The origins of the Gambrinus “Giuseppe Mazzotti” Prize
For the purpose of honouring the person and work of Giuseppe Mazzotti, in November 1982, the year after his demise, the Pugliese-Mazzotti family, Adriano Zanotto and a group of the writer’s friends - Toni Benetton, Cino Boccazzi, Giovan Battista Ceriana, Ugo Fabris, Sandro Meccoli and Giovanni Vicentini – the “Amici di Comisso” Association, the San Polo di Piave local authority and the Touring Club Italiano, formed a promotion committee to set up the GAMBRINUS “GIUSEPPE MAZZOTTI” LITERARY PRIZE FOR BOOKS ON MOUNTAINEERING, EXPLORATION AND ECOLOGY.
The Prize was presented officially on 16 May 1983 at the Milan Press Club and the first edition was held in November of that year.
In 1986 the committee became an association and in 1989 a special section was added for books about the Veneto (Finestra sulle Venezie).
In 1993 a fourth section was added, dedicated to works about traditional crafts.
In 2009 the Prize was divided into six sections, split into two groups alternating each year:
- MOUNTAINS: Culture and Civilization
- EXPLORATION - TRAVEL
- WINDOW ON THE TRIVENETO REGION: Territorial and Environmental Culture in the Veneto universe.
- MOUNTAINEERING: Climbing, Historic Events, Biographies and Guide Books
- ECOLOGY AND LANDSCAPE
- TRADITIONAL CRAFTS
The Jury awards a prize to one book in each of the three sections in the group in question.
Members of the Jury in previous editions have been: Piero Angela, Piero Bianucci, Cino Boccazzi, Walter Bonatti, Massimo Centini, Piero Chiara, Dino Coltro, Salvatore Giannella, Silvio Guarnieri, Paul Guichonnet, Danilo Mainardi, Alessandro Meccoli, Ignazio Musu, Giorgio Nebbia, Lionello Puppi, Folco Quilici, Paolo Schmidt di Friedberg, Eugenio Turri and Italo Zandonella.
The Prize, which celebrated its 30th edition in 2012, is now one of the most important and prestigious literary awards, due to the interest aroused by the specific subjects involved, the qualified jury and the strict criteria applied in selecting the books. Proof of this is the growing number of publishers and writers participating in the Prize, the great interest taken by the press and academic world, but also and more importantly, that of ordinary people who relate to the civil battles fought by Giuseppe Mazzotti.
The winners of the past editions of the PREMIO GAMBRINUS “GIUSEPPE MAZZOTTI” include many well-known international writers: Freya Stark, Konrad Lorenz, Cesare Maestri, Luis Sepulveda, Tiziano Terzani, Reinhold Messner, Vandana Shiva, Richard Leackey, Giuseppe Cederna, George Monbiot, Andy Cave, Greg Mortenson e Oliver Relin, Richard Sennett, Christoph Ransmayr, Mirella Tenderini, Andy Kirkpatrick.