Arvedi Laboratory of non-Invasive Diagnostics


The University of Pavia, the oldest university in Lombardy and one of the oldest in Europe, in 2011 celebrated 650 years since its Foundation. Today the Alma Ticinensis Universitas di Pavia, with over 25,000 registered students, 2 locations (Pavia and Cremona), 17 departments, 86 courses of study, 16 university colleges and 440 international exchange programmes proposes itself as a Research University participating in international projects, it is inserted into a network of the world’s leading colleges and promotes interdisciplinary research in dialogue with businesses.
The profitable and constant collaboration between the University of Pavia and Fondazione Arvedi-Buschini formed the basis for the birth of the Arvedi Laboratory for Non- invasive Diagnostics at the Violin Museum of Cremona. The laboratory came into being as a highly specialized centre of scientific research and diagnostics for the conservation of antique musical instruments.


In view of the planned maintenance and conservation of Artistic Heritage, the mission of the new laboratory is to study and characterize the historical musical instruments conserved in the Museum through the use and implementation of advanced non-invasive diagnostic techniques, with equipment that can be easily transported and used, which will serve to obtain information on the historical materials used by the great master violinmakers such as Antonio Stradivari or Andrea Amati.
The aim of the analyses will be to determine the state of conservation of the artifacts, map any phases of alteration that are present, characterize the materials of which they are made up, such as varnishes, and provide all the information necessary for sharing this knowledge with the violinmaking world as regards construction techniques, materials identified, studies of the dimensions and volumes of the musical instruments.
Using advanced technological instruments the laboratory will be able to provide Cremona’s violinmaking community with a series of services to support and valorize the work of violinmakers and restorers through dimensional and photographic observations and material analyses.
The staff of the Arvedi Laboratory of Cremona is composed of scientific personnel highly qualified in non-invasive diagnostics applied to works of art and in particular the study of historical and contemporary musical instruments.



Licchelli_fotoMaurizio Licchelli (Full professor, Scientific manager)


Foto-marcoMarco Malagodi (Associate professor, Technical manager)


PIER_newPiercarlo Dondi (Research fellow, Computer engineer)


Michela Albano (PhD student, Research fellow, Conservation scientist)

Giacomo Fiocco (PhD student, Research fellow, Conservation scientist)


FOTO ClaudiaClaudia Invernizzi (PhD student, Research fellow, Conservation scientist)


foto tommasoTommaso Rovetta (Research fellow, Conservation scientist)






  • Professional high-resolution photography (gigapixels images) in visible light (softbox led), chromatically calibrated;
  • Professional fluorescence photography (UV-light);
  • Endoscopy;
  • High-resolution digital Radiography with the possibility to perform measurements via software;
  • High-resolution Stereoscopic images of surface details with the possibility to perform measurements;
  • 3D Modelling  of the musical instrument or its parts with a laser scanner; processing of the polygonal mesh with the possibility to export 2D CAD profile sections and to carry out measurements;
  • Elemental analysis of inorganic phases for the characterization of wood fillers, pigments, etc. through X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF);
  • Molecular Vibrational analysis of organic phases for the characterization of varnishes, dyes, etc. through diffuse reflection infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR);




