Hosted by the ancient monastery of the Frati Minori Osservanti – once annexed to the the church of San Giovanni Battista (one of Pesaro’s most beautiful architectural works) – is the Public Library “San Giovanni” (Pesaro, via Passeri 102).
Going to the library is one of our family’s favourite “rites”. In the Wintertime, when it is cold and we can hardly take our little daughter to the park, we go almost every day, as the library hosts an area dedicated to children where you can find books, cartoons, a few toys and many “soft” places to sit upon (cushions, one bed!, chairs) offering dads and moms the opportunity of sharing the pleasure of reading together with their sons and daugthers. In addition to that, the library organizes cultural events for children and adults. For children, in particular, they organize “animated tales” in Italian, English, German; laboratories (especially during Christmas time: this Christmas, for example, the library invited children to create Christmas tree’s decorations for the library tree).
Inside the library you have: 2.050 sqm of surface open to the public, 44.409 books, 1.893 videotapes, 2.728 music CDs, 1.910 DVDs, 1.087 CD-Rom, 18 newspapers (4 of which are foreign newspapers), 152 magazines (15 of which are foreign magazines). What I mostly like of this library is the fact that all items are visible to the visitor (unlike other libraries where you have to look up in the archives and then ask for the book you need to the library assistant who goes and gets it for you).
Inside the library you have an information point by the Municipality of Pesaro called “Informagiovani” offering information, mostly Youth-oriented, on what is going on in town and in the Province of Pesaro and Urbino (cultural events, seminars, courses, etc.) and on job-opportunities. Not to forget the “Literary Cafè” where, among other activities, you have the possibility of getting free language-lessons provided you are willing to teach your own mother-language to someone who is interested in learning it. All you have to do is just sign up and you will be matched with your partner; then, you will both be able to sit at a table inside the “literary cafè” and teach each other the selected language, while sipping an expresso coffee kindly offered by the library.
The church of San Giovanni Battista – commissioned by the Duke Guidobaldo II Della Rovere – and its annexed monastery where planned by Girolamo Genga. The sacred building was erected upon the remains of the church of Saint John by Alessandro Sforza who wanted to make a family tomb of it; however it was destroyed by Francesco Maria Della Rovere, in order to build the new town walls.
The “new” church’s first stone was laid on April 9th 1543. After 1551, the works went on under the supervision of Bartolomeo Genga, son of Girolamo, but the temple – finished and consacrated in 1656 – was left unfinished, especially as far as the external area is concerned.
The church is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture; Vasari himself liked it very much and considered it worth to be compared to the splendour of Roman churches. The inside was changed many times, especially in the 17th century. In 1729 four of the nine altars were demolished.
It became one of Pesaresi‘s favourite churches and it hosts a few of the most famous Pesaresi familiy tombs: Almerici, Antaldi, Baldassini, Gavardini and Perticari.
Biblioteca San Giovanni – infos on times and cultural activities at: http://www.biblioteca.comune.pesaro.pu.it