Amalfi is an ancient town of arcaded houses situated on one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines. In the early middle ages its traders had influence in most parts of the Mediterranean, and it was one of the first places in Europe where the art of papermaking was practised.
The town’s main street leads into the Valle dei Mulini (the valley of mills), a particularly good source of water power, where much of the stream is covered by pergolas of vines. Paper mills multiplied – there were 11 in 1700 – but small water-powered mills found it increasingly difficult to survive in the twentieth century, and those in Amalfi were damaged by a catastrophic flood in 1954.
The museum was established in 1959 by a papermaker, Nicola Milano. It is located in a mill that retains its waterwheel, and exhibits include a Hollander first used there in 1745. There is an extensive library and the museum has many international links.