De Aetna Liber - Petri Bembi


Limited edition of 23 numbered copies typeset by hand in moveable types, letter by letter, and letterpress printed on pure cotton paper made with the groundwater from the volcano Etna. 

Etching by Walter Valentini, signed and numbered, made expressly for this edition.

This edition printed in Latin is a tribute to the famous incunabulum printed by Aldus Manutius in 1495, which is considered to be the first modern book.
Bembo tells about his ascent to the top of the volcano Etna, during his stay in Sicily between 1492 and 1494, where he went to perfect his knowledge of Greek. This is one of the first description of the volcano ever made. The story is the background to a series of literary-scientific considerations and learned quotations from Latin and Greek classics.


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Latin edition.

This paper have been made in Aci Bonaccorsi (Sicily) using the groundwater of the volcano Etna, the highest peak on the island of Sicily.   

The volume has the same 8vo format (15x24cm) of the first edition of De Aetna, which was printed in 1496 by Aldo Manuzio, and which is considered to be the first ‘modern’ book, thanks to both its small format (the ‘ancestor’ of today's paperbacks), and the roman type used for the text, which has become a timeless classic in publishing).

This edition takes account of the typographic corrections handwritten by Manuzio and Bembo in the margins of one copy of the original edition, which is kept at Ambrosiana Library in Milan.

The 96 pages of this book have been typeset by hand in Garamond, a type which owes a great deal to Aldo Manuzio's roman type, which appears for the first time on the first edition of De Aetna.

This Garamond type was hand-cut on punches by Henri Parmentier in 1914 and cast in Paris by Deberny & Peignot Foundry.

Final notes in Italian by Enrico Tallone and Piero Scapecchi, chief curator at the National Library in Florence.


The volume is housed in a slipcase and box, custom hand-made to an exact size, whose exteriors are covered with Ingres paper. The book title is letterpress-printed on the slipcase’s spine.


This edition has been printed in 263 numbered copies, of which:

- 134 copies on cotton paper made in Sicily, which do not include the etching by Walter Valentini (sold out);

- 46 copied on cotton paper made in Sicily, which include Valentini’s etching;

- 50 copies on pure cotton Alcantara paper made in Sicily, of which 23 include am etching by Walter Valentini, made expressly for these 23 copies (for sale on this website). 

- 33 special copies on either exotic and ancient papers in part handmade Asia, and in part handmade in France.


The number of movable types handled for the typesetting of this book, makes it an exceptional endeavor in contemporary fine printing.

Printed on very fine paper and sewn by hand, this collector’s edition is a sophisticated gift meant to last over time and designed to give the best reading experience possible.

It is handmade in the most ancient typographic studio in the world still in activity, where handmade bookmaking and continue aesthetic research combine to give each book a unique design, never repeated in standard book series.

Neither monotype nor linotype are used. These typesetting systems from a keyboard are often passed off as manual typography. The Tallone Press also does not print from plastic plates derived from digital compositions.

Data sheet

Size (cm)
Typeset by hand in Garamond type, cut on punches by Henri Parmentier in 1914 and cast in Paris by Deberny & Peignot Foundry. Garamond owes a great deal to Aldus Manutius's roman type, engraved for him by Francesco Griffo.
pure-cotton Alcantara paper. This paper have been made in Sicily using the groundwater of the volcano Etna
Number of pages
Total print run
Weight (kg)