The Versilia of Stefano Giannotti
With the owner of the Libreria del Forte to discover places and novels of the heart
What do you like best about your work?
The daily contact with books. I like to keep an eye on what’s new and hunt out books that deserve to be read by my customers. And it’s fun to recommend books to people, although it isn’t easy: you have to be a bit of a psychologist!
What do you specialise in?
Our largest section is Italian and foreign fiction, including books from minor but interesting publishers. But we try to offer as wide a range as possible, with non-fiction, illustrated books, children’s books and guides to Versilia and Forte dei Marmi.
Versilia in three novels?
Apart from Sirio Giannini classics like La valle bianca, recent publications include the noir novels of Giampaolo Simi - like Cosa resta di noi - who’s very good at describing Versilia in winter, and several books by Fabio Genovesi, like Il mare dove non si tocca, the semi-autobiographical story of a boy growing up in Forte in the 80s.
The most interesting guide to Versilia on your shelves?
Versilia insolita, by Tessa Nardini and Stefania Neri.
The book of summer 2023?
It’s early yet, but if I had to make a prediction, it would be Oro puro by Fabio Genovesi.
Young Tuscan writers we should be keeping an eye on?
Sasha Naspini from the Maremma; I recommend his Le case del malcontento; Michele Cecchini from Livorno, the writer of fascinating novels like E questo è niente, and - just over the border in Liguria - Bernardo Zannoni, whose novel I miei stupidi intenti won last year’s Campiello Prize.
An unmissable place near your bookshop?
The pier, especially on a lovely winter’s day: ahead, the Tuscan Archipelago, behind, the snowy peaks of the Apuan Alps.