Old Map of Italy by Visscher, 1690: Rome, Milan, Palermo, Florence, Monaco
Old Map of Italy by Visscher, 1690: Rome, Milan, Palermo, Florence, Monaco
Old Map of Italy by Visscher, 1690: Rome, Milan, Palermo, Florence, Monaco
Old Map of Italy by Visscher, 1690: Rome, Milan, Palermo, Florence, Monaco

Old Map of Italy by Visscher, 1690: Rome, Milan, Palermo, Florence, Monaco

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  • Best size: 16x20in (40.5x51cm) or larger
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Step back in time with the exquisite 'Totius Italiae tabula', a remarkable cartographic masterpiece by Nicolaes Visscher II, dating back to 1690. Translated to 'Map of All Italy', this artwork captures the entirety of Italy, including the islands of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, and the far-reaching area of Croatia. It's a fascinating journey through the past, providing a detailed overview of the political divisions and regions of Italy during a period of immense historical significance.

The 'Totius Italiae tabula' is a testament to the cartographic excellence of the Dutch Golden Age, a period when the Netherlands was a powerhouse in mapmaking. Nicolaes Visscher II, the creator of this map, was a renowned cartographer who continued the legacy of his grandfather, Claes Janszoon Visscher. His meticulous attention to detail and precision are evident in this work, as it intricately illustrates the varied landscapes and topographical features of Italy.

In this map, you'll discover an array of significant cities such as Rome, Milan, Palermo, Florence, and Monaco, each rendered with impressive accuracy. These cities, among others, were important hubs of culture, politics, and commerce in 17th-century Italy. The map also highlights the numerous natural phenomena, including the expansive forests, winding waterways, and towering mountains that have shaped Italy's unique geographical character.

The 'Totius Italiae tabula' is more than just a map; it's a piece of art. It features decorative cartouches, a compass rose, and a dedication text "Serenissimo Principi Cosmo III Magno Etruriae Duci tabulam hanc humillime dedicat Nicolaus Visscher." This roughly translates to "Nicolaus Visscher humbly dedicates this map to the most serene Prince Cosimo III, the Great Duke of Tuscany." This map, with its hand-colored outlines and pictorial relief, serves as a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of its time, making it a captivating addition to any collection.

Some of the significant locations shown on this map:

Kingdom of Naples

  1. Naples - Known as 'Napoli' in Italian, it was one of the most populous cities of the time and a major cultural center.
  2. Bari - A significant port city on the Adriatic Sea, known for trade and commerce.
  3. Salerno - An important center of learning in the Middle Ages, home to the first medical school in the world.
  4. Taranto - Known as 'Tarentum' in ancient times, it was a significant Greek colony.
  5. Lecce - Known for its rich Baroque architectural monuments.

Papal States

  1. Rome - The capital of the Papal States and the religious center of the Catholic world.
  2. Bologna - Known as the 'learned city' for its university, established in 1088.
  3. Ferrara - A major cultural and economic hub in the Renaissance period.
  4. Perugia - Known for the Perugia Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori.
  5. Ancona - An important sea port on the Adriatic Sea.

Republic of Venice

  1. Venice - Known as 'Venezia', it was a major financial and maritime power.
  2. Verona - Known for its artistic heritage and the annual summer opera festival.
  3. Padua - Home to one of the world's oldest universities, founded in 1222.
  4. Brescia - Known for its historical center with Roman, medieval and Renaissance buildings.
  5. Vicenza - Known for the elegant buildings designed by the architect Andrea Palladio.

Duchy of Milan

  1. Milan - One of the leading cities of the Italian Renaissance with a rich cultural and architectural heritage.
  2. Pavia - Known for its universities and several churches which are important historical sites.
  3. Como - Known for its Gothic-style buildings and the panoramic funicular railway.
  4. Cremona - Known for its musical history and traditions, including some of the earliest and most renowned luthiers.
  5. Lodi - Known for its Gothic cathedral and the Piazza della Vittoria.

Grand Duchy of Tuscany

  1. Florence - Known as 'Firenze', it was the center of medieval European trade and finance.
  2. Pisa - Known for the iconic Leaning Tower.
  3. Siena - Known for its medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.
  4. Arezzo - Known for its monuments, churches, and antiquity sites.
  5. Livorno - An important port city with a significant merchant history.

Kingdom of Sicily

  1. Palermo - The capital of the Kingdom of Sicily and a major center of culture, history, music, and gastronomy.
  2. Messina - Known for the Norman Messina Cathedral and the Messina Bell Tower.
  3. Catania - Known for its Baroque architecture and its history of several devastating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  4. Syracuse - Known as 'Siracusa', it was a powerful city-state of ancient Greece.
  5. Trapani - Known for its Easter procession 'I Misteri' which is one of the oldest continually running religious events in Europe.

Notable Natural Phenomena

  • The Apennine Mountains - The longest mountain range in Italy.
  • The River Po - The longest river in Italy.
  • The Grand Canal in Venice - An ancient waterway lined with buildings dating back to the 13th century.
  • Mount Etna in Sicily - One of the world's most active volcanoes.
  • The Bay of Naples - Known for its stunning beauty and the islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida.

