Giordano Berti

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Giordano Berti

Giordano Berti (born 27 February 1959) is an Italian writer and teacher of History of Arts.


Born in Bologna, Giordano Berti grew up in Monghidoro, a town of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. After obtaining his college diploma he went on to study history and philosophy at University of Bologna and shortly thereafter started his career of editor and writer.[1]

Berti is an established and prolific author of many books about different subjects, such as History of Esotericism (magic, divination, witchcraft, alchemy, astrology, heresies, gnosticism, heaven and hell, angels and devils) in his relationship with Art. Some of Berti's books are translated in English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish and Japanese.[2]

He has been co-founder and president of the Istituto Graf at Bologna, an association dedicated to the research and, often, rediscovery of the Arts and Folklore. Berti frequently organises, with the patronage and support of local Councils, many Art and History exhibitions throughout Italy. [1]

Over the decades, Giordano Berti, as director of the Istituto Graf or author of editorial projects, has collaborated with famous philosophers, art historians and artists, such as Michael Dummett, Umberto Eco, Tiziano Sclavi, Angelo Stano, Robert M. Place, Rachel Pollack.[3]

As a worldwide renown Tarot historian, Berti was invited, as special guest, at the third World Tarot Congress, in Chicago (May 10 to 14 2001), where he delivered a long conference titled "The Babel of Tarot, or the evolution of the 22 allegoric Triumph cards as a transformation into an esoteric language" [2].

Berti is consultant for two Tarot and Playing Cards great editors: Lo Scarabeo (Turin, Italy) and Dal Negro (Treviso, Italy).[4]

In 2012 Giordano Berti started the project Monghidoro: the Gateway to Europe, in collaboration with art designer Letizia Rivetti and the municipal administration of Monghidoro. The project consists in a series of artworks titled "The Stones of History", permanently fixed on the squares and streets of Monghidoro. In fact this ancient village, situated on the bolognese Apennine mountains roughly halfway between Bologna and Florence, over the centuries has been the required resting place of merchants, Lords, Princes, Popes, Emperors, writers, scientists and adventurers, who during their travels found shelter in country inns or were guests at the olivetani Abbey of San Michele at Alpes.[5]

Giordano Berti is also author of articles for numerous magazines: Fenix, Il Giornale dei Misteri, Charta, The Cartomancer, Tarot Chronicles, RILKO, Atmosphere.

In 2014 Giordano Berti created the project "Rinascimento - Italian Style Art" devoted to the reprinting of old Tarot, Sibyls and Playing cards that stand out for their beauty and rarity. [3]

Memberships and awards[edit]

  • from 1985, member of Associazione culturale Le Tarot in Faenza [4]
  • from 1992, founder and member of Istituto Graf in Bologna [5]
  • 2010, winner of "Books to Taste Award" for the best novel Tobi and the Treasure of the Alba Truffle, published by ArabaFenice, Boves, 2009 ISBN 9788895853505
  • from 2013, member of The International Tarot Society
  • from 2014, member of The International Playing-cards Society [6]
  • from 2015, member of Tarot Association of the British Isles [7]
  • from 2015, author for the Order of the Knights of Truffle and the Wines of Alba [8]

Various exhibits catalogs[edit]

Together with important historians, Berti organized various History Exhibits and wrote the relatives Catalogues (availables in Italian only):

