Paper’s origins are truly ancient. The first description dates back to the second century AD, in China, but it is thought that it had already been in use for some time. Its use was slow to spread in China and there was mention of paper in Italy only in the tenth century, in Palermo.
Fabriano, where the Academy of Paper Arts and the Museo della Carta e della Filigrana (Paper and Filigree Museum) are located, has been an important centre of production since the second half of 1200.
A long tradition still exists in Amalfi, where they have been producing the famous Amalfi paper, since the Middle Ages. It is also called Charta Bambagina, and is strictly handmade.
Other historic paper-producing areas are Bassano del Grappa, which between 1657 and 1861 became famous worldwide thanks to major publishing with Remondi and Alzano Lombardo, where paper mills already existed in the seventeenth century.
The art of decoration and binding also have a long history in Florence and Naples, where skilled craftsmen still devote themselves to these ancient crafts.
Another very important centre today is Lucca, a land rich in water and wind. Here, there is the Via della carta (Paper Road) in Tuscany too, a cultural tourism project that includes the provinces of Lucca and Pistoia, with their tradition of paper crafting the goes back to the fifteenth century, now confirmed to be a viable and internationally recognized industry. In Pietrabuona, the Province of Pescia, there is the Museo della Carta (Paper Museum), a reference point for conservators, scholars and bibliophiles around the world.