Giorgio Sisini And "La Settimana Enigmistica" 0 Commentaires

Giorgio Sisini And "La Settimana Enigmistica"

La Settimana Enigmistica is the most famous puzzle weekly in Italy, very well known by all Italians. A real piece of history of our country, going along with us all year round, at home, on the train, on the beach of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites as well.

“Perhaps not everyone knows that…” (this is the column title of a page in the publication) was conceived by a Sardinian, (as still today appears written on the last page of the publication) Giorgio Sisini Count of Sant'Andrea (1901-1972), descendant of the noble Sardinian family of Sisini in Romangia, in the province of Sassari.

Giorgio Sisini did not follow his father’s activities but preferred to leave the island to devote himself to publishing. However, he never neglected the bond with his land and financial sources from his publishing activity flowed into Sardinia, helping to enhance his father's work in agriculture. He participated in 1945 in the creation of the Airone Compagnia Trasporti Aerei, the first Italian post-war airline, born in Sardinia, named after the herons populating the Molentargius Natural Park, in Cagliari.

The first issue of La Settimana Enigmistica hit the news stands on the 23-1-32, (palindrome date) at the price of 50 cents of a lira. It was then a unique magazine of its kind in Italy, as Sisini had been inspired by the Austrian puzzle publication Das Rätsel. Sisini opted for complete editorial independence, acquiring a printing house, a paper mill and even with an autonomous production of ink. Over time, this allowed him to outperform the competition and control about 70 percent of the Puzzle publication market, with an estimated sale of 600,000 to 800,000 copies a week, which is a lot, recording only two delays in release, in 1943 and in 1945 during the Second World War. It still closes his financial year with high profits, without hosting a single page of advertising.

The word “Bartezzaghi” is always combined with the Settimana Enigmistica, which became synonymous with a difficult but feasible undertaking. Pietro Bartezzaghi, a valid collaborator of Sisini, created the well-known free pattern of very difficult crosswords. When he died in 1989 at the age of only 55, his signature P. Bartezzaghi was replaced by his son’s one, A. Bartezzaghi.

All the publication’s activity has always been carried out in an anonymous historic building at 10 Piazza Cinque Giornate in Milan, the offices are on two floors, one with editors and puzzle creators and the other with the designers, where the work is done with pencil and eraser, in great silence and where everyone carries out their creative work privately: crosswords, drawings, quizzes, rebuses and all those 150 games present in each weekly copy are developed. In 90 years, those offices have never been restructured, at most only repainted. The charm of the magazine lies precisely on its immutability, which allows us to remember it as it always was, the same over time, almost a fixed point in our often chaotic, fast and changeable daily life.

A great Sardinian, Ing. Giorgio Sisini Conte di Sant'Andrea, with his publication which was undoubtedly a vehicle of Italian literacy and cultural integration of the country.

In 1932 the Settimana Enigmistica was born, «a creature that emerges perfect and immutable from the mind of Giorgio Sisini», wrote Giampaolo Dossena, a journalist enumerated among the greatest gaming experts


Written by Daniela Toti

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