Parma’s Palatine Library is one of those wonderful places where “immortal souls” speak to us, as Pliny the Elder would have said. Or, to quote Marguerite Yourcenar, it is “a public granary, accumulating stocks for the winter of the spirit”.
Founded in 1761 and opened eight years later, in May 1769, the Palatine Library was named after the Temple of Apollo Palatinus in Rome. It is located inside the 16th-century Palazzo della Pilotta, at the heart of the historical city center. Lyon-born architect Ennemod Alexandre Petitot renovated the rooms destined to welcome the first book collections arranged by Paolo Maria Paciaudi, who pioneered the use of movable cards in Italy.
Immortal souls come to our defense during the winter of the spirit… “If you don’t have previous engagements, come tonight, Christmas Eve, at 6, and have some soup with us”: this invitation – sent on December 24, 1883, by Giuseppe Verdi to his publisher Giulio Ricordi – is one of the letters in the correspondence between the two great figures of music, kept in the Palatine Library.