Handmade paper from Subiaco

Subiaco is a beautiful town, in the valley of Aniene, a few steps from Rome, where production of handmade paper has been reborn by the Borgo dei Cartai.

For centuries these areas were the center of industrial craftsmanship of the Papal States and here was founded the first paper mill and mint in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V. Here the first book was printed in Italy and a paper mill was in operation until a few years ago, when a corporation plundered the know-how and abandoned the site to closure. Another banal story of despair.

The decline of the mill corresponds to that of the country and its history runs parallel to that of the residents of the community. The idea of rebirth of traditional handmade paper occurred to a group of friends motivated by a deep love of culture and art, an asset that is often at the base of local traditions of many Italian centers.

One of the principals of this operation is Marco Orlandi, founder of the Associazione L’Elice, who in addition to his artistic activities is involved in the role of educator and stimulator of individual creativity.

In a renovated old mill, the mill Carlani, was born the Borgo dei Cartai, a center where tradition meets high-tech. A place of production of handmade paper, a museum with wooden models that reproduce the ancient machinery and a school to transmit culture and knowledge and to stimulate creativity.

Re-reading the past through the lens of the future, this is the way to revive handmade production of paper without the damage caused by a generation of speculators. Starting again from the quality and the history to build the future.
Stir the pride of a city, Subiaco, which for centuries has been one of the most important industrial centers of culture in Italy.

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