  • Malagodi M., Basso E., Avagliano R., Licchelli M., (2013). Surface coating on Bertesi’s wooden bas relief (seventeenth century), Surface Engineering, 29:2, DOI:10.1179/1743294412Y.0000000067
  • Licchelli M., Malagodi M., Somaini M., Weththimuni M., Zanchi C., (2013). Surface treatments of wood by chemically modified shellac, Surface Engineering, 29:2, DOI: 10.1179/1743294412Y.0000000069
  • Malagodi M., Canevari C., Bonizzoni L., Galli A., Maspero F., Martini M., (2013). A multi-technique chemical characterization of a Stradivari decorated violin top plate, Applied Physics A, n. 112, pp. 225-234. DOI:10.1007/s00339-013-7792-2
  • Tredici I., Resmini A., Pina S., Rovetta T., Rotiroti N., Ghigna P., Anselmi-Tamburini U., (2013). Mechanisms of zinc oxide thin film formation by thermal degradation of metal-loaded hydrogels, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C,117 (47), pp 25108-25117, DOI:10.1021/jp407993q
  • Malagodi M., Rovetta T., Licchelli M., (2014). Study of materials and techniques in painted ceiling panels from a palace in Cremona (Italy, 15th century), Heritage Science, 2:9. DOI:10.1186/2050-7445-2-9
  • Bonizzoni L., Canevari C., Galli A., Gargano M., Ludwig N., Malagodi M., Rovetta T., (2014). A multidisciplinary materials characterization of a Joannes Marcus viol (16th century), Heritage Science Journal, 2:15. DOI:10.1186/2050-7445-2-15
  • Basso E., Invernizzi C., Malagodi M., La Russa M.F., Bersani D., Lottici P.P., (2014). Characterization of colorants and opacifiers in roman glass mosaic tesserae through spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 45, pp. 238-245, doi: 10.1002/jrs.4449. DOI:10.1002/jrs.4449
  • Rovetta T., Canevari C., Festa L., Licchelli M., Prati S., Malagodi M., (2015). The golden age of the Neapolitan lutherie (1750–1800): new insights on the varnishes and decorations of ten historic mandolins, Applied Physics A, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp. 7-16. DOI:10.1007/s00339-014-8882-5
  • Canevari C., Delorenzi M., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., Rovetta T., Weththimuni M., (2016). Chemical characterization of wood samples colored with iron inks: insights into the ancient techniques of wood coloring, Wood Science and Technology, Vol. 50, Issue 5, pp. 1057–1070. DOI:10.1007/s00226-016-0832-2
  • Invernizzi C., Daveri A., Rovetta T., Vagnini M., Licchelli M., Cacciatori F., Malagodi M., (2016). A multi-analytical non-invasive approach to violin materials: The case of Antonio Stradivari “Hellier” (1679), Microchemical Journal, 124, pp. 743–750, DOI: 10.1016/j.microc.2015.10.016. DOI:10.1016/j.microc.2015.10.016
  • Barca D., Basso E., Bersani D., Galli G., Invernizzi C., La Russa M.F., Lottici P.P., Malagodi M., Ruffolo S.A., (2016). Vitreous tesserae from the calidarium mosaics of the Villa dei Quintili, Rome. Chemical composition and production technology, Microchemical Journal, 124, pp. 726-735. DOI:10.1016/j.microc.2015.10.037
  • Dondi P., Lombardi L., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Cacciatori F., (2016). Color-based automatic detection of worn out varnishes on Stradivari’s ‘Scotland University’ violin back plate, Color Research & Application, Special Issue: Bridging Science with Art, Wiley Periodicals, Vol. 41, issue 3, pp. 313-316. DOI: 10.1002/col.22012
  • Dondi P., Lombardi L., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., (2016). Automatic identification of varnish wear on historical instruments: The case of Antonio Stradivari violins, Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 22, pp. 968-973. DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2016.05.010
  • Weththimuni M., Canevari C., Legnani A., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., Ricca M., Zeffiro A., (2016). Experimental characterization of oil-colophony varnishes: A preliminary study, International Journal of Conservation Science 7(2):813-826
  • Weththimuni, M.L., Capsoni, D., Malagodi, M., Milanese, C., Licchelli, M., (2016). Shellac/nanoparticles dispersions as protective materials for wood, Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, 122, (12), 1058. DOI: 10.1007/s00339-016-0577-7
  • Fichera G.V., Dondi P., Licchelli M., Lombardi L., Ridolfi S., Malagodi M., (2016). A combined approach for the attribution of handwriting: the case of Antonio Stradivari’s manuscripts, Applied Physics A, 122:970. DOI: 10.1007/s00339-016-0497-6.
  • Albano M., Fichera G.V., Rovetta T., Guida G., Licchelli M., Merlo C., Cofrancesco P., Milanese C. and Malagodi M., (2017). Microstructural investigations on historical organ pipes, Journal of Materials Science, 52:16, pp 9859–9871. DOI: 10.1007/s10853-017-1134-2
  • Setragno F., Zanoni M., Antonacci F., Sarti A., Malagodi M., Invernizzi C., Rovetta T., (2017). Feature-Based Analysis of the Impact of Ground Coat and Varnish on Violin Tone Qualities, Acta Acustica united with Acustica. 103(1):80-93. DOI: 10.3813/AAA.919035
  • Invernizzi, C., Daveri, A., Vagnini, M., Malagodi, M., (2017). Non-invasive identification of organic materials in historical stringed musical instruments by reflection infrared spectroscopy: a methodological approach, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 409 (13), 3281-3288. DOI: 10.1007/s00216-017-0296-8
