This video was initially intended to be a simple demonstration of how to make artistically marbled paper using traditional techniques, for an article by my friend Toni DeBella, who writes a blog about Orvieto.
However, after meeting Lamberto the papermaker, I realized the story was about so much more. With books from the 1600s that he pulls out and flips through to illustrate his points, Lamberto tells us the story of paper – its history and passage through ‘The Silk Road’, and how it changed society by permitting the spread of ideas in a cheap and accessible way.
As Toni says in the video, this is one of the things we love about Italy – how these history lessons spontaneously pop up in simple conversations and include things that are hundreds of years old, that “back home” would be held in a museum by glass.
You can read Toni’s full article on Italian Notebook here.