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The Strega Prize: a feverish wait for Italian literary excellence



The Strega Prize, The most prestigious literary award in Italy, is about to hold its annual ceremony

The selection of the winning book will take place next Thursday, 6 July at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome. This event will be broadcast live on television on RaiTre and hosted by Geppi Cucciari.
The Prize, created to honour the best work of Italian fiction, was instituted in Rome in 1947 by Maria Bellonci and Guido Alberti, owner of the Strega liqueur company, which gives the Prize its name.
This year’s edition saw the participation of many talented authors, with books spanning different genres and styles.

The jury that selected the finalist

The Strega Prize is famous not only for its importance in recognising literary excellence, but also for its unique selection process.
The winner is chosen by the jury and a randomly selected group of anonymous readers who carefully read the finalist books and vote for their favourite. This aspect makes the Premio Strega a particularly democratic and engaging award for the Italian public.
596 out of 660 voters (90.3% of those eligible) expressed their preferences, between individual and collective votes: to those of the 400 Sunday Friends were added, as usual, 220 votes expressed by Italian and foreign scholars, translators and intellectuals selected from over 30 Italian cultural institutes abroad, 20 strong readers and 20 collective votes represented by schools, universities and reading groups, including the circles formed at the Libraries of Rome.

The five finalist of the  Strega Prize

The total votes cast thus determined the following finalists for the LXXVII edition:
Rosella Postorino, Mi limitavo ad amare te (Feltrinelli), with 217 votes
Ada D’Adamo, Come d’aria (Elliot), with 199 votes
Maria Grazia Calandrone, Dove non mi hai portata (Einaudi), with 183 votes
Andrea Canobbio, La traversata notturna (La nave di Teseo), with 175 votes
Romana Petri, Rubare la notte (Mondadori), with 167 votes
The importance of the Premio Strega goes beyond simply recognising the winner. Being selected as a finalist can significantly increase sales and visibility for authors and their works. Moreover, the prize has become a symbol of literary prestige and commercial success. It is not uncommon for the winner of the Premio Strega to become a cult author and for their book to enter the bestseller lists throughout the country.

Some of the winners of past editions

Among the winners of past editions are illustrious names such as Ennio Flaiano (winner of the first edition in 1947) Cesare Pavese, Alberto Moravia, Elsa Morante, Tomasi di Lampedusa, Gesualdo Bufalino and many others.

Waiting for 6 July

We just have to wait for the fateful date of 6 July. Follow us on these pages to stay updated and to know the winner, who will drink the famous Strega liqueur, as per tradition.

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