The Museo della Carta pays homage to the paper industry that used to flourish in Amalfi. Beginning in the 12th century, the area known as the Valley of the Mills was almost completely dedicated to this craft. A guide takes you through the entire process of papermaking. Children get to make their own piece of parchment.
Museo della Carta Amalfi
Address: Via delle Cartiere, 23, 84011 Amalfi. Phone: +39 089 8304561. Hours: From 10:00 till 19:00. Tariff without guide: Adults 4,50 euros, children 3 Euros. Tariff with guide: Adults 7 Euros, children 6 Euros. Free for children younger than 5.
(NB: Note that tickets and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
The Museo della Carta was founded in 1969. Its seat is an ancient paper mill. An English speaking guide takes visitors through the ancient craft of paper making.
In the 12th century it was still custom to use linen, hemp and cotton instead of wood to produce paper. These materials were beat and shredded by wooden hammers driven by a water wheel.
The centuries-old machinery used for making paper by hand has been meticulously restored. All of the machines are powered by the water of the Canneto stream running through Amalfi.
There is a late 18th century Dutch machine, which replaced the original one woth the wooden hammers. The presses to remove excess water from the sheets also date from the 18th century.
The walk to the museum takes you from the Piazza Duomo all the way along the main street Via Lorenzo d’Amalfi and its prolungation Via delle Cartiere.
The area where the paper mills used to be is called Valle dei Mulini (“Valley of the Mills”). Amalfi’s paper industry, which took off in the 12th century, was one of the oldest in Europe. The locals had learned the necessary techniques from the Arabs.
Nowadays, only one paper mill is left, the Cartiera Amatruda (Via delle Cartiere, 100). This mill supplies all the souvenir shops in the center of Amalfi.