The unveiling of Zhejiang University Press Italian Office was held in Florence, Italy on 24th September, 2018. This is the first professional press focusing on Italian and English books China has established in Italy. YAN Jinlin, Deputy Consul-General of the Chinese Consulate General in Florence, LUO Weidong, vice-president of Zhejiang University, Silvia Alessandri, deputy director of the National Central Library of Florence, LU Dongming, president of Zhejiang University Press, Famous sinologist Professor Giorgio Casacchia attended the event and made speeches. The ceremony was presided over by ZHANG Chen, deputy editor-in-chief of Zhejiang University Press.
LU and Stefano Chinellato, president of Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, announced the first publication of the Italian edition of The Travels of XU Xiake jointly published by Zhejiang University Press and Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, which indicated the opening of Zhejiang University Press Italian Office.
The Travels of XU Xiake is a renowned geographic and literary work in China. XU Hongzu, pseudonym Xiake, spent 34 years traveling around China in the late Ming Dynasty. He traveled to Putuo in the east, Hebei in the north, Guangdong in the south, and Yunnan and Guizhou in the west. During his trip in 16 provinces in Ming Dynasty, XU “climbed up to the top of Mount Hua and crossed Canglang River”, overcoming all difficulties and hazards along the way. He wrote 17 travel records about Tiantai Mountain, Yandang Mountains, Yellow Mountain, and Mount Lu, along with Travel Diaryin Zhejiang, Travel Diary in Jiangxi, Travel Diary in the Then Territory of Chu, Travel Diary in West Guangdong, Travel Diary in Guizhou, Travel Diary in Yunnanand other works, the number of words reaching more than 600,000 (about 1/10 of the total number of words) excluding those which have long been scattered and lost. The Travels of XU Xiake mainly records the geographic, hydrologic, geologic, and botanic phenomena as well as folk customs of that time according to what XU saw and learned from 1613 to 1639 in the form of diary, leaving precious historic and geographic heritages for later generations.
The Italian edition is jointly published by Zhejiang University Press and Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina. Famous sinologist Professor Giorgio Casacchia hosted the translation program. It is the first time this book has been translated into Italian. Illustrations are added according to the places and objects mentioned in the book.
The Travels of XU Xiake once had some connection with Novus Atlas sinensis by Martino Martini, an Italian Jesuit missionary, offering a means for early westerners to recognize and study China. The publishing of the Italian edition of Travels of XU Xiake will help westerners get to know China in a better way.
The Italian office will establish an internationalized publishing platform and a marketing network facing the whole world step by step, trying to bring a truer, more modern, and more beautiful China to the world and introduce more Italian, European and world cultures to Chinese readers by purchasing books and copyrights from international markets.