Pellegrino Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli on 4 August 1820, and he moved to Florence in 1851. He had strong literary ambitions and wrote a biography of Ugo Foscolo, plus a comment to the letters of Giuseppe Giusti, but his real passion was good cooking.
In fact, between 1891, the year of the first edition, to 1911, the year of his death, Artusi dedicated body and soul to one mission: to bring his newly unified country a national recipe book that would also help to educate Italians from a language viewpoint.
Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, known everywhere as the Artusi, was persistent in becoming a part of the daily lives and households of many Italian families. Slowly but surely, the Artusi became the quintessential home cooking manual.
Pellegrino Artusi directly edited fifteen editions, with subsequent revisions and the addition of 315 recipes to the original 475. He died at the age of 91, appointing as his heir, the municipality of his birth, Forlimpopoli.
Today, Science in the Kitchen, which never went out of publication and was continuously copied, given to newly-weds with good wishes for a happy marriage, carried around in the suitcases of migrants and translated into many international languages, represents an absolute milestone and acclaimed authority when it comes to food.
The tradition and cult of Artusi’s good cooking have been handed down from “Casa Artusi”, Italy’s first cultural centre dedicated to home cooking. As the top expert on Artusi, Alberto Capatti writes: “It is the first living museum of cooking, open to cooks, amateurs, gourmets, connoisseurs, children and anyone who still loves to put on an apron, sit around a table and stay there as long as possible. It is a home not only for memory and fame, but also for the appetite”.
The Casa, created by renovating the convent building and Church of the Servi, in Forlimpopoli, is set out over a surface area of around some three thousand square metres with areas to fill different functions: library, restaurant, cookery school, cellar, museum, event location. Of particular interest is the library with its archive and collection of books, left by Artusi himself to the municipality of Forlimpopoli. The flagship, with its 20 equipped stations, is the Cookery School, open to enthusiasts and professionals looking to refine their skills.
From the library to the school, and from knowledge to knowhow, Casa Artusi represents the culture of good practices in home cooking, in the name of the famous gourmet born in Forlimpopoli and known the world over.