The library of Count Monaldo Leopardi (1776-1847) significantly documents how cultivated social classes from the Marche were much interested in antiques’ research and local history. This was a tradition of local studies which reached its peak at the end of the 18th century thanks to the monumental work by the abbot Giuseppe Colucci “Picene antiquity”.
The library was opened by Monaldo Loepardi, the poet’s father, in 1812. At that time it was a very large library, as it consisted of 16,000 books stored in four rooms, divided into topics, except for the second rooms which was entirely dedicated to religious literature.
The collection of books includes several sections: the Fathers of the Church, dogmatic, critical but also Protestant theology.
Besides, it’s made up of Enlightened books, also from the 18th century anti-philosophical point of view, and foreign literature of that time. These books were read by Giacomo Leopardi who therefore elaborated a vision of the world and of history which was opposite to his father’s views.
Most part of the library was bought by Count Monaldo at the fairs of Recanati and Senigallia and some travels to Rome on occasion of the suppression of religious orders and convents during and after the Roman Republic. Monaldo also bought many books written in Greek for his son Giacomo but mainly for his love for antiques. The profound collector’s love for books and also coins, medals, inscriptions and a vast knowledge of documents chosen by him is reflected also in his works of local history.
At the wall of the library hangs an inscription where Monaldo states his intention to open a library not only for himself but also for the people from Recanati. In fact, it was always open for cultivated men, and at present it continues to be open for visitors attracted by the museum and the books.
Casa Leopardi, Leopardi’s Palazzo, houses the library. It’s right opposite the square of the “Saturday evening in the village” and it’s exactly the same as it was at the time of the Count Monaldo. The four rooms of the library entirely occupy the first floor of the palazzo, which also consists of the Manuscript Room, the bedroom and the studio. The first room is characterized by a panelled ceiling; the second room, smaller than the other ones, has a fascinating hand-painted canvas ceiling with paintings in typical Pompeian style; the third and fourth room both have a rectangular shape and hold hundreds of books placed on enormous shelves.