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There are numerous Italian literary prizes awarded each year, and prizewinners of the major ones feature in our collections. Of particular interest are the following:

  • Premio Bagutta
  • Premio Viareggio-Rèpaci
  • Premio Strega
  • Premio Bancarella
  • Premio Campiello

The Bagutta Prize, named after the Trattoria Bagutta in Milan, is the oldest and has been awarded annually since 1927 (with the exception of 1937-1947). Prizes are given to works published during the previous year and are not restricted to particular literary genres. Jury members are important figures in the intellectual life of the nation.

Calligarich, Gianfranco. Privati abissi. Roma: Fazi, 2011. C206.c.3952
Mariotti, Giovanni. Il bene che viene dai morti. Milano: Et al., 2011. C202.d.8601


The Viareggio-Rèpaci Prize was the brainchild of three authors: Leonida Rèpaci, Carlo Salsa e Alberto Colantuoni and was first awarded in 1929. It is given annually to three categories of works: fiction, poetry and essay (Cambridge University Library collections only focus on fiction and poetry). The jury of 21 (mostly professors from different Italian universities) is appointed every two years by the president of the prize, Rosanna Bettarini (Leonida Rèpaci until 1985).

2012 - Gardini, Nicola. Le parole perdute di Amelia Lynd. Milano: Feltrinelli, 2012. C206.c.3825

2012 - Anedda, Antonella. Salva con nomeC203.d.1887

2012 - Lo Piparo, Franco. I due carceri di Gramsci. Roma: Donzelli, c2012. 2012.7.473


The Strega is Italy's most prestigious prize. It came into being 1947 as the initiative of a group of friends gathering on Sundays at Maria and Goffredo Bellonci's literary salon in Rome ("Gli amici della domenica"). Nowadays, the jury is made up of 400 important Italian intellectuals who select from works of fiction published in the previous year. The final winner is chosen from a shortlist of five.

Piperno, Alessandro. Inseparabili. Milano: Mondadori, 2012.C206.c.4308


The Bancarella Prize is awarded by a jury made up of booksellers as in 1952 the prize was created to honour the tradition of itinerant booksellers from the Lunigiana region (between Tuscany and Liguria). Prizes are awarded to best-selling books published during the year before its adjudication. Any book published in Italy is eligible, regardless of its original language. In fact, the 2010 Bancarella winner was Elizabeth Strout for her Olive Kitteridge.

Simoni, Marcello. Il mercante di libri maledetti. Roma: Newton Compton, 2011. C206.c.2131


The Premio Campiello, which celebrates its half-century this year, was awarded on 1 September in Venice to Carmine Abate for his latest novel La Collina del vento. The novel grapples with themes of family and migration against the background of the troubled history of Italy from the Great War through the dark years of Fascism to the illusory prosperity of post-war Italy.

Abate, Carmine. La collina del vento. Milano: Mondadori, 2012. C206.c.6641