I visited the Ornatissimo Codice exhibit (in Urbino Ducal Palace until July 27th 2008, read the previous post for more info), the books are really impressive but, of course, I could not take photos…
What I could photograph is the permanent new multimedia exhibit of the Federico da Montefeltro Library. When you enter the Ducal Palace, the first tiny door on the left is the Library, step inside and you’ll find yourself surrounded by “shelves” of books projected on the library walls.

Duke Federico da Montefeltro LibraryYou can “take out” the books from the shelves and browse through them by miming the gestures of picking them and turning the pages.

Federico da Montefeltro library

Urbino Federico da Montefeltro libraryOne of the books is a manuscript of Apicius “De Re Coquinaria”

De-re-coquinaria-ApicioThe page displayed (the one on the left in the photo) gives the recipe of a spiced wine from the Roman times called Conditum Paradoxum that goes: “conditi paradoxi compositio: mellis pondo XV in aeneum vas mittuntur, praemissi

[s] vini sextariis duobus, ut in cocturam mellis vinum decoquas. Quod igni lento et aridis lignis calefactum, commotum ferula dum coquitur, si effervere coeperit, vini rore compescitur, praeter quod subtracto igni in se redit. Cum perfrixerit, rursus accenditur. Hoc secundo ac tertio fiet, ac tum demum remotum a foco postridie despumatur. Tum [mittis] piperis uncias IV iam triti, masticis scripulos II, folii et croci dragmas singulas, dactylorum ossibus torridis quinque, isdemque dactylis vino mollitis, intercedente prius suffusione vini de suo modo ac numero, ut tritura lenis habeatur. His omnibus paratis supermittis vini lenis sextarios XVIII. Carbones perfecto aderunt duo milia.”

I’ll ask some friends to translate it and give it a try… well, maybe I will, depending on the ingredients… the Romans used to consider absolutely fantastic food that we would at least consider “strange”. The most known example is Garum a sauce made of fermented fish intestines…

See more photos of the exhibit here.