Now in its 34th edition, the Masi Prize, in all of its different categories, aims to underline how Venetian values succeed in finding their finest interpreters, who look to the future with intelligence, sensitivity and a strategic vision. Today the Masi Prize has as its winners Elisa, Massimiliano Alajmo, Carlo Rovelli, Giuseppe Martelli and the Italian Navy in the person of its Chief of Staff, Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi.
Elisa, Carlo Rovelli and Massimiliano Alajmo are the winners of the Masi Civiltà Veneta Prize, which as usual, celebrates the skill and ingenuity of our people, in a range of achievements that unite music, culinary arts and science.
Elisa Toffoli – stage name Elisa – an artist with origins in Monfalcone, was selected by the jury for “the emotional universe of her music and for her artistic integrity.” A singer-songwriter, composer and player of many instruments, Elisa has shown her multi-faceted skills since childhood with a talent for many of the arts, from writing to dance, from painting to music, and her first lyrics and bars of music were written when she was only 11 years old. 1996 was her launch year, when she met Caterina Caselli who set her going in a musical career, where her English-language lyrics give her a reach abroad to an international audience.
Massimiliano Alajmo takes his Masi Civiltà Veneta Prize to the heart of a culinary career where, according to chef, “Cooking must strip itself of the inessential to discover again the same innocence that a child has on discovering the world.” Originally from Padua, Alajmo is one of the most famous chefs in Italy and the world. His signature on the Amarone Barrel that symbolises the Masi Prize was for his ‘constant research and culinary ideas based on lightness and depth of flavour.” His passion for cooking began while he was still a young child alongside his mother Rita in the kitchens of Le Calandre. After studying at the hotel school in Abano Terme, Alajmo continued his career by working with some of the most important Italian and foreign chefs (Alfredo Chiocchetti, Marc Veyrat and Michel Guérard). These experiences led to his return to Le Calandre and the remarkable award of Three Michelin Stars in 2002, making Alajmo the youngest chef in the world to receive the highest award of this international guide.
Carlo Rovelli concludes the Civiltà Veneta section. Veronese by birth and an internationally famous physicist, Rovelli receives the Prize for “his ability to marry the rigours of theoretical physics with its explanation to a public audience.” One of the theorisers of the “quantum loop gravity” (a space-time theory that tries to reconcile the theories of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity), Rovelli is involved also in the philosophy of science and the history of ancient science. He is also a member of the International Academy of the Philosophy of Science and Honorary Professor at Beijing University. His commitment to the divulgation of his research and discoveries is particularly important: in fact, he has published over 200 scientific papers, capped by two full treatises on quantum gravity and several explanatory books. His recent publication “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” has been translated into no fewer than twenty-four languages.
The Grosso d’Oro Veneziano of the 34th Masi Prize, given in collaboration with the Corriere della Sera Foundation, goes to the Italian Navy (Marina Militare Italiana) in the person of its chief of staff, Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi. The Prize is given to a personality or an institution that has helped spread a message of culture in the world, promoting the type of understanding between the peoples that leads to solidarity, civil progress and peace. The Italian Navy is recognised here for “the high value of its humanitarian rescue operations in the face of the thousands of migrants who risk their lives every year in a desperate journey in search of a better life. The Italian Navy – the citation says – gives Europe and the world a supreme example of professionalism and humanity through the admirable commitment of its personnel.”
The Masi International Civiltà del Vino Prize goes to oenologist and biologist Giuseppe Martelli. The Prize is given to leaders of development in the wine world and those who contribute to the excellence and quality of wine through their interpretations of its culture. Director General of Assoenologi, Giuseppe Martelli “has given voice and institutional framework to the great professionalism of the authors of the current success of Italian wines. Moreover, as President of the Comitato Nazionale dei vini a Denominazione di Origine (National Committee of DOC wines), he is the guardian of a great Italian legacy as well as a skilful and authoritative mediator between Italian institutions and those of the European Union.”
“Yet again this year the Masi Prize demonstrates its ever more multi-disciplinary approach,” comments Isabella Bossi Fedrigotti, President of the Masi Foundation. “We are living in a particularly interesting moment with the challenge of reintroducing culture to its central role in society. We must begin – said Bossi Fedrigotti – by reminding ourselves that the cultural apparatus, which represents almost 16% of GDP, is an added value in economic terms and a resource for the many talents of our country.”
For Sandro Boscaini, Vice-president of the Masi Foundation and President of Masi Agricola: “This Prize has become a collector of cultural excellence in our country, and not only that. We have always said that culture and business are two inseparable components of social progress and represent the narrative voice of our history. This year in particular the Prize shows the interconnection between different professions, all of them capable of having a positive effect on society. And this is the essence of our commitment as a Foundation and as a company.”