“… Someone once said: «If there were just 100 men like Mazzotti in Italy, our artistic heritage and natural wonders would have nothing more to fear.»
Whoever said that was absolutely right…”
Dino Buzzati, 1958
Born at Treviso on 18 March 1907, as a young man Giuseppe Mazzotti attended the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, where for a short period he studied painting. During that time he met artists and writers such as Arturo Martini, Gino Rossi, Toni Benetton, Sante Cancian, Giovanni Comisso and Dino Buzzatti and due to these friendships and interests he became an art critic. He organised important art exhibitions in Italy and abroad, including the first personal of painter Gino Rossi in 1933 and two dedicated to Arturo Martini, in 1947 and 1967.
A keen climber, member of the Italian Alpine Club Academy and author of numerous books translated into several languages, in 1951 he won the Saint Vincent Prize with ‘Montagnes Valdôtaines’. Commenting on his work ‘La grande parete’, the French climber and writer E. R. Blanchet wrote: «Vous avez dans ces pages hallucinantes accompli le plus grand tour de force de toute la littérature alpine…»
Another of his passions was photography, which he applied to illustrating his territory and cataloguing local heritage. His ‘Le Ville Venete’, was published in 1952, the first catalogue of this amazing heritage, exposing its deterioration and making an urgent appeal for its protection. The exhibition organised the same year at Treviso and then taken to several European cities stimulated public opinion and in 1958 the Ville Venete Authority was set up.
Until 1974 he was the Director of the Provincial Tourist Authority, which he founded in 1935, together with the Treviso Chamber of Commerce: he was the creator of the famous Red and White Wine Roads.
His production of articles and essays for newspapers and magazines was vast: he wrote about his favourite subjects – art, tourism, food and wine, local crafts and traditions… Over the years he held many prestigious positions: member of the Italian Touring Club’s national council; chairman of the Treviso section of Italia Nostra; deputy chairman of the Veneto Writers’ Association; Honorary Inspector of Monuments; delegate of the Italian Academy of Cuisine and founder of its Treviso section.
Giuseppe Mazzotti died at Treviso on 28 March 1981.
“There was a common thread that gave logic and coherence to every one of his actions, and that was an all-embracing love for the city that had become his and for the gentle lands surrounding it.”