The Italian Almanac

celebrating Nutella

Nutella Prevails

Former premier and media baron Silvio Berlusconi is no longer Italy's richest man, having been overtaken in the annual Forbes magazine billionaires' list by both Michele Ferrero and Leonardo Del Vecchio.

Ferrero, whose confectionary company produces, among other things, the popular chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella, has a calculated wealth of $11 billion, while eyeglass Luxottica tycoon Del Vecchio is worth $10 billion and Berlusconi 'only' $9.4 billion, the American business magazine said. Last year Forbes put the ex-premier's fortune at $11.8, while Del Vecchio was second with $11.5 billion and Ferrero third with $10 billion.

Aside from Nutella, Ferrero also produces such popular brands as Kinder, Tic-Tac and Ferrero-Rocher. In the overall Forbes list, Ferrero came in at number 68, down from 62 last year, while Del Vecchio fell from 52nd to 77th place and Berlusconi was ranked 90th, down from 51st in 2007.

This year there were 1,125 billionaires on the Forbes list and other Italians included fashion icon Giorgio Armani in 203rd place with a value of $5 billion, the Benetton siblings and Geox king Mario Moretti Polegata tied at 396th place with $2.9 billion, banker Enio Doris at 573rd place with $2.1 billion and the self-made telecom billionaire Silvio Scaglia was 962rd with $1.2 billion.