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Francesco Casolo's book tells the epic and intimate saga of one of the most famous Biella families in the world. A captivating narrative, in which women play a leading role

Beer. Everything starts from the drink whose origins date back to 5000 years ago, when the Babylonians discovered that a primitive alcoholic solution could be produced from the fermentation of cereals. Thousands of years later, Giuseppe Menabrea, a Walser from Gressoney who, like his ancestors, crossed the glaciers for commercial wool and handicraft products in Switzerland, decided to embark on a new path that made the mix of malt and hops its beacon. To tell his challenge, that of his son Carlo and, above all, of his niece Eugenia – called Genia – is the writer Francesco Casolo in the book “The ascent of the giants – the Menabrea saga” (ed. Feltrinelli). The text symbolically begins on 29 August 1882 when Carlo Memabrea organizes a sumptuous party to celebrate the purchase of a castle not far from Biella. An event that no one in the city would like to miss, but that few know what it really hides: the celebration of the bet started by Giuseppe 30 years earlier. To pick up the baton of her grandfather, however, is Genia who, to make her way, has to fight against a thousand prejudices. She is the one chosen to carry on the family tradition, despite the fact that no one wants to do business with her, because she is a woman. Thanks to the help of her mother Eugenia, she will become a Giant, ferrying the company far beyond the mountains. A story of female determination and courage, of which Biella is a spectator and co-star.

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