Special Prize goes to Marco Balzano’s story of resilience

Event ended


Five special prices, one for each of the Dolomite provinces. The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation is continuing to support the leading cultural events in the area. The latest prizes were awarded first at Pordenonelegge 2018 and then at the 16th Leggimontagna literary festival in Tolmezzo (UD).


On Sunday 23 September, the president of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, Graziano Pizzimenti, presented the Special UNESCO Dolomites Prize in Pordenone on the last day of the 2018 edition of Pordenonelegge. It went to Marco Balzano, author of the novel “Resto qui” (I’m staying), published by Einaudi and shortlisted for the Strega Prize. It is a story of resilience and visceral attachment to the mountains: Trina, the main character, learns to deal with the void left after the disappearance of her daughter in a first-person narrative which explores her relationship with the land she refuses to leave: not even when it is buried by history or submerged by the water of the Resia reservoir. It is testimony to the people who live in the mountains and who do not want to abandon their homes but defend them: it is thanks to them that the mountain landscape has been shaped over the centuries and the conviction that they are a shared legacy which must be protected and passed on intact to future generations has become so entrenched.


“Degli antichi sentieri – memorie dalle Dolomiti Clautane” (Ancient pathways – memories of the Clautane Dolomites), published by La Chiusa, calls itself a travelogue, a manifest of mountain exploration which is not purely the act of climbing steep and challenging slopes but mainly a technique which enables climbers to explore abandoned lands which were once inhabited. The authors, Giorgio Madinelli, Andrea Fiorot and Paolo Lorenzi guide the reader through mountain settings which are at times wild but steeped in history and stories. They received the Special UNESCO Dolomites Prize which was awarded in Tolmezzo (UD) on 20 October during the 16th Leggimontagna literary festival, with this motivation: “This short volume, which is just the right size to show off the many beautiful photographs, teaches you about the Clautane Alps which, while not as popular with tourists, are extremely beautiful and have old paths which show how things were different in the past, because they were inhabited and the valleys and passes were crossed by travellers. The book takes you on a narrative journey of excursions and ascents, history, customs, geology, flora and fauna, giving a complete overview of an area which deserves to be rediscovered”.