Bologna prepares to host the most important exhibition of rare antiquarian books ever seen in Italy
In just one week's time, rare book sellers and collectors alike will descend on the North Italian city of Bologna.

That's because it's set to host the 23rd International Antiquarian Book Fair from September 24th to 26th at the famous halls of the Palazzo di Re Enzo, situated in the city.

Dante's "The Divine Comedy"
is set to feature

The event is regarded as the most important exhibition of ancient books ever produced in Italy and is being held in conjunction with the 7th edition of the famous Artelibro Art Book Festival which is taking place over the same weekend.

The unique exhibition was organized by the Italian Association of Antiquarian Booksellers and marks the return of the event to Italy following a 24 year absence.

The fair is set to highlight the increasing popularity of rare and antiquarian books, with more than 130 sellers from all over the world set to cater to the large numbers of collectors expected to attend.

The event is also bringing experts from around 32 countries to Italy and countless more collectors, all with a passion for these unique pieces of literary history.

These individuals can look forward to a wide range of first printed books, medieval manuscripts, artist books, autographs and even some previously unpublished manuscripts.

Rare books and manuscripts from prestigious library collections will also be on show to collectors thanks to donations from institutions in Bologna, Cesena, Modena, Ravenna and even as far as Spain.

Highlights of the event include a rare 1491 print of Dante Alighieri's famous "La Commedia" or "The Divine Comedy" which was written between 1308 and 1321.

Texts from Georges Gallesio will be on show

The event will also showcase a rare 1499 print of the famous "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili" of "Poliphilo's Strife of Love in a Dream" by 15th century Italian Dominican priest and monk Francesco Colonna.

First published in Venice, this early print drew attention for its elegant page layout and refined woodcut Early Renaissance style illustrations which told the romantic story of Poliphilo's pursuit of his love Polia through a dreamlike landscape.

These manuscripts will feature alongside letters and historical documents from the famous Italian Farnese family who controlled Parma and Piacenza for almost two centuries.

The pieces showcased date from 1539 to 1729 and offer a fascinating insight into the early history of Italy.

The exhibition also includes an 1817 binding of "Pomona Italiana," a collection of research from 18th and 19th century French botanist Georges Gallesio, as well as 18th century Italian illustrator Giorgio Fossati's "Raccolta di varie Favole."

With all this alongside modern art, illustrated books and even Buddhist painted manuscripts from Burma, the event offers a taste of the depth of culture behind collectible antiquarian books and manuscripts.

The Fair open its doors on Friday from 10.30 am to 7 pm and is open from 10am to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.


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