In competition with Turin’s traditional fair.
With the opening of Tempo di Libri book fair on 19 April, Milan has launched a challenge to the long-established Salone del Libro in Turin after a loss of confidence last year by a number of publishers led to the founding of a breakaway group.
While the Turin Salone will still be held as usual in May, Milan has picked up the gauntlet, with the result that 2017 will be the year of two Italian book fairs. Some publishers, like Adelphi, have decided to take a sabbatical break; others, like Einaudi, will be present at both, while a further group – like Longanesi – has decided to shift their focus to Milan.
Held in the Rho trade fair centre from 19 to 23 April, the new fair is to be the centrepiece of a programme of cultural appointments throughout the year. These started already in January with an event discussing Turkish journalist Asli Erdoğan’s book The marvellous mandarin and the problems of press freedom in Turkey.
Around 400 exhibitors will include publishing houses, magazines, associations, bookshops, libraries, public bodies and start-ups. The grounds include 17 meeting rooms for events, and an auditorium with 1,000 seats.
Milan’s new fair will host some 720 events, round tables, discussions and readings with over 2,000 Italian and international guests including writers, publishers and personalities from the worlds of culture, politics and sport. The fair website carries a detailed programme of the week’s appointments.
Beyond the Rho grounds, the fair will spill over with readings and concerts in the city, as well as “book crossings” in Milan’s Malpensa and Linate airports, where readers can leave a book in a public place for others to enjoy.