  • Tarot. Game and magic at Estense Court (Le Carte di Corte. I Tarocchi. Gioco e Magia alla Corte degli Estensi), with A. Vitali, M. Dummett, C. Gatto Trocchi, P. Marsili, G. Algeri; Ferrara, Estense Castle, October 1987 – January 1988.
  • The Mose's People (Il popolo di Mosè), with F. Cardini, C. Colafemmina, D. Liscia Bemporad, A. Grossato, A. Sermoneta; Andria, Palace of the Dukes, September–October 1998.
  • Giovanni Domenico Cassini and the origins of modern astronomy (G. D. Cassini e le origini dell'astronomia moderna), with P. A. Rossi e I. Li Vigni; Perinaldo, Municipal Palace, August–November 1997.
  • Wonders of the Sea: divinities, monster, legends, dreams, illusions and discoveries in the history of Sea travelling (Mari delle meraviglie: divinità, mostri, utopie, leggende, sogni, illusioni e scoperte, nella storia del viaggio marittimo in Occidente), with F. Cardini, G. Costa, G. De Turris, C. Gatto Trocchi, P. A. Rossi, C. Widmann et al.; Comacchio, Bellini Palace, October 1995 - January 1996.
  • The three jewels of Mediterranean Sea. Ritual objects of Hebrews, christian and muslims (I tre gioielli del Mediterraneo. Oggetti rituali e paramenti sacri ebraici, cristiani ed islamici), with D. Liscia-Bemporad, F. Cardini, S. Noja Noseda, F. Patruno; Finale Emilia, Castle, September–October 2000.
  • Vine and Wine in the card games and playing cards (La vite e il vino: giochi di carta e carte da gioco), with M. G. Lungarotti, F. Cardini, C. Gatto Trocchi, D. Domini, A. Vitali; Torgiano, ex S. Antonio's Church, November 1999 - January 2000.
  • The Catholic Inquisition (L'Inquisizione, Santa, Romana e Universale), with F. Cardini; Finale Emilia, Castle, September - October 2001.
  • The Sons of Abraham. Judaism, Christianism and Islam in Ritual Objects and Art, (I figli di Abramo. Ebraismo, Cristianesimo, Islam), with D. Liscia Bemporad, L. Volpi, M. Bargna; Abbiategrasso, Visconti Castle, March 2004.
  • The Seventeenth Century in Bologna. Baroque culture, industry and popular life (Il Seicento a Bologna: cultura barocca, industria e vita quotidiana), with U. Mazzone, A. Vitali, S. Arieti et al.; Bologna, D'Accursio Palace, May 2004.
  • Chronicles and Wonders of the Sea. Covers of illustrated Magazines from 1840 to 1960 (Cronache e meraviglie di mare nelle copertine di riviste illustrate: 1840-1960), with M. A. Stoico, G. Costa e S. Alligo; Cesenatico, Marine Museum, December 2005.
  • In the House of Andrea Mantegna. Artistic culture in Mantua during the fifteenth century (A casa di Andrea Mantegna. Cultura artistica a Mantova nel Quattrocento), with R. Signorini et al.; Mantua, House of Mantegna, September–October 2006.
  • Ferrara: his history from a collection of maps (Ferrara:la storia del suo territorio in una collezione di mappe e vedute dal XV al XXI secolo), with A. Alberghini; Ferrara, Palace Renée of France, September 2008.
  • Mathers and Lands: mystery and sacrality (Madri e Terre: Mistero e Sacralità), with A. Marini, M. Bargna, L. Volpi; Abbiategrasso, Annunciata's Church, October - November 2008.
  • The Castle of Fortune: the search of good luck in the centuries (Il Castello della Fortuna: trenta secoli alla ricerca della Buona Sorte), with A. Marini, M. Bargna, L. Volpi; Abbiategrasso, Visconti Castle, October – November 2009.
  • The Castle of Delights: tables and foods from antiquity to modern times (Il Castello delle Delizie: il mondo a tavola dall'antichità all'epoca moderna), with A. Marini, M. Bargna, L. Volpi; Abbiategrasso, Visconti Castle, October – November 2010.

Tarot exhibits and catalogues[edit]

Together with Andrea Vitali, Middle Age historian and President of the Associazione Le Tarot (Faenza, Italy), and Michael Dummett, a British philosopher, Berti organized various exhibits on the History and Art of Tarot:

  • Este Castle of Ferrara (from December 1987 to February 1988),
  • City Archeological Museum of Bologna (Bologna, December 1994),
  • National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, (Rome, March 1995),
  • Barolo Palace (Turin, April 1997).

