“The rich and famous, the important and powerful, can always have their say. But what of the bulk of humanity who suffer the whims of history, whose everyday labors give it life? How will their voice be remembered? The answer, at least in Italy, can be found here in this small Tuscan town, which has become Italy’s repository of lives recounted.”
Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times
The National Diary Archive of Pieve Santo Stefano, in the province of Arezzo in Toscana (Tuscany), collects memoirs and personal diaries and turns them into a journey discovering the history, culture and traditions of Italy. Here you can listen to stories, read diaries, discovering the world of memory of Italian culture.
The archive has been collecting memoirs and diaries since 1984, when the journalist and writer Saverio Tutino had the idea of creating a place of welcome for memories and personal Italian stories thinking that all these voices would be able to tell a story of Italy.
There are 7000 autobiographical testimonies collected so far. They are used as resources for academic research, screenplays, books, documentaries, and have inspired different forms of art and languages, from photography to video, from cinema to theater, from web to television and radio, from literature to music.
The Archive’s documentary significance is recognized by the Codice dei beni culturali (Cultural Heritage Code), and the complete digitalization of the content has been achieved thanks to the Impronte digitali project (in collaboration with Telecom Fundation)
Whoever tells their own story wants to leave a trace, but, sometimes, without any awareness, they create a real work of art and storytelling. The diary written on a double sheet by Clelia Marchi is a wonderful example. It has become the preeminent object displayed in the permanent exhibition in the “Small Museum of the Diary”. Here, there is literature to discover and appreciate, created by self-taught artisans of words, unaware of their authentic masterpieces.
Organize your holidays in Tuscany, come and discover this place of Italian memories. You will have the opportunity to meet special storytellers, special travellers in the world of people’s stories who have mixed their own lives reading others’ diaries and memoirs over the years: the new citizens of the City of Diaries, the paper souls who populate the Archive in Pieve Santo Stefano.
Annually at the end of summer, the Archive organizes the #premiopieve, event, in this uncontaminated part of Tuscany, the favorite destination of travellers in the Memory Route.