A team of curators, around 100 small and large publishers, a selection of new ideas and significant titles, a packed program of events to describe the behind-the-scene surrounding the birth of a book and how it reaches the hands of the reader

From 11 to 13 June 2020, at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence, testo [come si diventa un libro] (testo [how a book comes to life]), will be making its debut, an innovative format for publishing devised by Todo Modo and organized by Stazione Leopolda in collaboration with Pitti Immagine.


testo will be an annual rendezvous which follows the life of every book: from the author’s desk to that of the publishing house, to the shelves of the bookstore, to the eyes of the reader. Thanks to a team of across-the-board curators from the writing world, every rendezvous with testo will propose an in-depth vision of the world of books and its complex ecology, addressing itself to the large public of members of the trade, booksellers, library directors and specialist journalists.


testo is a journey into books and biblio-diversity which pays special attention to the community dimension of publishing, the actors, the professions, the knowledge and the sensitivities that make up the production chain,” says Agostino Poletto, CEO of Stazione Leopolda and General Manager of Pitti Immagine. “The attentive selection of the exhibition proposal, the equal presence of large and small publishers, the artistic direction handled by a team of expert curators, the involvement of different audiences, the local and national network of subjects we aim to interest are the characteristics that distinguish our project”.




The testo journey will be divided into three stages:

The Publishing Houses, the Arena and the 7 Stations, The Big Bookstore.


The Publishing Houses. In the two aisles of the Stazione Leopolda each of the participating publishing houses will organize their presence around a selection of titles - no more than 40 - with the objective of creating a synthesis between large groups and independent editors: no visual excesses, no heaps of tomes on tables, the aim is to highlight the selection. In this way visitors can decide what they want to buy, concentrating on the individual proposals that the exhibitors will illustrate according to their own editorial strategy. Another 200 titles on the shelves will serve to learn more about the catalogue of the publishing house, its leading authors and most important series.


The Arena and the 7 Stations. In the second stage, the Arena, the 7 stations will instead tell the story of how a book is born. Each station will present a phase in the life of a book: from the work of the writer, to that of the editors, the translators, the graphic artists, the promotors and booksellers, right up to the reader. The program of presentations, meetings and events will be coordinated by teams of curators: Luca Briasco, foreign fiction editor, translator and editor of Minimum Fax, Andrea Gessner, editor of Nottetempo, Beatrice Masini translator, writer and editorial director of Bompiani, Giovanna Silva and Chiara Carpenter, respectively photographer, editorial director of Humboldt Books, and editor of Humboldt and founder of Sanrocco magazine, Leonardo Luccone, founder of the literary agency Oblique, Maddalena Fossombroni and Pietro Torrigiani, founders of the Todo Modo bookstore, Riccardo Ventrella, head of communication at the Teatro della Pergola (to be confirmed). With their proposals and initiatives, the publishing houses will make a decisive contribution to the planning of the overall activities of the Arena.


The Big Bookstore. The third stage of testo will be the large bookstore organized around the seven phases of the publishing production chain. The seven books from each participating publishing house that best represent the 7 stations of the Arena will be selected and displayed for purchase.


testo intends to create potential collaborations between all the protagonists of the world of publishing and enter into the calendar of events and initiatives that support books and reading on a national level, from festivals to literary circles, from official awards to competitions for the general public, from professional associations to university courses and master degrees on the theme of publishing.


Just like every quality event, testo’s success will also depend on the earnest mobilization of the best forces of the city hosting it, Florence.


testo should represent an original enrichment of thecultural program of the city” continues Agostino Poletto “promoting synergies. We have also expressed this commitment to the City of Florence and the Regional Government of Tuscany. For this reason, the testo program will not only be developed inside the Stazione Leopolda, but also around the city with ConTESTO and, a few days before the opening of the event, with PreTESTO: inside bookstores, large and small museums, galleries, cafes, shops, venues and places of rendezvous around the city where meetings and events dedicated to books and the world of publishing will be held”.


testo will enrich the ecosystem in favor of reading– says Monica Barni, Vice President and Councilor for Culture, Universities and Research for the Regione Toscana – of which the network of book and reading festivals is an important part. It provides further opportunities to encounter, learn about, and promote the book, while always keeping in mind the main objective, which is that of increasing the public of readers. Regione Toscana has been committed to this for years. Through the regional project aimed at promoting reading, we are working on developing a network of reading festivals and fairs in Tuscany, by first mapping out the various events already present, and then identifying synergies and interactions, which will allow us to construct a regional program that highlights the different features”.


“We are really pleased that a new project dedicated to books is coming to Florence” adds Tommaso Sacchi, Councilor for culture and fashion at Florence City Council. “Our city is certainly one of the privileged venues from which to talk about literature, culture, love of reading. We are curious to learn a lot more about this new project that was created to portray the whole production chain of the book, from its conception up until its arrival on the market, and we have to thank the Stazione Leopolda and Pitti Immagine. This desire to invest in Florence is a sign of confidence and a precious opportunity for collaboration”.