Academia Barilla, as part of its effort to protect and promote Italian gastronomic culture and its glorious history, has built a unique collection of antique prints relating to gastronomic subjects. The prints are part of an even larger collection of books and about 5,000 historic menus from the 19th and 20th centuries held in the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library.
There are over 150 pieces in the print collection, including xylographs, etchings and burins dating back to 1500. Some of the prints are in color, however all of them are dedicated to the themes of food and dining.
Captured in the prints are images of kitchen interiors, court banquets and street scenes depicting vendors and markets. There are images of family life, biblical scenes, and still lifes, all containing the spirit of conviviality. The collection, built by Conte Livio Cerini di Castegnate and his consort, Lady Wilma, is a precious tool for understanding the relationship between man and food during the course of the centuries.