admission

How to get there

The library is located in the city centre, at a short walk from the railway station (approx. 10 minutes) and from the nearest bus stop, situated in the nearby Piazza Caduti per la Libertà (approx. 1 min.). People with disabilities can independently and safely enter the book reference rooms.

Edited by the editorial team

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Last modified date: 07/12/2020


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