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Eight of Italy's best book fairs and literary festivals in 2023

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Eight of Italy's best book fairs and literary festivals in 2023
A visitor views a book on May 9, 2019 at the Turin International Book Fair in Turin. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP.

Italy has a wealth of cultural and literary events that take place each year; here are some of the best to catch in 2023 and beyond.


If you're a lover of books and culture, Italy is the place to be, with myriad cultural events, book fairs, and literary festivals held annually all over the country.

Most of these events require knowledge of Italian, though some feature at least a few talks in English.

There are dozens of festivals taking place up and down Italy this year. Here's a small selection of just eight of the best fairs and festivals to attend in Italy in 2023 (and beyond).


NebbiaGialla Noir, Suzzara: 10th-12th February

This crime fiction festival takes place every February in the small town of Suzzura, outside Mantua.

Giallo is the colour yellow and also the Italian word for a detective or mystery novel (read more about the history behind that here) and nebbia is fog, so it's a wordplay on yellow fog/fog of crime.

NebbiaGialla features author presentations and panels, creative writing workshops, and debates over aperitivi and dinners. It brands itself as small and family-like, in keeping with the small size of its host town.

You'll notice this festival has already happened for 2023; but if crime is your thing, don't fear, because there's another crime-themed affair - Noir in Festival - scheduled to take place in Milan in December that covers books, films and TV shows.

Keep an eye out for next year's NebbiaGialla festival here; find out more information about Noir in Festival here.

Testo Firenze, Florence: 24th-26th February

For those interested in book publishing, Testo Firenze offers a demystifying peek into this often inaccessible world.

The fair covers all the stages of the book publication process, from writing to illustrating, translating, publishing and selling, with guided tours around the fair stands and workshops on offer.

It's held in the Stazione Leopolda events space, a former train station - picture more of a trade fair style environment than that of a cosy book fair.

More information here.


International Journalism Festival, Perugia: 19th-23rd April

As its name suggests, this is a journalism rather than literature-focused festival; but if that kind of thing is your jam, the IJF will tick all your boxes.

All the talks are free, and you don't have to be a journalist to attend; simply rock up and take your seat in one of the many event spaces scattered throughout the town centre. There are talks in both English and Italian, and live translation is provided for the majority of them.

It doesn't hurt that Perugia is a charming historic city with an idyllic hilltop location overlooking the green valleys of Umbria, and is particularly lovely in the spring.

More information here.

Turin International Book Fair, Turin: 18th-22nd May

Probably Italy's most well-known international book fair (and certainly its largest), the Salone Internazionale del Libro Torino or Turin International Book Fair takes place every May, drawing several hundred thousand visitors to the Lingotto Fiere exhibition space.

Visitors view books on May 9, 2019 at the Turin International Book Fair in Turin.

Visitors view books on May 9, 2019 at the Turin International Book Fair in Turin. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP.

This is another commercial trade fair, attended by all the major Italian publishers; this year's theme is Attraverso lo Specchio or Through the Mirror, an homage to Lewis Carroll.

The full 2023 programme won't be out until April, but we do know it will feature the Nobel Prize-winning Ukrainian-Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich as well as the Olympic medalist Federica Pellegrini's presentation of her new autobiography, Acqua Azzurra (Blue Water).

More information here.


Una Marina di Libri, Palermo: June, 2023 schedule TBC

Held by the Palermo waterfront, Una Marina di Libri is a four-day independent publishing festival filled with readings, book presentations, discussions, workshops, theatrical performances, music, and activities for young children.

The event gathers the roughly 15,000 people who attend in parks and buildings around the marina and is usually given a theme; last year's was dedicated to Pasolini.

More information here.

Taobuk, Taormina: 15th-19th June

Taobuk is a literary and cultural festival that also brings science, technology and philosophy into play.

It takes place in Taormina, an ancient Sicilian town popular with tourists that you can expect to attract even more crowds this year after it was used as the setting for season 2 of the hit HBO show The White Lotus.


Joyce Carol Oates, Azar Nafizi and Annie Ernaux are some of the big names featured on this year's website. The overarching theme for 2023 is truth: talks cover such lofty issues as The future of Europe and How we know what truth is, as well as touching on AI.

More information here.

Borgate dal Vivo, Valle di Susa: June to Sept, 2023 schedule TBC

This cultural and arts festival was founded in 2015 with the idea of connecting small Alpine towns and villages across the Valle di Susa in northwest Italy.

Stretching over 80km, the Valle di Susa is one of the largest sections of the Italian Alps, making this one of Italy's most widely geographically dispersed festivals. Last year's took place in towns across Piedmont and Liguria.

Borgate dal Vivo's remit is as broad as its geographical coverage is vast, encompassing book readings, sketches and plays, music concerts, circus acts, and children's story enactments. 

More information here.


Festivaletteratura, Mantua: Sept 6th-10th

Festivaletteratura is one of Italy's longest-running and most celebrated literary festivals, going since 1997. Expect readings, guided tours, concerts and performances.

The festival is mostly in Italian, but there are some English-language talks and events; for example, last year's had the Northern Irish novelist Jan Carson give a talk on the works of Agatha Christie.

It takes place in event spaces across Mantua's historic centre, giving attendees the perfect opportunity to explore this UNESCO World Heritage site.

More information here.

For a more exhaustive list of events, check out Glicine Magazine's calendar, which they promise to keep updated with more events as they're confirmed.


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