il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

Ricardo Levi wants to make Italy better through literature and culture

By Adam Smulevich

The journalist and former Jewish parliamentarian Ricardo Franco Levi, 72, has been confirmed as president of the Italian Publishers Association (AIE), the trade association of publishers of books, scientific journals, products and contents of digital publishing which represents 90% of the Italian book market. His unanimous designation for a further two years mandate represents, according to all the insiders, a recognition of the important work done also during the pandemic. In Italy, a country where reading has always been at a less significant level than in the rest of Europe, numbers start to be encouraging. Recent statistics showed a relevant growth, both in reading in general and in the number of books sold.
“The growth in the purchase and reading of books in the last year rewards the entrepreneurial tenacity of publishers, but also of booksellers large and small, of those who work in online commerce, distributors, wholesalers, translators, authors and demonstrates how positively public policies in support of the demand can impact”, he said to Pagine Ebraiche.
“Numbers never arrive by chance. Within the supply chain there was a competition of good practices and intentions. Together we represented the reasons of this sector, also working well with the government. And in any case in all possible directions”. Starting from school, the cultural and civil pillar of a country. “When I began this adventure four years ago, I said: ‘School, school’. And I repeat it now. The challenge remains to give substance to the right to education. The theme of reading remains a national emergency, with huge differences between Northern and Southern Italy, and also between center and periphery”.
Sow today to reap the fruits tomorrow: “During the pandemic, Italy reacted well. Recognizing books as an ‘essential good’, the government moved with a determination that was lacking in other countries. Becoming, in fact, a model “. Even at the European level, a perspective that is very clear to Levi, who is also vice president of the Federation of European Publishers and from 2023 its designated president. “A point acquired on a civilization level”, he emphasized to Pagine Ebraiche. Levi calls himself an omnivore reader. With a fixed weekly habit: the reading of the Parashah through the comments by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
Professional journalist, Levi has worked as special correspondent, editor-in-chief, and columnist for many Italian newspaper. From 1997 to 1998 he has been the spokesperson for the President of the Council of Ministers. From 1999 to 2004, spokesman, director of the Press Office and of the Group of Political Advisers of the European Commission. From 2006 to 2008, undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers with responsibility for information and publishing.