Royal Revelations and Literary Triumphs: Inside Italy’s Best-Selling Books of 2023

Illustration by Sofi Alova
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by InTrieste

Italy’s literary landscape witnessed a seismic shake-up last year as Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir, “Spare – Il Minore,” seized the throne as the reigning champ of Italian bookshelves. Clocking in with over 300,000 copies snapped up by eager readers, the royal tell-all, published by Mondadori, dominated the 2023 best-seller list, a collaborative effort between the Italian Publishers Association, Nielsen BookScan, and Informazioni Editoriali.

Hot on its heels, Francesca Giannone’s debut sensation, “La portalettere,” from Nord, secured the silver medal, boasting a staggering 258,000 paper copies sold (out of a grand total of 350,000, including digital formats), propelling it to the pinnacle of Italy’s fiction charts.

But the literary race didn’t stop there. T. Cole’s “Dammi mille baci,” fueled by the #BookTok frenzy and published by Always Publishing, secured the bronze, while Michela Murgia’s “Tre ciotole” (Mondadori) claimed fourth, a poignant reminder of the author’s legacy following her passing last summer.

Ruffling feathers and raising eyebrows, General Roberto Vannacci’s controversial self-published work, “Il mondo al contrario,” stormed into fifth place after its August release, challenging the status quo with its unorthodox narrative.

Meanwhile, heavyweights Niccolò Ammaniti (“La vita intima,” Einaudi Stile Libero) and Ada D’Adamo (“Come d’aria,” Elliot), took sixth and seventh, respectively, cementing their status as literary luminaries.

Ken Follett’s “Le armi della luce” (Mondadori) claimed the eighth spot, followed closely by Fabio Volo’s “Tutto è qui per te,” also under the Mondadori banner, at ninth.

Rounding off the elite top 10 club, Aldo Cazzullo’s “Quando eravamo i padroni del mondo – Roma: l’impero infinito,” published by HarperCollins, offered readers a nostalgic journey through time and power. As the curtain falls on the literary showdown of 2023, these titans of the written word stand as testaments to Italy’s enduring love affair with storytelling.

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