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Orio Vergani and the birth of the Academy

Orio Vergani: the visionary founder

Orio Vergani was a leading fi gure in the world of journalism, literature and art. A skilled writer, playwright and art critic, and an attentive and curious reporter, he left a decisive mark on Italian journalism. In 1953 he founded the Italian Academy of Cuisine, and was its first President until he passed away in 1960. The Italian Restaurant Guide whose creation Orio Vergani had so fervently desired was published in 1961.

The Academy’s co-founders were: Luigi Bertett (president of the Italian Automobile Club), Dino Buzzati Traverso (journalist, writer, painter), Cesare Chiodi (president of the Italian Touring Club), Giannino Citterio (industrial entrepreneur), Ernesto Donà dalle Rose (industrial entrepreneur), Michele Guido Franci (secretary-general of the Milan Trade Fair), Gianni Mazzocchi Bastoni (publisher), Arnoldo Mondadori (publisher), Attilio Nava (physician), Arturo Orvieto (lawyer and writer), Severino Pagani (writer and playwright), Aldo Passante (director of the RAI national television production centre in Milan), Gian Luigi Ponti (banker, president of the Milan Tourism Bureau), Giò Ponti (architect), Dino Villani (journalist, publicist, painter), and Edoardo Visconti di Modrone (industrial entrepreneur). Also present at the foundation, which occurred in the Hotel Diana in Milan, were the two journalists and writers Massimo Alberini and Vincenzo Buonassisi.

Its name was long debated by its founders, initially undecided between ‘Association’ and ‘Club’, yet immediately convinced, following a suggestion by the proficient publicist Dino Villani, that ‘Academy’ was the right name. Orio Vergani then wisely decided that this would not be an Academy of Italian Cuisine but an Italian Academy of Cuisine.


Orio Vergani: man, journalist, Academician