Il Filo d’Arianna

Precious antique and modern books in the Labyrinth of Franco Maria Ricci.

With its Porticos, its Museum, its Library, my Labyrinth will be the ideal setting for an event devoted to precious antique and modern books, something I had been thinking about from the moment I conceived and designed it: it would not be entirely incorrect to say that it was, at least in part, designed and built for this very purpose.

Franco Maria Ricci


Franco Maria Ricci, publisher, collector, and bibliophile, is planning to organize in his Labyrinth Il filo d’Arianna, the first edition of a trade fair and market that will allow traders and dealers to display their finest and best treasures, and visitors and enthusiasts to admire them.

The Labirinto della Masone, a cultural park designed by Franco Maria Ricci, set in his country estate in Fontanellato, in the province of Parma, a lively, cosmopolitan meeting place, will be the venue for this event. The labyrinth, the largest in the world, was entirely made with 200,000 bamboo plants of twenty different species, from dwarf bamboos to giant ones. Furthermore, its over 5,000 square metres regularly host cultural spaces used for Franco Maria Ricci’s art collection, the books published by the publishing house in over fifty years of activity, along with temporary exhibitions.

From 22 to 24 March 2019, the central courtyard located in the heart of the bamboo Labyrinth, with its vast rooms and arcades, will host display areas devoted to the members of A.L.A.I. (Associazione Librai Antiquari d’Italia) and of I.L.A.B. (International League of Antiquarium Booksellers), other selected publishers, as well as used and “vintage” books. It will also feature conversations between bibliophiles organized by a scientific committee comprising authoritative names with many years of experience in the field of high-quality publishing.

During the event, which has also the patronage of Museo Bodoniano, will be on display volumes chosen from Franco Maria Ricci’s Bodonian collection, the most complete privately-owned collection of its kind the world . The three days will also be an opportunity to visit the temporary exhibition “Pagine da Collezione”, devoted to the artists’ books collected by Corrado Mingardi and donated to the Fondazione Cariparma, which include some of the most beautiful pages of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art history signed by Delacroix, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Giacometti, Moore, and Le Corbusier, by the Italians De Pisis, Sironi, Campigli, Mattioli, and by Andy Warhol.