Antonio Pennacchi wins the Acqui Storia prize

After winning the Premio Strega and being a finalist for the Premio Campiello, Antonio Pennacchi has also been awarded the Premio Acqui Storia, which has become Europe’s most prestigious prize for history

Canale Mussolini was chosen in the section dedicated to the historical novel in honour of the memory of the founder of the Prize, the writer Marcello Venturi.

The jury motivated the award as follows:

The novel is a fresh and invigorating reconstruction, characterised by an original stylistic and aware approach, that recounts the story of a family of colonists from the Veneto to the new towns established after the draining of the Pontine marshlands, over a number of generations. It paints a highly suggestive picture and manages to translate into a colourful daily language a authentic country saga laced with civic passions and dreams of social redemption against a backdrop of significant historical moment. Added to this is the pathos of personal memory – the author himself comes from a family of colonists – that is able to evoke the atmosphere and characters of events that have for some time been removed from a “politically correct” historical research.

The award ceremony will be held at the Teatro Ariston in Acqui Terme on Saturday 23 October at 5.30 pm, in the presence of the President of the Piedmont Region, Roberto Cota.

In addition to Antonio Pennacchi, during the event, which will be presented by Alessandro Cecchi Paone, prizes will also be presented to Alessandro Orsini, in the historical research category, for his book Anatomia delle Brigate rosse. Le radici ideologiche del terrorismo rivoluzionario (Rubbettino), Marco Patricelli, in the popular history category, for Il volontario (Laterza), and Folco Quilici in the “History on TV” category. The special prize “Testimone del tempo 2010” will be awarded to the Hon. Sandro Bondi, Vittorio Messori and Massimo Ranieri. While Ennio Di Nolfo will receive a Special Prize “for his career.”