MUNDI, the first large museum dedicated to the Italian language, is situated in the former monastery of the Santissima Concezione inside the complex of Santa Maria Novella, with the first two rooms hosting a free admission temporary exhibition until October 6. The inauguration on July 6 was attended by the Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella and the Minister for Culture Dario Franceschini. The entire 2000m² museum is expected to open in 2023, with these two rooms functioning as an introduction.
The name MUNDI intends to evoke two fundamental aspects for the language: the first is the relationship with Latin (mundi is the genitive of mundus, meaning ‘world’), while the second is the idea that Italian is a language of the world, having evolved over the centuries through its network of relationships and exchange with many other languages of different cultures, seeking “to signal the link between the Latin roots of our language and its presence in today’s global world”.
For at least twenty years, the community linked to the history of the Italian language has been pursuing the creation of a dedicated museum, that is now close to being completed thanks to the Ministry for Culture together with the Municipality of Florence. Coordinated by the linguist and philogist Luca Serianni, the working group involves leading institutions in the field of linguistics such as Accademia della Crusca, Accademia dei Lincei, the Dante Alighieri Society, the Association for the History of the Italian Language, and the Institute of the Italian Treccani Encyclopedia.
The museum will combine manuscripts, books, paintings and objects related to the history of Italian with a strong multimedia component and some sections of the museum will be reserved for temporary exhibitions. Objects on display include a Pompeian inscription testifying to changes in spoken Latin, and the Riccardiano manuscript of 1035 in which Giovanni Boccaccio, a few years after Dante’s death, copied the Divine Comedy in his own hand. There will also be a range of educational activities as well as talks, courses, seminars, book presentations and concerts.
MUNDI – National Museum of Italian,
Santa Maria Novella complex,
piazza della Stazione 6, Florence
The temporary introductory exhibition will be on display from July 7 to October 6
Open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm, free admission.