With Vitali, Berti also published some important catalogues:

  • Tarocchi. Gioco e magia alla Corte degli Estensi (Bologna, Nuova Alfa Editorale, 1987)
  • Tarocchi. Le carte del destino (Faenza, Edizioni Le Tarot, 1988)
  • Tarocchi. Art and Magic (Faenza, Le Tarot, 1994).

Historical studies about Tarot[edit]

In addition to the tarot exhibition catalogs, Berti published a lot of studies on Tarot and card games history:

  • Tarocchi Rider-Waite. Storia, riti iniziatici e pratiche divinatorie di Arthur Edward Waite, with Rossella Ferrero (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1993, in Italian).
  • Antichi Tarocchi Bolognesi, with M. Chiesa and G. Crippa (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1995, in Italian).
  • Antichi Tarocchi Liguri-Piemontesi, with M. Chiesa and T. Depaulis (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1995, in Italian).
  • Antichi Tarocchi Milanesi, with M. Chiesa (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1995, in Italian).
  • The Sola-Busca Tarot, with M. Chiesa and S. Di Vincenzo (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1995, in Italian).
  • Egyptian Tarot, with T. Gonard (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1997, in Italian, English and German).
  • Antichi Tarocchi Marsigliesi, with T. Gonard (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1998, in Italian).
  • Visconti Tarot, with T. Gonard (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1998, in Italian, English, German and Dutch).
  • Tarocchi di Aleister Crowley, with R. Negrini and R. Tebani (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1999, in Italian).
  • Tarot of the New Vision, with T. Gonard (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 2005) (English).
  • History of Tarot. Trues and Legends about the most mysterious Cards on the World (Mondadori, Milano 2007, in Italian).
  • Giuseppe Maria Mitelli and the Tarocchino Bolognese (Araba Felice, Boves 2017) (English). ISBN 9788894975482
  • Tarot in German countries from the 16th to the 18th Century (OM Edizioni, Bologna 2018) (English). ISBN 9788894975642

Old Tarot Decks (reprints)[edit]

Berti has supervised the reprint of some ancient Tarots, accompanying the decks with unpublished historical studies:

  • Vergnano Tarot 1830 (2014, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Stefano Vergnano (Turin, around 1830).
  • Perrin Tarot 1865 (2015, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Claudio Perrin (Turin, around 1865).
  • Sola Busca Tarot 1491 (2016, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Anonymous (Ferrara or Venice, around 1491).
  • Oriental Tarot 1845 (2016, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Claudio Foudraz (Turin, around 1845).
  • Mitelli's Tarocchino 1660 (2017, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli (Bologna, around 1660)
  • Marseille Tarot of Lando 1832 (2018, OM Edizioni and Rinascimento), 78 cards published by the widow of Giuseppe Maurizio Lando (Turin, 1832).
  • Marseille Tarot of Hes 1750 (2018, OM Edizioni and Rinascimento), 78 cards published by Johann Christoph Hes (Augsburg, c. 1750).
  • Besançon Tarot of Miller 1780 (2019, OM Edizioni and Rinascimento), 78 cards published by Josef Rauch Miller (Salzburg, c. 1780).

New Tarot Decks[edit]

Berti wrote, also, numerous reviews on Tarot of modern artists and himself invented new Tarot decks realized by great artists:

