Stefano Bartezzaghi

A writer and semiologist, as well as being one of the most popular author of crossword puzzles in Italy. 

Originally from Milan, already at the age of nine he started working with the main Italian crossword puzzle magazines, as author and puzzle solver. He graduated from the University of Bologna with a dissertation on semiotics supervised by Professor Umberto Eco.

Since 1987 he writes about games, books and language for important newspapers including La Stampa, La Repubblica, Vanity Fair, with the regular features “Lessico e Nuvole”, “Lapsus”, “Fuori di Testo”, and for the weekly L’Espresso with the language criticism feature “Come dire”.

He directed Golem, the first Italian cultural magazine designed directly for the internet. He has hosted radio shows on linguistics for Radio Due and worked as cultural consultant to the management of the three radio channels at Rai. Also as cultural consultant, he helped produce numerous TV shows, including Fabio Fazio’s Anima Mia (RaiDue), and Gad Lerner’s Pinocchio. More recently he organised a festival of humour “The sense of ridicule” (in Livorno), of which he is artistic director. His current studies are focused on the theory of playing with words, a critical review of the concept of creativity, forms of passive creativity and the possibility of creative semiotics, as well as contemporary mythologies.

He, as writer and intellectual, is invited to discuss topics associated with Italian language and contemporary literature, word games in world literature, humour, irony, satire and comedy. In his talks he focuses on plays on words in relation to language, literature, politics and teaching. He is also sought after in corporate environments and in the communication sector because he is skilled at dealing with topics such as: forms of expression in new media, contemporary communication, effectiveness, synthesis, paradoxes, relations between word and image, contemporary journalism. He participates in public and private events to analyse terms, languages and communication uses in the relevant sector, as well as compiling themed crosswords.