It is Luzzatto who wins a record edition of the Itas prize for mountain books: “Methodical rigor, use of sources and ability to frame Rossa’s figure”

Left Sergio Luzzatto (winner of the Itas Mountain Book Award 2022), right the award and the book (photo by Michele Purin)

TRENTO. AND’ “Down among the men. Life and Death of Guido Rossa” out of Sergio Luzzato the winner of the Itas Mountain Book Award. The book published by Einaudi thus overcomes the tough competition of a vinyl edition: 149 works and 70 publishers. Numbers that testify to the importance and anticipation of this date in the publishing scene. An awards ceremony adorned with the notes of Simona Severin.

“The Itas Award celebrates its record edition with 149 participating titles. This year, more than ever, we feel confirmed in our intuition, which has guided us since 2013, the year of the rebirth of the award: life in the open air is becoming increasingly central to literary production and lifestyleand the mountain represents his main scenario,” says the jury president Enrico Brizziduring Giuseppe Consoli, President of Itashe adds: “The prize promotes a culture that knows how to combine the general with the particular. In fact, it pays tribute to international authors alongside cultural excellences of our Trentino territory. The global also converges geographically with the local: on the one hand everything is the world of mountains, on the other hand the individual characteristics of the territories that authors, mountaineers and cultural workers know how to express with unique and unrepeatable characteristics”.

The mountain in its various facets and souls is the protagonist of the Itas Award, International literary competition for Alpine literature born in 1971 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Mutua. Now, two centuries after the company was founded, many innovations are on the agenda and Mutua reaffirms its commitment to this appointment.

“The price – continues Consoli – is very similar to our Mutua, which has the task of protecting and protecting our insured in the broadest sense, Application to very specific and particular realities. It is a story that must be passed on and we are very committed to this great responsibility. We want to continue to innovate and improve this event: culture, information and the ability to work together are the best antidote to violence. It is an opportunity to invest in favor of our territory and Italy”.

The Itas Prize of the Book of the Mountain is the first Italian competition absolutely dedicated to this genre and has contributed in far-reaching ways to popularizing mountain writers, whether established or aspiring.

“Sensibility and culture are aspects that are rooted in Itas. This award and the Trento Film Festival are a treasure for the city, an integral part of the territory’s alpine identity. Culture allows the creation of bonds and bridges, Mutua best interprets them to change this message, “he explains Elisabetta Bozzarelli (Municipal Council of Trento), while Mirko Bisesti (Regional Councilor) continued: “It’s nice to see the halls full after two difficult years due to the Covid pandemic and a moment still marked by uncertainties. It’s important to invest in culture and when the private sector gets involved like Itas directly, it’s even more significant”.

I am 5 categories of the Itas Prize. “mountaineering and mountaineering“(Narratives and descriptions of mountaineering and sporting activities in the mountains); “guides and maps“(manuals and materials for locomotion in the mountain environment between high roads, trails and routes including climbing, skiing, cycling) and”children’s book“(Novels, short stories, manuals, guides, illustrated texts for the youngest, children or teenagers).

AND “research and environment“(Historical, sociological and anthropological research, scientific studies on naturalistic and environmental aspects. Flora, fauna, geology) and”mountain life and stories“: fiction, biographies, reports, poems that also use visual techniques (photos, graphics, novels) to tell and describe daily life in the highlands. The focus of the competition is the desire to understand the role of the mountain and its influence on its inhabitants and to observe visitors.

Winning the Itas award is “Down among the men. Life and Death of Guido Rossa“by Luzzatto. The book examines the figure of Guido Rossa, going beyond the rhetoric with which public discourse usually speaks of the victims of terrorism. Beyond the icon, the author wanted to discover the man and contemplate Rossa’s life with historical and at the same time narrative impact, up to the discovery of a completely new personality, also in her mountaineering existence, thanks to the (first possible) access authorization to the family archive, the author outlines an irreverent character and an artistic spirit, a daring mountaineer and a heroic trade unionist.

“I like to think,” comments Luzzatto, “that this award recognizes the merits of Guido Rossa more than me. a foothold to uplift the world. Or at least a balance point between him and his teammates (both from the consortium and from the factory). A meeting place between solitude and community”.

Mutua’s commitment doesn’t end there. In addition to the presentations of the works, the Conference organized by the ITAS Awards: that May 4th from 3pm to 7pm the conference room of the Cassa Rurale di Trento will continue conference mountain, singular feminine. How women live, read, explain the highlands“.

The coordinator of the prize, Lorenzo Carpane, will enter into dialogue with the guests in order to highlight the female perspective on the subject of mountains. Ten women’s voices who will tell their mountain, between art, work, passion, commitment, beyond male clichés. For a more open mountain world that includes all differences


Go beyond the “Santino di Guido Rossa”. This could be an alternative title to the title that we find on the cover and that also belongs to the central chapter: Among the Men. There Luzzatto reports on the letter with which Rossa personally distances himself from mountaineering, “a drug that has made us dream and believe in demigods or superhumans for too many years”. Letter written nine years before the murder, which, despite being a private letter, risks “doing the author a disservice” because of its reverberations.

Here in this passage lies the heart of Luzzatto’s study: a matter of substance that consists in penetrating deep into the articulated, complex, perhaps even contradictory, personality of Guido Rossa, without in any way betraying his historical, political and human status as a skilled mountaineer to belittle … and daring, as a trade unionist who paid for his ideas with his life.

A study carried out by Luzzatto, supported by methodological rigor, by the careful use of documentary sources, by the ability to place the figure of Rossa in a context itself complex and articulated like that of Italy during the years of terrorism and the decades that they preceded him. Years and decades were also crucial in defining mountaineering models, which Rossa himself was a promoter of before criticizing.

All this made possible by the clear narrative prose, devoid of any pure aesthetic smugness; Tool that allows the reader to type and navigate the text and fully appreciate its value.

The other FINALISTS of this edition and winners of their respective categories:

Matterhorn. The legendary mountain out of Herve Barmass, Rizzoli, for the “Mountaineering and Mountaineering” section

Italy CAI path, edited by Francesco Cappellari, Idea Montagna, for the “Guides and Maps” section

The Planet of Greta out of Alessandra Viola and Rosalba VitellaroEinaudi, for the category “Children’s Books”.

Down among the men. Life and Death of Guido Rossa out of Sergio LuzzatoEinaudi, for the “Research and Environment” section.

The Light Seeker out of Carmine Abate, Mondadori, for the “Mountain Life and Stories” section


Maurizio Gentilini, I have risen to an ideal. Armando Aste, man and mountaineerPublishing house Vita Trentina


Giannandrea Mencini, paper willows. hands on the mountainKellermann-Verlag

Francesco Salvaterra, Presanella Rock & Ice Creamsouth side

In addition to the award ceremony, there are many scheduled appointments for this edition.

Traditionally, the usual ones are renewed Presentation of the winning worksvaluable opportunities for dialogue between authors and the public.

Presentation en The Light Seeker by and with Carmine Abate

Tuesday, May 3 at 6 p.mat the literary salon MontagnaLibri in Piazza Fiera

Presentation of Leader Italy CAI path
Friday May 6 at 6 p.m
at the literary salon MontagnaLibri in Piazza Fiera

Presentation en The Planet of Greta by and with Alessandra Viola and Rosalba Vitellaro
Sunday 8 May at 11am, at T4Future, Giardino del Muse, work and science course, 3

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