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Testo 2023 (ph. Fondazione Studio Marangoni)
February 19, 2024

Testo, the book and publishing fair in Florence

From 23 to 25 February, the Stazione Leopolda hosts 150 publishing houses and a rich programme of events, presentations and guests

The event dedicated to contemporary publishing and its protagonists returns to Florence from 23 to 25 February. The Stazione Leopolda will host the third edition of TESTO [How a book becomes a book], the publishing event organised by Pitti Immagine in collaboration with the Stazione Leopolda, based on an idea by Todo Modo, with the aim of narrating the path that books take, from the hands of authors to the eyes of readers.

There are 150 publishing houses present at the fair, 56 of which are participating in TESTO for the first time. Through meetings, presentations, original productions and collaborations, the event invites readers and professionals to walk inside the Leopolda, as in a large bookshop, and let them discover important international and national authors, emerging authors, publishing houses, realities and institutions that in various ways relate to the publishing world. The format of the seven stations, around which the entire programme revolves, is confirmed, to which are added workshops and training sessions conducted by publishers, booksellers, library directors, translators, designers and authors. Florence, too, opens up to the TESTO audience by showing some places related to reading and literature.

Testo 2023 (ph. Fondazione Studio Marangoni)


  • The publishing houses: in the two aisles of the Stazione Leopolda, in the layout curated by Alessandro Moradei, each publisher offers a selection of titles: no visual overabundance or crowding of volumes on the tables. Thanks to discussions with editors, writers and press offices (and guided tours by booksellers), readers can immerse themselves in the spirit of the proposals. To delve deeper into the publishing house's catalogue, other titles will be displayed on the shelves, behind the tables.

  • The Seven Stations: the life cycle of the book is recreated at the Leopolda through a route in seven stations. Each station - The manuscript, The flap, The translation, The sign, The story, The bookshop, The reader - describes a phase in the life of the book: from the work of the writer, to that of the editors, translators, graphic designers, promoters and booksellers, to the reader. The programme of presentations, meetings and events is devised by the team of Stationmasters: Luca Briasco, editor of foreign fiction, translator and publisher of Minimum Fax; Andrea Gessner, publisher of Nottetempo; Beatrice Masini translator, writer and division manager of Bompiani; Giovanna Silva and Chiara Carpenter, photographer and editor respectively, founders of Humboldt Books; Leonardo G. Luccone, director of the literary agency and publishing studio Oblique; Maddalena Fossombroni and Pietro Torrigiani, founders of the bookstore Todo Modo; Riccardo Ventrella, head of international relations at the Fondazione Teatro della Toscana.


  • Among TESTO's international guests are Bernardo Atxaga, Anne Bony, Björn Larsson, Alain Mabanckou, Sara Mesa, Maddie Mortimer, Marie Nimier, Christian Guay-Poliquin, Sylvie Richterová, Lydie Salvayre, Malachy Tallack, Dizz Tate, Sylvain Tesson, Nick Thorpe, Azaaren Van der Vliet Oloomi, Tamar Weiss Gabbay, many with their own books forthcoming.

  • The Italian authors and guests involved include: Paolo Albani, Niccolò Ammaniti, Dino Baldi, Stefano Bartezzaghi, Massimo Cacciari, Edoardo Camurri, Alessandro Cattelan, Ermanno Cavazzoni, Giulia Corsalini, Filippo D'Angelo, Milo De Angelis, Pietro Del Soldà, Paolo di Paolo, Lorenzo Fantoni, Antonio Franchini, Gabriele Frasca, Maria Luisa Frisa, Luciano Funetta, Ilaria Gaspari, Vera Gheno, Tommaso Giartosio, Carlo Ginzburg, Gipi, Giuseppe Girimonti Greco, Wlodek Goldkorn, Graziano Graziani, Gian Marco Griffi, Pietro Grossi, Mariangela Gualtieri, Ginevra Lamberti, Giuseppe Lupo, Francesco Maino, Stefano Mancuso, Federica Manzon, Saul Marcadent, Melania Mazzucco, Tomaso Montanari, Andrea Morstabilini, Sacha Naspini, Francesco Pacifico Alessandro Piperno, Laura Pugno, Christian Raimo, Lidia Ravera, Vanni Santoni, Luca Scarlini, Beniamino Sidoti, Luca Sofri, Nadia Terranova, Emanuele Trevi, Maurizio Trifone, Chiara Valerio, Roberto Vecchioni, Marco Vichi.

