The Centro di Documentazione delle Arti Grafiche della Tipografia Grifani-Donati is located at a short walking distance from the main square of Città di Castello, right in front of the Municipality, in a medieval building at the corner of Corso Cavour.
The rooms occupied by the printing house tower above the Church of San Paolo, which was previously used as the premises of a convent and then as a detention center.
Founded in 1799, this is one of the most ancient printing houses that still operate in Italy.
Since the 1870s, i.e. since the printing industry was introduced in Città di Castello, Grifani-Donati Printing House has focused on a restricted market, having mainly the State public administrations, ecclesiastical
entities and wealthy families, along with intellectuals and artists as clients.
The current owners, Gianni Ottaviani and his wife Adriana, gave continuity to the family tradition by adding to the printing production—the main activity of the company—artistic medium printmaking activities: by using
methods such as Chalcography—like etching techniques called "acquaforte", i.e. the use of acid or mordant to create a design into a metal surface, or engraving techniques, like the one called "punta secca", by
incising printing plates with burins—or Lithography—a printing method that uses limestone smooth surface for mirror-image prints—with the acquisition of printing presses and related instrumental items, together with
the activities of bookbinding, conservation and restoration.
Visitors climbing the steep staircase heading into the printing workshop will feel the emotion of a journey into the past by being introduced into an environment that preserves the features, furnishings and machinery of
the old workshop, with its wooden letter case cabinet full of movable type characters, old printed posters and old but still working printing machinery.
Guided and demonstrative visits are offered to individuals or groups of visitors and school students, training in printing and specialization courses are held as well.
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