  • Dondi P., Lombardi L., Invernizzi C., Rovetta T., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., (2017). Automatic analysis of UV induced fluorescence imagery of historical violins, ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, 10 (2). DOI:10.1145/3051472
  • Alberti, R., Crupi, V., Frontoni, R., Galli, G., La Russa, M.F., Licchelli, M., Majolino, D., Malagodi, M., Rossi, B., Ruffolo, S.A., Venuti, V., (2017). Handheld XRF and Raman equipment for the in situ investigation of Roman finds in the Villa dei Quintili (Rome, Italy), Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 32, (1), 117-129. DOI: 10.1039/c6ja00249h
  • Girometta, C., Zeffiro, A., Malagodi, M., Savino, E., Doria, E., Nielsen, E., Buttafava, A., Dondi, D., (2017). Pretreatment of alfalfa stems by wood decay fungus Perenniporia meridionalis improves cellulose degradation and minimizes the use of chemicals, Cellulose, 24 (9), 3803-3813. DOI: 10.1007/s10570-017-1395-6
  • Spinella, A., Malagodi, M., Saladino, M.L., Weththimuni, M.L., Caponetti, E., Licchelli, M., (2017). A step forward in disclosing the secret of stradivari’s varnish by NMR spectroscopy, Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 55, (23), 3949–3954. DOI: 10.1002/pola.28782
  • Fiocco G., Rovetta T., Gulmini M., Piccirillo A., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., (2017). Spectroscopic analysis leading to characterize finishing treatments of ancient bowed string instruments, Applied Spectroscopy, 71(11), pp. 2477–2487. DOI:10.1177/0003702817715622
  • Dondi P., Lombardi L., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., (2017). 3D modelling and measurements of historical violins, ACTA IMEKO, Vol 6, No. 3, pp. 29-34. DOI: 10.21014/acta_imeko.v6i3.455
  • Fichera G.V., Rovetta T., Fiocco G., Alberti G., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., (2017). Elemental analysis as statistical preliminary study of historical musical instruments, Microchemical Journal 137, 3, pp. 307-317. DOI:10.1016/j.microc.2017.11.004
  • Rovetta T., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Cacciatori F., Malagodi M. (2018), The elemental composition of Stradivari’s musical instruments: new results through non-invasive EDXRF analysis. X-Ray Spectrometry, DOI: 10.1002/xrs.2825
  • Invernizzi C., Fichera G. V., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., (2018). A non-invasive stratigraphic study by reflection FT-IR spectroscopy and UV-induced fluorescence technique: The case of historical violins. Microchemical Journal 138, pp. 273-281. DOI: 10.1016/j.microc.2018.01.021
  • Fiocco G., Rovetta T., Gulmini M., Piccirillo A., Canevari C., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., (2018). Approaches for Detecting Madder Lake in Multi-Layered Coating Systems of Historical Bowed String Instruments, Coatings journal 8, 5, DOI: 10.3390/coatings8050171
  • Fichera G.V., Albano M., Fiocco G., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., Rovetta T., (2018), Innovative monitoring plan for the preventive conservation of historical musical instruments, Studies in Conservation, Vol.63 – sup1, pp. 351-354, DOI: 10.1080/00393630.2018.1499853.
  • Dondi, P., Lombardi, L., Rocca, I., Malagodi, M., Licchelli, M., (2018) Multimodal workflow for the creation of interactive presentations of 360 spin images of historical violins, Multimedia Tools and Applications, Novembre 2018, Volume 77, Issue 21, pp 28309–28332, DOI: 10.1007/s11042-018-6046-x
  • Invernizzi C., Rovetta T., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., (2018) Mid and near-infrared reflection spectral database of natural organic materials in the Cultural Heritage field, International Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 2018, Article ID 7823248, pp. 1-16 DOI: 10.1155/2018/7823248
  • Fiocco G., Rovetta T., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Gulmini M., Lanzafame G., Zanini F., Lo Giudice A., Re A., (2018), Synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography for the investigation of finishing treatments in historical bowed string instruments: Issues and perspectives, Eur. Phys. J. Plus 133: 525, DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2018-12366-5
  • Fiocco G., Rovetta T., Invernizzi C., Albano M., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Re A., Lo Giudice A., Lanzafame G.N., Zanini F., Iwanicka M., Targowski P., Gulmini M., A Micro-Tomographic Insight into the Coating Systems of Historical Bowed String Instruments, Coatings (2019) 9:2 81; DOI:10.3390/coatings9020081
  • Rovetta T., Invernizzi C., Fiocco G., Albano M., Licchelli M., Gulmini M., Alff G., Fabbri D., Rombolà A.G., Malagodi M., (2019) The case of Antonio Stradivari 1718 ex-San Lorenzo violin: History, restorations and conservation perspectives, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 23(2), 443-450, DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.11.010
  • Di Martino D., Perelli Cippo E., Kockelmann W., Scherillo A., Minniti T., Lorenzi R., Malagodi M., Merlo C., Rovetta T., Fichera G.V., Albano M., Kasztovszky Z., Harsányi I., Gorini G. “A multidisciplinary non-destructive study of ancient pipe organ fragments”, Materials Characterization, (2019) vol. 148, pp. 317-322. DOI:10.1016/j.matchar.2018.12.028.


