On a recent trip to Rome I had the great professional and personal pleasure of reuniting an Italian town with an important piece of its history.
Among the volumes in our outstanding collection of early Italian statutes is a 15th-century manuscript of the statutes of Montebuono, a village about 60 km. north of Rome (see map). The manuscript was featured in our 2008 exhibit, “The Flowering of Civil Law: Early Italian City Statutes in the Yale Law Library.” The Fondazione Gabriele Berionne and its president, Renata Ferraro, were extremely helpful in supporting research on the manuscript.
In gratitude for this help, the Lillian Goldman Law Library digitized the Montebuono manuscript. I was pleased to deliver it in person to the mayor of Montebuono, the Hon. Dario Santori, during a visit hosted by Renata Ferraro on November 29. The Comune di Montebuono is actively in historic preservation activities, including the restoration of its beautiful 11th-century church, San Pietro ad Muricentum, which is built atop an ancient Roman villa that belonged to the architect of the Pantheon, Marcus Agrippa. The Fondazione Gabriele Berionne has supported these preservation efforts and published a splendid illustrated book, Montebuono e il suo territorio: storia, architetture e restauri inizia la ricerca (Mariasanta Valenti, ed.; Rome: Fondazione Gabriele Berionne, 2007), which can be consulted in the Paskus-Danziger Rare Book Reading Room.
For more information on Montebuono, see the Montebuono On Line website; follow the links for “Storia e Monumenti.”
My wife and I thank Renata Ferraro, her husband Giovanni Carosio, and Mayor Santori for a memorable visit, and Fiorenzo Francioli, a Montebuono official, for a learned and fascinating tour of San Pietro.
Rare Book Librarian
L-R: Dario Santori (mayor of Montebuono), Emma Widener, Renata Ferraro, Giovanni Carosio, Mike Widener, Fiorenzo Francioli, and Antonella Francioli. 29 Nov. 2009 at Il Boschetto restaurant near Montebuono.