A Brief Story of Raw and Cooked Roots, Herbs, Fruits We Eat Here in Italy
By Giacomo Castelvetro
illustrations by Rita Ravaioli
Italy: Edizioni Almenodue, 2007. Edition of 80.
5 x 7"; 60 pages. Offset printed with 5 colors Pantone on Fedrigoni Old Mill paper. Text font Galliard designed by Matthew Carter. Paper: Fedrigoni Old Mill. Hand-bound with linen string and handmade paper by Cave Paper. Handmade kozo paper end sheets. Illustrations by Rita Ravaioli. Text in Italian with an English translation by Gillian Riley. Graphic design by Silvana Amato and Angela Liguori. Numbered and signed by the illustrator.
Rita Ravaioli (who lives and works in Ravenna): "Giacomo Castelvetro was born in Modena (Italy) in 1546, a nephew of a famous writer, Lodovico, who wrote an essay on Aristotle’s Poetica, his ideas were controversial and pro-Reformation. After his uncle was condemned under the Inquisition, Giacomo and his brother left Modena on a mule, hidden inside two baskets. He traveled in Switzerland, Germany, England, where he stayed for a long time, Denmark and Sweden.
"He lived in Venice where he was arrested in 1611 under the Inquisition (his brother had been burned two years earlier) but he was released thanks to the English Ambassador request. He had lo leave Venice and returned to England in 1612, where died in 1616.
"His [trade was] books. He was a cosmopolitan intellectual who knew the European Book Market: his presence at Frankfurt Fair is attested. He published many italian books, the works of Machiavelli, Guarini, Tasso, Marino, and the political essay of Campanella. He was an important editor, who knew typography very well, a skilled graphic designer as it appears from his quick layout and his neat lists, precisely paged in his Crescian calligraphy. The art of Typeletter and the art of Cooking are sister Arts; they share a common goal, to see human relation growing in friendship, tolerance, and simplicity....
"During his exile in England, Giacomo Castelvetro wrote in 1614 A brief story of raw and cooked roots, herbs, fruits we eat in Italy for his friends and English protectors to advertise Mediterranean Cooking."