Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Emilia-Romagna  /  Province of Forli-Cesena  /  Cesena  /  Miscellaneous  /  Malatestiana Library

Malatestiana Library, Cesena

(4.8/5 based on 440+ reviews on the web)
Malatestiana Library, a historic library in Cesena, is famous for being the first European civic library, meaning that it belonged to the community rather than the church. Constructed in the mid 15th century, the building is the only example of a perfectly preserved humanist monastic library. As you walk into the main aula, you will have the impression of being in a basilica, with three naves divided by rows of white stone columns and 44 Venetian windows that let in light. Continuing to the library, you will see over 400,000 books, including 340 codices and 3,200 16th-century manuscripts. A 40-minute tour will guide you through this historic building, and includes a visit to the aula, a historic reading room, and the Pope's Library. Put Malatestiana Library on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Cesena travel itinerary maker.
Create a full Cesena itinerary

Plan your trip to Cesena

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
  • How beautiful the malatestiana library! Thanks to the colours, the manuscripts appears immediately to dive into another era. Totally recommended if you makes a visit to Cesena.
    View original
  • Everyone should see once in a lifetime the Malatestiana library. Malatesta Novello has left us all a new way of understanding culture. Open to all and only to the time Lords. Environment is the same as when it was created. With unique and beautiful books
    View original
  • Spectacular place of history and culture, unique in the world. Combines the spirit and thought. Mandatory stop if you are visiting the city.
    View original
  • A couple of things I wish I would have known before coming here: 1) It is on the 2nd flr of the current, modern Public Library 2) You can only just walk in the door; the reading desks and essentially the library itself is roped off 3) The "guide" is just the guy that opens the gate and the door and plays the "history" off his phone in whatever language you request That being said, even though I was a bit disappointed in experiencing the library itself, it was still a major book/history nerd moment to even be there. To see the old reading alters with the manuscripts still attached with the original chains and the two keyed door that was also part of the original library, still standing just as they 550+yrs before; it was actually surreal to process. And the fact that I had it all to myself, (I lucked out as it was just me and the guide) made it all the more special! There is a large room adjacent to the library hall where some of the previous popes' personal collections as well as manuscripts from the early 1400s-1600s and old medical, botany, and other scientific books from the 15th century on, are encased. You can also walk around the enclosed bookcases and see some of the old books throughout the collection, which is extremely impressive! For me, however, the smell was the most intoxicating part of the whole experience. The smell in the ancient reading hall, and the smell in the book museum. That old, earthy blend of vellum, antique inks, and timeworn leathers was ethereal and well worth the 5 euro price of admission! I had specifically come to Cesena to visit this library and was only there for just over 2hrs as a detour on my way to Rome from Venice; it took me longer to travel there than time spent! But, it was so worth the visit to experience such a venerable and only humanistic-conventual link to the past. That, in and of itself, was worth the effort! Tip: Unless you are part of a pre-scheduled tour group, you will need to purchase a ticket and request a guide from one of the receptionists in the unmarked office behind the wood door immediately to your right as you come up the stairs to the second floor.
  • Amazing! Go around sunset if you can the atmosphere is surreal you can almost imagine what it was like when it was opened.
  • I who live in Forlì there'd never been, but I'm not disappointed, though I expected that the building itself was very big +. For anyone who complains that in the sala del Nuti could not continue past the rope, would do well to have been posed by 2 questions: the library would keep its splendour during 500 years if it was completely accessible to the masses? Really you expected to see the books on display or accessible to browse? Among other things those chains are available upon request to the management. If you need to review something, at least do it with logic.
    View original
  • The memory of the world. Interesting Museum, every time I visit I learn something new. Library (mediatheque) well stocked and very spacious, are frequently organized activities, conferences and meetings. Worth visiting.
    View original
  • Truly unique, can be visited with a guide explaining the history of the origins of the library, beautiful
    View original