By Simone Cecchini


We are with Lucia Donnini, Gian Luca Bruno and Vanna Neri in the Library of Radda in Chianti. Let’s get to know this very valuable company better, its history, its services and its numbers.



Lucia Donnini has been working in the Greve Library for 30 years. She has been called to Radda for a year, on Tuesday mornings, to support the “Friends of the Library” Association – which has been operating in the village for several years – and currently has many volunteers. On January 14, 2023, there was the official inauguration of the new headquarters of the “B. Giuffrida” Municipal Library. To access the library’s services, all you need is a free membership.

Volunteers do just that – in addition to classifying and cataloguing books, new acquisitions and organizing, managing and executing cultural events. In order to promote this cultural partnership, meetings, conferences and artistic and convivial events of excellent workmanship have been organized.

In fact, scholars, university professors, musicians and actors took part. The library, which today boasts a total of about 18,000 books of the old owned, plus 800 of the new acquisitions, is named after Barbara Giuffrida who was the first to manage a public reading space in the 90s, the first nucleus of the municipal library, which in a short time made 7,000 volumes available. It should be remembered that the heritage of the volumes in English is due to her.

There are 1500 books of the local section – documentation concerning the territory – then 4000 volumes in English, 300 in German and 200 in French. Curiosity, very special: here you can find a selection of children’s books in English. A further 700 new acquisitions have recently been made, including books and multimedia documents, based on the financial commitment of the Municipality, which over the years has always shown that it believes in and invests resources in the cultural heritage of the area.

“Since 14 January 2023,” says Lucia Donnini, “115 new registrations have been made – of which 60-70 are ‘usual’ – and 470 volumes have been loaned, of which 200 for children and young people, 140 for adults and 20 in foreign languages. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that volunteers have succeeded in guaranteeing an opening time of at least four hours a day, continuously, from Monday to Saturday”.

“The library,” she adds, “is part of the interlibrary network of the Province of Siena – the Re.Do.S, Rete Documentaria Senese – and through the OPAC (Open Public Access Catalogue), of the SBN (National Library Service), it will be possible to have access to books throughout Italy. By contacting the other libraries we will be able to order the texts and have them delivered directly to us: a very useful service, especially for students”.

We now speak with Gian Luca Bruno, member of the Board of Directors: “Under the brand ‘La Fattoria della Mente’ which constitutes the logo of the library itself, we have organized numerous meetings during the season, including four conferences dedicated to the evolution of the universe and the human kind, a guitar concert and a theatrical performance, ‘Novecento’, based on a novel by Baricco. Currently, the cycle ‘Wonderful. I believe that someone will remember us in the future’, which we have dedicated to real or mythical female figures such as Sappho, Dickinson, Circe and Lysistrata. On November 6, a pottery workshop involving a group of children also began. There will also be read-aloud activities in English, during school hours, with elementary schools. There are also many cultural opportunities already planned for next year.”

Finally, we exchange a few words with Vanna Neri, also a ‘historic’ collaborator of the library and vice-president of the Association: “The mission we have set ourselves is to constitute a cultural garrison available to the entire community that looks at the multiple areas of knowledge; for December 16th, for example, we are planning a meeting with the soprano Antonella Natangelo and her medieval harmonies set to music with the Celtic harp. In line with the objectives set, the premises of the ‘Fattoria della Mente’ will be accessible to those who wish to present a book and our Association is open to discussion with those who wish to propose topics and themes of cultural interest, not forgetting that the library will soon be equipped with a dedicated recording system for all the events that will be held within it”.

“This building,” he continues, “was once the Elementary School of Radda, and is of nineteenth-century construction. During the restoration of the Town Hall, these same rooms were used as administrative offices. The library occupies the entire lower floor of the building, which opens onto the large tree-lined courtyard protected from traffic and is directly connected to the school complex. The Municipality of Radda has just under 1600 inhabitants… That said, we can say that it was an excellent investment if only for the large number of attendees. Both the Mayor Pier Paolo Mugnaini and the Deputy Mayor Daniele Barbucci have always given us full support and, so we feel really ‘special’ and particularly motivated. Without a doubt, it is important to be part of the ReDoS network, already mentioned, which allows the exchange of books between libraries in the province at no cost to users. We have also thought of tourists who are an essential presence for our territory: we will put a free trade shelf in the main square of Radda – with directions to reach our library”.



Info Library: Via del Convento n. 2, Radda in Chianti (Si), tel. 0577 739660 / e-mail:


Info on the territory of Radda in Chianti: Pro Loco Radda Information Office. Piazza Castello / Tel. 0577 738494 (Silvia Brogi) / / /