  • Celtic Tarot (1994), 78 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi.
  • Celtic Tarot (1994), with Bepi Vigna, 78 illustrations by Antonio Lupatelli.
  • Enchanted Tarot (1995), 78 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi.
  • Dante's Tarot (2001), 78 illustrations by Andrea Serio.
  • Ramses. Tarot of Eternity (2003), 78 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
  • Golden Tarot of Renaissance - Estensi Tarot (2003), 78 illustrations by Jo Dworkin.
  • Bacchus Tarot (2005), 78 illustrations by Luigi Scapini.
  • Venice Tarot (2007), 78 illustrations by Davide Tonato.
  • Angels Tarot (2007), 78 illustrations by Arturo Picca.
  • Universal Wirth Tarot (2007), 78 illustrations by Stefano Palumbo.
  • Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn (2008), 78 illustrations by Patrizio Evangelisti.
  • Prophetic Tarot of the Bible (2017), 78 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
  • Kabbalistic Tarot of Papus 1909 (2019), 78 illustrations by Gabriel Goulinat restored under the direction of Giordano Berti.
  • Egyptian Tarot by Schwaller del Lubicz 1926 (2019), 25 illustrations by Lucie Lamy restored under the direction of Giordano Berti.

Sibyls and various Decks[edit]

Various kind of divination cards:

  • Zodiac Cards (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1990), 22 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi.
  • Paracelso Oracle Cards (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 2005), 36 illustrations from an ancient book of prophecies.
  • Celtic Oracle (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 2006), 24 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
  • Secret Games of the Elves (Araba Fenice, Boves 2012), 22 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
  • The Sibyl of the Heart (Araba Fenice, Boves 2015), 40 illustrations by Rudolph Mayr (1617) painted by Stiliyan Stefanov (2015).
  • True Paths of Angels (with Daniel Missori and Letizia Rivetti), 33 illustrations by Alessia Coppola, Araba Fenice, Boves 2017, ISBN 9788866174660

Other studies[edit]

Apart from tarot studies, Giordano Berti wrote some historical books about different themes of western spirituality. Below are some of the most important works:

  • Hell's Visions. Sins and Tortures in the Art of Middle Age (Le Tarot, Faenza 1991) (Italian)
  • Archangels: History and Legends (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 1997) (Italian)
  • The Heretics (Xenia, Milan 1997) (Italian)
  • Dictionary of Christian Religion (Vallardi, Milan 1997) (Italian)
  • The Other World and Afterlife (Mondadori, Milan 1998, in Italian, French, Japanese and Polish)
  • Dictionary of Mystics (Vallardi, Milan 1999) (Italian)
  • Prayers of all the World (Vallardi, Milan 1999) (Italian)
  • Oriental Religions in the Western World (Xenia, Milan 2000) (Italian)
  • Enoch (Armenia, Milan 2000) (Italian)
  • History of Divination (Mondadori, Milan 2005) (Italian)
  • Angel voices (Lo Scarabeo, Turin 2006) (English)
  • History of Witchcraft (Mondadori, Milan 2010) (Italian)


  1. ^ DONINI, Domenico, Giordano Berti: un artista poliedrico, in IMAGO, catalog of the exhibit at Museo della Grafica, Brisighella, June 1985, p.5-6.
  2. ^ MORSUCCI, Anna Maria, "About Giordano Berti", in Tarocchi: from Renaissance to present days, catalog of the exhibition in Turin, October 2017 – January 2018, Lo Scarabeo, Turin 2017, p.23
  3. ^ GEDDA, Alberto, "Giordano Berti, a short byography", in Tarot of the New Vision, Lo Scarabeo, Torino 2005, P. 156 ISBN 88-8395-484-X
  4. ^ KAPLAN, R. Stuart, "Giordano Berti", in The Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. IV, U.S. Games Systems, Stamford 2005, pp. 670-672 ISBN 1-57281-506-X
  5. ^ DI BERNARDO, Bruno, La memoria storico di Monghidoro nelle targhe di Giordano Berti, in Valli Savena Idice, n°1, September 2013. PAGANI, Giada, Monghidoro: un monumento all'emigrante, in Il Resto del Carlino, August 31, 2013. PAGANI, Giada, La Liberazione di Monghidoro: un viaggio nel passato, in Il Resto del Carlino, October 4, 2014.

External links[edit]