Notable Historical Events (1600-1690)

  • The Battle of Lepanto (1571) - A naval engagement taking place in the Gulf of Patras, where the Holy League, led by the Venetian Republic, defeated the Ottoman Empire.
  • The completion of St. Peter's Basilica (1626) - Located in Vatican City, it is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture.
  • The Great Plague of Milan (1629-1631) - A series of outbreaks of bubonic plague that swept through the Duchy of Milan.

Please double check the images to make sure that a specific town or place is shown on this map. You can also get in touch and ask us to check the map for you.

This map looks great at all sizes: 12x16in (30.5x41cm), 16x20in (40.5x51cm), 18x24in (45.5x61cm), 24x30in (61x76cm), 32x40in (81.5x102cm), 40x50in (102x127cm), 48x60in (122x153cm) and 56x70in (142x178cm), but it looks even better when printed large.

I can create beautiful, large prints of this map up to 90in (229cm). Please get in touch if you're looking for larger, customised or different framing options.

The model in the listing images is holding the 16x20in (40.5x51cm) version of this map.

The fifth listing image shows an example of my map personalisation service.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, check out my collection of the best old maps of Europe and European cities to see if something else catches your eye.

Please contact me to check if a certain location, landmark or feature is shown on this map.

This would make a wonderful birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, work leaving, anniversary or housewarming gift for someone from the areas covered by this map.

This map is available as a giclée print on acid free archival matte paper, or you can buy it framed. The frame is a nice, simple black frame that suits most aesthetics. Please get in touch if you'd like a different frame colour or material. My frames are glazed with super-clear museum-grade acrylic (perspex/acrylite), which is significantly less reflective than glass, safer, and will always arrive in perfect condition.

My standard frame is a gallery style black ash hardwood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. On maps up to 36 inches (91cm) the frame is 1.5-3cm (0.6in to 1in) wide. I use thicker frames on larger maps - usually between 35 and 60mm (1.4in to 2.4in).

In all cases I use super-clear acrylic (perspex/acrylite) for the frame glass. It's lighter and safer than glass - and it looks better, as the reflectivity is lower.

All frames are provided "ready to hang", with either a string or brackets on the back. Very large frames will have heavy duty hanging plates and/or a mounting baton. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

See some examples of my framed maps and framed canvas maps.

A few different frame colours are available for free (black, brown, white, oak and antique gold). Custom framing and mounting/matting is available if you're looking for something else.

Alternatively, I can also supply old maps on canvas, foam board, cotton rag and other materials.

If you want to frame your map yourself, please read my map size guide first.

For most orders, delivery time is about 3 working days. Personalised and custom made maps take longer, as I have to do the personalisation and send it to you for approval, which usually takes a day or two.

Please note that for larger framed orders (over 40in/100cm), and some other framed sizes, the delivery time will be closer to 7-10 days.

If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, please contact me before you order so that we can find the best way of making sure you get your order in time.

I have specialist printing and framing facilities in 17 countries around the world. This means your map will be made locally, which cuts down on delivery time and reduces the chance of your map being damaged during delivery. There won't be any extra taxes or duties to pay, and we'll put less CO2 into the air.

All of my maps are well packaged and sent in a rugged tube if unframed, or surrounded by foam if framed.

I try to send out all maps within 1 or 2 days of receiving your order, though some products (like face masks or mugs) can take longer to make.

If you select Express Delivery at checkout your order we will prioritise your order and send it out by 1-day courier (Fedex, DHL, UPS, Parcelforce).

We can sometimes do next-day delivery if you order before 10am. But usually it's best to contact me first before you order.

Read my full delivery and local production guide

My maps are extremely high quality reproductions of original maps.

I source original, extremely rare maps from libraries, auction houses and private collections around the world, restore them at my London workshop, and then use specialist giclée inks and printers to create beautiful maps that look even better than the original.

My maps are printed on acid-free archival matte (not glossy) paper that feels very high quality and almost like card. In technical terms the paper weight/thickness is 10mil/200gsm. It's perfect for framing.

I print with Epson ultrachrome giclée UV fade resistant pigment inks - some of the best inks you can find.

I can also make maps on canvas, cotton rag and other exotic materials.

Learn more about how the Unique Maps Co. sources and restores old maps

Map personalisation

If you're looking for the perfect anniversary or housewarming gift, I can personalise your map to make it truly unique. For example, I can add a short message, or highlight an important location, or add your family's coat of arms.

The options are almost infinite. Please see my map personalisation page for some wonderful examples of what's possible.

To order a personalised map, select "personalise your map" before adding it to your basket.

Get in touch if you're looking for more complex customisations and personalisations.

If you are not happy with your unique map for any reason, contact me for a no-quibble refund.

I am very confident you will like your old map. I have been doing this since 1984. I'm a 5-star Etsy seller. I have sold tens of thousands of maps and have over 1,500 real 5-star reviews.

I use a unique process to restore my maps that is massively time consuming and labour intensive. Hunting down the original maps can take months. I use state of the art and eye-wateringly expensive technology to scan and restore the maps. As a result, I guarantee my maps are a cut above the rest - that's why I can offer a no-quibble refund.

Almost all of my maps look amazing at large sizes (200cm, 6.5ft+) and I can frame and deliver them to you as well, via special oversized courier. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.

Fill in the form below, message me on WhatsApp, or call the workshop on 020 3286 8802