Italy - Libraries and museums

Italy, with its rich cultural heritage, is one of the world's great storehouses of books and art. Among its many of libraries, the most important are the national libraries in Florence (5.3 million volumes), Rome (five million), Naples (1.73 million), Milan (one million), Turin (973,000) and Venice (917,000). The Estense Library in Modena holds 425,600 volumes, including illuminated manuscripts from the 14th to 18th centuries. The university libraries in Bologna (1.1 million volumes) and Naples (750,000 volumes) each hold important collections. The Medici-Laurentian and Marucelliana (544,000) libraries in Florence and the Ambrosiana Library in Milan are also important research centers. In 1997, Italy's public library system had 84 branches and held a total of 41 million volumes.

Italy, a world center of culture, history and art, has more than 3,000 museums. Among the more important are the Villa Giulia Museum and the National Gallery in Rome; the National Museum in Naples; the National Museum in Palermo; the Galleria dell'Academia, and Uffizi, Medici, Pitti, Bargello, and St. Mark's Museums in Florence; the National Museum in Cagliari, Sardinia; the Brera Museum in Milan; the Museum of Siena; the Archaeological Museum of Syracuse (Siracusa); the National Museum of Urbino; and The Academy and Libreria Sansoviniana in Venice. A Goethe museum, with manuscripts and illustrations describing Goethe's travels in Italy, opened in 1997 in Rome. Villa Torlonia, Mussolini's home, was renovated in 2001 and opened as a museum.

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