The town of Pieve Santo Stefano is nestled within the Valtiberina area of Tuscany, near the confines between Umbria and Romagna. This town is known as the “town of diaries.” There are only about three thousand residents of this town and they share the space with more than eight thousand diaries, letters and autobiographies. These eight thousand “paper lives” of Italians are kept in the National Archive of Diaries, founded in 1984 by the journalist Saverio Tutino.
In order to maintain the collection of diaries and protect the people’s autobiographical memory, the National Archive of Diaries organizes the “Pieve Saverio Tutino” Prize. This annual competition for unpublished autobiographical writings takes place over the course of three days in September and is dedicated to the stories of “ordinary people.” There are shows, award ceremonies, readings, meetings and book presentations. On the third Sunday of September, the “Pieve” Prize wraps up with a final ceremony that is part of an exciting event referred to as “the memories in the square.”