Books in Italy

As of 2018, two firms in Italy rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Messaggerie Italiane (including Gruppo editoriale Mauri Spagnol), and Mondadori Libri.[1] Other large publishers include De Agostini Editore.[2][nb 1]


Germans in Subiaco, Arnold Pannartz and Konrad Sweynheim, in 1464 set up a printing press and produced "the earliest book printed in Italy,...a Latin grammar by Donatus."[4] Printing technology spread in the 1460s to Rome and Venice; in the 1470s to places such as Bergamo, Bologna, Brescia, Cremona, Ferrara, Florence, Genoa, Lucca, Mantua, Messina, Milan, Modena, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Parma, Pavia, Perugia, Piacenza, Reggio Calabria, Treviso, Turin, Verona, Vicenza; and in the 1480s to places such as L'Aquila, Pisa, Reggio Emilia, Siena, and Udine.[5][6]

At the time of Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, the Biblioteca Magliabechiana in Florence merged with the Biblioteca Palatina Lorenese, and by 1885 became known as the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (National Central Library). The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma formed in 1876. As official legal deposit libraries, both maintain copies of works published in Italy.[7]

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization named Turin the 2006 World Book Capital.


Notable shops in Italy include:

  • Libreria Babele, Milan
  • Libreria antiquaria Bourlot, Turin
  • Libreria Bozzi, Genoa
  • Casella Studio Bibliografico (est. 1825), Naples
  • Libreria Internazionale Hoepli (est. 1879), Milan
  • Librincontro, chain retailer
  • Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco (est. 1912), Turin


See also


  1. Messaggerie and Mondadori also topped the list in 2016 and 2017.[3][2]


  1. "The World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2018", Publishers Weekly, US, 265 (38), 14 September 2018
  2. "World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2017", Publishers Weekly, US, 25 August 2017
  3. "World's 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016", Publishers Weekly, US, 26 August 2016
  4. Peckham 1940.
  5. Proctor 1898.
  6. "Index: Place of Publication", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue: the International Database of 15th-century European Printing, British Library, retrieved 3 December 2017. (Searchable by town)
  7. Franca Arduini (1990). "The Two National Central Libraries of Florence and Rome". Libraries & Culture. 25. JSTOR 25542277.
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