  • Also arriving at the Stazione Leopolda are names from the world of entertainment, such as Alessandro Cattelan, who as publisher will present Accento; Roberto Vecchioni with his book Tra il silenzio e il tuono.

  • New at this edition, the presence of a large group of illustrators and cartoonists: Gipi, Francesco Chiacchio, Alessandro Sanna, Sualzo, and the authors of Bao Publishing - Flavia Biondi, Eleonora Triolo and Giulio Macalone - protagonists of the event "Il club del piantino".

  • The thematic in-depth study dedicated to debuts continues. Niccolò Ammaniti and Emanuele Trevi recount the birth of their two first works, thirty years after publication. The fiftieth anniversary of Stephen King's debut with Carrie is celebrated. Then there are six debut authors, some at their first ever presentation: Emanuela Anechoum, Sara Marzullo, Greta Olivo, Fiammetta Palpati, Vincenzo A. Scalfari, Alice Scornajenghi.

  • TESTO for the first time involves the large network of Italian reading groups and at this edition makes them protagonists. TESTO 2024 in fact becomes the final station of a journey that began a few months ago, in which each participating reading group adopted a guest writer from TESTO. The participants in the reading groups will thus arrive at the fair with a wealth of prior knowledge, a trunkful of questions ready to be asked, or even just the curiosity to go and listen to an author they are about to read.

  • Workshops, courses, training meetings TESTO is also training. Over the three days, a series of themed workshops linked to the seven stations will take place. These are appointments reserved for a limited number of participants and will be accessible free of charge (after registering at There will be lessons on publishing open to all and those on translation for professionals; courses for booksellers and workshops on children's books; initiatives for primary and secondary school pupils, and workshops in collaboration with the Master's Degree Course in Printed and Digital Publishing of the Department of Education, Languages, Interculture, Literature and Psychology of the University of Florence.

  • The photographic exhibition on the author's bookshelves: Alberto Arbasino's huge bookcase, Pier Paolo Pasolini's record rack, Carlo Emilio Gadda's desk. At the Bonsanti Contemporary Archive of the Gabinetto Vieusseux, the rooms where 20th century writers and intellectuals worked have been reconstructed with the original furniture and, of course, books. Photographer Giovanna Silva has taken a series of photos inside these evocative rooms that will be exhibited in the Leopolda (Sala Ginzburg entrance).

Testo 2023 (Fondazione Studio Marangoni, ph. Claudio Provenza)


  • Literary Walks: Walking is like reading: you discover landscapes, stories, characters. This is why TESTO at this edition invites the public not only to move inside the Leopolda, but also to wander outside, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the 'Literary Walks'. Among those already on the calendar are the walks led by Emiliano Cribari and Valerio Aiolli.

  • The extraordinary openings of libraries and archives: an invitation to walk again, this time to places of literature that open up for visitors to TESTO.

  • Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana: designed and partly built by Michelangelo Buonarroti, this library holds around 11,000 manuscripts. The collection originates from the rich private collection of Cosimo the Elder and reached its peak with Lorenzo the Magnificent, to whom we owe the idea of building a public library. Among the treasures of the Laurenziana are one of the three complete collections of the Platonic Dialogues in carta bona, donated by Cosimo il Vecchio to Marsilio Ficino to be translated, the Squarcialupi Codex, the only source of secular music between the 14th and 15th centuries, some autographs by Petrarch and Boccaccio, Guicciardini's Histories with interventions by the author and the autograph biography of Benvenuto Cellini.

  • Cinema La Compagnia: three films linked to the TESTO programme are screened at the Cinema La Compagnia: Friday 23 February (at 21.00), the documentary The Snow Panther by Marie Amiguet and Vincent Munier; Saturday 24 February (16. 30), the film Le Seduzioni (The Seductions) by Vito Zagarrio based on the novel Le seduzioni dell'inverno (The Seductions of Winter) by Lidia Ravera, in the presence of the director and the writer; Saturday 24 February (7.00 p.m.) the documentary La mosca e la ragnatela (The Fly and the Spider's Web) by Heinz Bütler, in which the editorial designer Bruno Monguzzi talks about his work. - Reduced admission ticket for the TESTO audience.

  • Cango and the dance of Virgilio Sieni: on the occasion of TESTO, the National Centre for Dance Production Virgilio Sieni presents Ascoltami, a choreography interpreted by blind and visually impaired citizens and dancers. The performance will be staged on Sunday 25 February at 8 pm at Cango (Cantieri Goldonetta, via Santa Maria 25 Firenze). Reduced ticket for the TESTO audience.

Discover the full programme of events inside the Fortress and in the city here!

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