Villanova Italian Professor Examines the Legacy of World-Renowned Chocolatier Michele Ferrero in New Book

Book cover of, "Il fabbricante di cioccolato. Nel mondo di Michele Ferrero"

Villanova, Pa – In the world of sweets, Michele Ferrero's name is synonymous with iconic creations like Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Kinder Chocolate. Yet, the man behind these beloved brands remained shrouded in mystery throughout his career. Il fabbricante di cioccolato. Nel mondo di Michele Ferrero (The Chocolate Maker. Inside the World of Michele Ferrero) by Luca Cottini, PhD, associate professor of Italian Studies in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, peels back the curtain on the life, entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of the Italian innovator. With a combination of academic research and compelling storytelling, Dr. Cottini offers a unique perspective on this fascinating figure. The book is published in Italian and an English version is forthcoming.

"Who was Michele Ferrero? This man was very similar to Willy Wonka — everyone knows his products, but no one knows anything about him," says Dr. Cottini. "I decided to do a biography from the inside, entering the mind of Ferrero and trying to decipher the creative and strategic processes behind the development of his famous products."

Dr. Cottini delves into the life and legacy of Ferrero, illustrating how he blended entrepreneurship and artistry to generate fresh ideas. The philosophical element of Ferrero's work is also highlighted, as he focused on producing value not only monetarily in business but also socially and culturally. “The motto is ‘share values to create value,’” Dr. Cottini elaborates. “Ferrero always sought to create something with multiple dimensions — it sells, it speaks, it’s enjoyable and it’s sustainable."

Il fabbricante di cioccolato. Nel mondo di Michele Ferrero is a book that speaks to a diverse audience, from academics to students, designers and business leaders seeking to learn how to create something truly original. Readers are offered insight into the processes that transform ordinary ideas into enduring and treasured innovations.

Dr. Cottini is an Italian studies scholar with expertise in Italian modernist literature, the early developments of industrialism, and the emergence of visual culture in Italy between the 19th and 20th centuries. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Classical Philology and Literary Criticism at the University of Milan. Dr. Cottini furthered his studies at the University of Notre Dame where he received his master’s in Romance Languages and obtained his PhD from Harvard University in Italian Studies. In addition to teaching and writing, he also hosts the YouTube channel "Italian Innovators," which brings the stories behind Italy's contributions to arts, fashion, technology, business and design to a global audience.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.