Volumi Monografici

  • Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Dondi P., Fichera G.V., Invernizzi C., Rovetta T., “La materia del Cremonese”, in Cacciatori F., Malagodi M., Sarti A., “ll Cremonese 1715, 300° anniversario”, Cremona, Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari, 2015, pp.115-135, ISBN: 88-9091-792-9
  • Malagodi M., Fichera G.V., Licchelli M., “Lo studio degli inchiostri”, in Cacciatori F., “Antonio Stradivari, disegni, modelli e forme – Catalogo dei reperti delle Collezioni Civiche Liutarie del Comune di Cremona”, Cremona, Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari, 2016, pp. 85-100, ISBN: 88-9091-795-0
  • Dondi P., Fichera G. V., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M.,Malagodi M., Rovetta T., “The Messie “model”, research on materials and study of moulds”, in Alf G., Cacciatori F., “The Absolute Stradivari, the Messie violin 1716/2016”, Cremona, Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari, 2016, pp. 89-112, ISBN: 8890917970
  • Fichera G.V., Malagodi M., “Indagini di laboratorio”, Litterae Caelestes – rivista annuale internazionale di paleografia, codicologia, diplomatica e storia delle testimonianze scritte, M. Adda Editore – Vol. VII, 145-146, 2016.
  • Fiocco G., Rovetta T., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., “Diagnostic analysis of the “Tuscan”: varnishes, pigments and wood treatments”, in Andrea Zanrè, “The 1690 “Tuscan” Stradivari violin in the Accademia di Santa Cecilia”, Scrollavezza & Zanrè, 2017, ISBN: 9788890719431
  • Malagodi M., Albano M., Dondi P., Fiocco G., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Rovetta T., “Diagnostic Testing at the Arvedi Laboratory”, in AA.VV., “La Materia e il Suono, Bracco e Cremona per la Liuteria tra musica e scienza”, Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari, 2018