Literary benches

Reading is going towards something that is about to be and no one yet knows what it will be. Italo Calvino defined reading with these words in his work ‘If on a Winter's Night a Traveller’ (‘Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore’). 

The University of Foggia was inspired by London's famous and fascinating project entitled ‘Books about Town’ and decided to celebrate Italian literature. And just as the British capital was coloured with marvellous Literary Benches a few years ago, with the same purpose the courtyards of the Foggia University departments were enriched with evocative book-shaped seats.

The Literary Benches of the University of Foggia are the result of the synergy between three institutions. They were financed by the Fondazione dei Monti Unit di Foggia and decorated by four students from the Foggia Academy of Fine Arts.

The benches were inaugurated and handed over to the university community on Tuesday, 20 November 2018, with an inauguration event organised at the Department of Law.

The public ceremony was attended by prof. Maurizio Ricci, then Rector of the University of Foggia, prof. Aldo Ligustro, President of the Fondazione dei Monti Uniti di Foggia and prof. Pietro Di Terlizzi, Director of the Foggia Academy of Fine Arts. prof. Antonino Foti, project contact person for the Academy, and the students of the Academy who created the benches were also present: Giorgia Valente – Humanities bench; Alessio Ciocia – Law bench; and Francesco Leone and Francesco Tomaiuolo – benches of the Departments of Agriculture, Economics and the Biomedical Hub.

The works that inspired the Literary Benches of the University of Foggia are:

  • Novecento by Alessandro Baricco (bench located at the Department of Economics), 
  • Un uomo by Oriana Fallaci (bench located at the Department of Law), 
  • Io non ho paura by Niccolò Ammaniti (bench located at the Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food, Natural Resources and Engineering), 
  • La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa by Dacia Maraini (bench located at the Department of Humanities. Letters, Cultural Heritage, Education Sciences) 
  • Il conto delle minne by Giuseppina Torregrossa (bench located at the Biomedical Hub – Medicine Departments). 

The benches are made of reconstructed stone, then polished (size: 160x55x76h) and were made in the shape of a book, for the University of Foggia, by Manufatti Viscio of Apricena, a town on the outskirts of the Gargano area, renowned and appreciated for its stone quarries.

The inauguration ceremony was accompanied by a photographic exhibition showing all the benches and describing the various stages of the project: from the production in the factory to the pictorial works.

The University of Foggia's Literary Benches project lasted more than a year in its various stages – planning, organisation, implementation and decoration – and in all its institutional, administrative and artistic features. It involved various Unifg Technical and Administrative staff members, coordinated by the University Communication Area.


La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa by Dacia Maraini – Department of Humanities
La panchina letteraria del Distum

"Marianna chiude il quaderno di scatto. Lo nasconde istintivamente tra le pieghe del vestito. Poi si ricorda che il duca Pietro è a Palermo da ieri e ritira fuori il libretto. Lo porta al naso; ha un buon odore di carta nuova di inchiostro di buona qualità. Lo apre e fra le pagine trova un disegno colorato: un uomo sui trent'anni con un turbante di velluto a righe che gli copre le tempie. Una faccia larga, soddisfatta, gli occhi che guardano verso il basso come a dire che tutto il sapere viene dalla terra su cui poggiamo i piedi." Excerpt from the book

The bench was decorated by Giorgia Valente, student artist from the Foggia Academy of Fine Arts.

The Literary Benches Unifg
Information on Image Copyright

The photo gallery was made by the University of Foggia. Texts and images are copyrighted and are the property of the University of Foggia. Their reproduction to the public is strictly forbidden without written permission from the owner, except for personal use. Images may be published in other publications provided that the source is clearly indicated as follows: "SOURCE University of Foggia".