Artusi’s House is the first centre of gastronomic culture dedicated to the Italian domestic kitchen, having the function of old (gastronomic literature of 1800 and 1900) and contemporary documentation (internet), diffusion (courses and meetings) and experimentation (Italian resort and regional dishes and receipts realised in the laboratory and served in the dining room ), which will see the light in Forlimpopoli, birth town of the author of the famous receipts manual “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well”.
The centre is located inside the block of the Servants’ Church, in the historical area of Forlimpopoli, whose clearance works have been started in October 2001.
The whole block (a convent with annexed church in the past) has a long history starting in the Middle Age. The different buildings composing it today are the result of a number of transformations, often very simple, but sometimes substantial, which had frequently changed the aspect of the block itself during the centuries, before with progressive enlargements, then with radical interventions which had modified the structures of the convent until the second half of the XIIIth century.
The structure, having a particularly historical and symbolical importance for Forlimpopoli, perfectly fits the role of hosting the site of Artusi’s House.
From the point of view of the space and, more in general of the architecture, the area, even if bound and therefore not susceptible of radical transformations, is the right one to solve the function it will be assigned to, with its more than 2000 square meters in addition to the courtyard and the beautiful Servants’ Church.
Artusi’s House has also got a modern and technological importance, the record, film, book (paper and informatics) and icon libraries will all reproduce the material at disposition, attentively selectioned in virtue of the goal of the Centre.
The web site www.casartusi.it will inform the readers about Pellegrino Artusi’s work, offering the consultation of all the editions of Science in the Kitchen (the first one, dated 1981, and the following ones), The site will open an e-mail service with its readers, answering to gastronomic questions, receipts requests, and information about home kitchen, reproducing, thanks to the modern electronic technologies, the same methodology of epistolary relationship used by Artusi to realize and enrich his receipt manual. In this way we will create a data bank of the home Italian receipts, continuously alimented by the readers’ contribution under a firm input : (“send us your home receipts!”).
It is not, therefore, a static museum, but a dynamic one, with a strong cultural identity, fully integrated with the territory and its own products. We do not want to embalm Artusi, but to make him live in the actual context. Inside the House you do will find some antiques and some signs of the biographic memory of the character, but inserted in a route of widespread diffusion of the Italian gastronomic culture and practice (didactic, of wide divulgation, practical, of exercise, of restoration, of formation, of items and events production ). All the senses (seeing , feeling , hearing, smelling and tasting ) will be put in exercise, even the sixth one , that is “intuition”, not less worthy in preparing and consuming food.
Artusi’s inheritance – a man fond of good readings, philanthropist and great experimenter of the good practices of the domestic kitchen, world famous for writing a book (or better, 14 editions of the same, which almost identifies itself with the name of the author: “The Artusi”, a book present, oily and filthy, perhaps in all Italian houses)- is in some ways inserted, by his own birth town, in a multifunctional living and active project .
Not without considering the strong crisis of the domestic kitchen, it reproposes the home kitchen as a model, not done of immutable rules and codes but of always reinventing and rewriting concrete practice, experimentation and teaching. So doing we also want to keep in mind the faithful cook Marietta, a central figure for the work and the fortune of Artusi, to whom for years Forlimpopoli has been dedicating a national Prize reserved to non professionals.
At the same time we want to repropose the idea of the book, a book in the kitchen, as an essential link for the transmission of the oral tradition, too, making ourselves the promoters of a cultural project totally innovative. In the House, the Kitchen and the Library are the two symbolic places which running after and interacting each other give meaning and unity the whole.
Therefore, Artusi’s Hose is open to everybody who , fans and curious, housewives and cooks, professionals and lovers, scholars and researchers want to deepen the culture and the practice of the domestic kitchen.