Since 1891, Viterbo’s Antica Legatoria Viali has taken care of objects that Francesco Petrarca once said, “give us deep joy, talk with us, advise us, and connect to us with penetrating familiarity”; objects that, the poet from Arezzo continued, “bring laughter to our lips, or consolation to our heart”, and “ask only one thing in reward: to come freely into my home, and live with me”.
Antica Legatoria Viali’s work revolves around precious materials: paper, leather, parchment; and techniques that have specific names, like “quarter bound”, “half bound”, “cloth binding”, “blind tooling”, “in board”, “twist-stitching”…
An ancient tradition that some say started as far back as the 1st century AD, in India.
Everyone at Antica Legatoria Viali knows that, in Amos Oz’s words, even if any one of these objects were thoroughly destroyed, “another specimen would likely survive, preserving its existence… an eternal, quiet life, on a forgotten shelf”.
Yet each volume here is considered unique, and irreplaceable.
Books, here, are not only made but loved.