The Emiliana Printing House was founded in 1837, by Cavalier Giuseppe Battagia, Pontifical Consul in Venice . Cavalier Battagia located the printing press in his home in San Giacomo dell’Orio and dedicated his work to San Girolamo Emiliani , who had lived there.
St. Girolamo Emiliani, Venetian patrician and Saint, is considered Patron of orphans and abandoned young people, and Cavalier Battagia referred to his vocation to introduce lonely young people to typographic art, hiring them in his company.
The foundation of the printing house was suggested by Antonio Rosmini, who had essentially religious purposes. It should be noted, however, the Emiliana Printing House’s involvement in the magnificent work of Ferdinando Ongania on the Basilica of San Marco.
In February 1921 Don Sterpi, on the advice of Cardinal La Fontaine and with the authorization of Don Orione, concluded the purchase of the Emiliana Bookshop and Printing House . Thus, he saved a rich heritage of sacred and religious publications and the name of one of the oldest Italian Catholic printing house.
The Emiliana extended religious propaganda to all the ItalIan parishes sending them for free many packs of brochures, that were really helpful to the missionaries. The 1940 war made it difficult to purchase paper, ink and especially new machines to replace obsolete ones. Due to change of Italian society, the printing press began a downward trend and the bookstore was purchased by a new Publishing Group.
In 1990 Libreria Emiliana was bought and completely renewed by the spouses Maria Cristina Giacometti and Giacomo Regazzo; after a short time in which they continued to sell contemporary volumes, they directed the bookstore into the world of antiques, collecting prints, volumes and ancient manuscripts, with a focus on publications related to the History and Art of Venice.
In 2015 the original location, based in San Marco in Goldoni Alley, was left and Libreria Emiliana moved to San Rocco and Frari area, right in the place where Girolamo Emiliani had lived and started his preaching.