Polistampa

Numbers and names
Since a decade the publishing house Polistampa, whose premises are today in Florence, via Livorno 8/32, is a significant reality in the Italian publishing world. Its catalogue is made up of about 3,000 titles: contemporary, modern and classic literature; precious art exhibition catalogues; correspondence, dramas, and poetry; university and academic essays; historical novels, detective stories and “true novels”. The over 100 existing book series frame every human activity: from medicine to enngineering, from astrology to visual arts, from economic sciences to philosophy, from history to social sciences. The company’s main seat occupy about 4,000 square meters divided in typography, prepress, editing, bindery and stores. Many Italian famous writers and personalities published their works with Polistampa: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Antonio Pizzuto, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Angelo Maria Ripellino, Giovanni Spadolini, Alessandro Parronchi, Mario Luzi, Enzo Siciliano, Giuseppe Pontiggia, Edoardo Sanguineti, Rodolfo Doni, Antonio Tabucchi, Fernando Botero, Massimo Cacciari, Vittorio Sgarbi, Franco Cardini, Alessandro Fo, Marco Vichi, Emiliano Gucci, Pietro Grossi.

The history of Polistampa
The history of the publishing house begins in 1966, when its founder Mauro Pagliai, at the age of 22, opens a little typography in the center of Florence. Despite the scarce economic resources available, from the very beginning both prints and publications stand out for their quality: each volume is particularly painstaking, what enhances its refined execution. Year after year the catalogue Polistampa increases in number and in prestige, and the typography becomes a publishing house. The economic growth is accompanied by an increase in popularity and Polistampa becomes a place where arrange cultural events and discussions among the Tuscan intellectuals and artists. Many collaborations with very important authors of the 20th century born this way: for example, with men of letters and poets like Mario Luzi, Alessandro Parronchi and Pietro Bigongiari, the photographer and writer Fosco Maraini, the critics Luigi Baldacci and Giorgio Luti, the historians Cosimo Ceccuti and Ennio di Nolfo; then, with artists like Pietro Annigoni, Fernando Botero, Kan Yasuda and many others. These personalities allow the production and publication either of the first same of correspondence (for example the letters of Pratolini, Gadda, Parronchi, Bigongiari, Nencioni, Pizzuto) and of specialized reviews, «Antologia Vieusseux», «Caffè Michelangiolo», «Il Portolano», «Ricerche storiche», «Medicina e Storia», «Il reo e il folle». What was only a distant hope in the young typographer, becomes a reality in the 1980s and 1990s: the publishing house imposes itself as a center of cultural diffusion in Florence. The typographical quality, the unquestioned professionalism and an ever growing group of readers and writers launch the publishing house as a Tuscan and Italian important reality. After the move to the former renaissance church of Santa Chiara in 1994, already transformed in a sculpting workshop by Pio Fedi in the second half of the 19th century, in 2000 the production premises move to the new modern seat of Via Livorno. Pagliai begins also to work as a promoter of cultural events: in 1999, he establishes the society Eventi Pagliai, which organizes exhibitions both in Italy and abroad and offers museum services. It starts with the organization and the staging in Florence, Rome, Tokyo and Palermo of the most exhaustive photographic exhibition in honour of Fosco Maraini: Il Miramondo. Sessantanni di fotografia (Sixty years of photography). In 2006 Mauro Pagliai, who meanwhile had been supported by his son Antonio in the management of the company, accepts another challenge: he buys the glorious Niccolini Theater, the more ancient of Florence, a possession that is considered of great historical and artistic value not only for the city but also for Italy. The objective is to re-open soon those prestigious stalls situated in the heart of the city, with a literary café and an international cultural center.