Italian novelist Umberto Eco is best remembered for his novels The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. He also taught at the University of Bologna and had released quite a few children’s books and translations. He was also known for his work on semiotics and medieval studies.
Luigi Pirandello was an Italian novelist, short story writer, poet, and dramatist. Best remembered for his plays, Pirandello was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934. An Italian nationalist, Pirandello supported Fascism; he asked the Fascist government to melt down his Nobel Prize medal for the Abyssinia Campaign.
Noted film director and actor Pier Paolo Pasolini had already gained fame as a poet and author before stepping into the entertainment industry. The openly gay filmmaker was known for his usage of non-professional actors and themes of sexuality. His brutal murder remains to be a controversial topic.
Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo, best remembered for the play Mistero Buffo, donned many hats and made his presence felt as an actor, stage director and designer, and painter. He and his wife, actor Franca Rame, did everything from writing sketches for the show Canzonissima to founding theater companies.
One of the pioneers of neo-realism, Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini was part of the French nouvelle vague movement. Born to the man who had set up Italy’s first cinema, Rossellini later grew up to make films such as Rome, Open City. He was also known for his scandalous affair with Ingrid Bergman.
Italian journalist, short-story writer and novelist Italo Calvino, counted among noted Italian fiction writers in the 20th-century, emerged as the most translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his demise. Notable works of Calvino include novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler; the collection of 12 short stories titled Cosmicomics, and the Our Ancestors trilogy.
Exorcist and Catholic priest Gabriele Amorth had been in charge of countless exorcisms in his career of over 6 decades. The founder-president of the International Association of Exorcists, he had also penned a few books on his experiences as an exorcist and had been part of World War II, too.
Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico, the founder of the scuola metafisica art movement, showed marked influence of his childhood spent in Greece in his work. His metaphysical paintings showcased empty cityscapes, mannequins, trains, and towers. His notable works include The Child's Brain and The Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon.
Known for literary works like Il Piacere and La Gioconda, Italian journalist, poet and playwright Gabriele D'Annunzio dominated the second period of Italian Decadentism. He became a national war hero during the First World War. His political endeavours include establishing and leading the short-lived Italian Regency of Carnaro in Fiume. He is often described as the forerunner of Italian fascism.
Elena Ferrante is an Italian novelist whose works have been translated into several languages. Ferrante is best known for her Neapolitan Novels book series. In 2016, Ferrante was named among the 100 most influential people list published by Time magazine. In 2016, her book The Story of the Lost Child was also shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize.
Julius Evola was an Italian poet, philosopher, painter, esotericist, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, and occultist. Evola is extremely popular in fringe circles due to his supernatural, magical, and metaphysical beliefs. Due to his traditionalist views on gender, which advocated a purely patriarchal society, Evola is regarded as one of Italy’s most influential fascist racists of all time.
Andrea Camilleri was an Italian writer whose book The Potter's Field was honored with the CWA International Dagger award in 2012. Over the course of his career, Camilleri also won other prestigious awards, such as the Nino Martoglio International Book Award.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was an Italian poet, art theorist, and editor. He is credited with founding the Futurist movement and is remembered for his work Manifesto of Futurism. In 1918, he founded a political party called Futurist Political Party as an extension of the social and futurist artistic movement. The party merged with the Italian Fasces of Combat in 1919.
Giulio Andreotti was an Italian politician who served as the prime minister of Italy on three occasions between 1972 and 1992. Widely regarded as the most important and powerful politician of the First Republic, Andreotti was the second longest-serving Italian prime minister after Silvio Berlusconi in the post-war era. Giulio Andreotti also served in several ministerial positions throughout his career.
Alberto Moravia was an Italian journalist and novelist best remembered for exploring themes like existentialism, social alienation, and sexuality. His anti-fascist novel The Conformist inspired the 1970 political drama film of the same name. Moravia's works have also inspired other films, such as Agostino, Contempt, The Empty Canvas, and Two Women.
Milo Manara is an Italian comic book writer and artist best known for his erotic comics and illustrations. He studied architecture and painting, following which he made his debut as a comic illustrator. His works have appeared in several magazines, including Charlie Mensuel, Pilote, and Terror. He has also drawn low print variant covers for issues of Marvel comic books.
Italian author Cesare Pavese is remembered for his themes of gloom and loneliness and for his protagonists who were often loners. His prolonged fight with fascists and the failure of his affair with actor Constance Dowling led him to commit suicide by consuming sleeping pills in a Turin hotel.
Freya Stark was an Anglo-Italian travel writer and explorer. One of the first non-Arabs to explore the southern Arabian Desert, Stark penned down over 24 books on her travels in Afghanistan and the Middle East. She also wrote many essays and autobiographical works. In 1968, Freya Stark embarked on her last expedition to Afghanistan at the age of 75.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was an Italian writer best remembered as the last Prince of Lampedusa. Tomasi is quite popular for his novel The Leopard which was published posthumously in 1958. His life and career inspired a docufilm titled Die Geburt des Leoparden which was directed by Luigi Falorni and screened at the 14th Rome Film Festival.
Former prime minister of Italy, Enrico Letta was the son of a math professor and followed in his father’s footsteps to become a professor, too, teaching at universities such as HEC Paris. Later, he stepped into politics with the Christian Democracy party. He also has a doctorate degree in European Union Law.
Rafael Sabatini was an Italian-English author who wrote romance and adventure novels. Sabatini is best remembered for his bestselling novels like The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood: His Odyssey, and Bellarion the Fortunate. Overall, Rafael Sabatini wrote 34 novels, six non-fiction books, eight short story collections, and several uncollected short stories.
Natalia Ginzburg was an Italian author who dealt with sensitive subjects like politics and family relationships during the Second World War. Ginzburg's works were often translated into English for readers in the USA and the UK. Over the course of her illustrious career, Natalia Ginzburg won several prestigious awards, such as the Bagutta Prize and Strega Prize.
Alain Elkann is an Italian journalist and novelist. He is known for his role as the conductor of cultural programs aired on Italian TV. Elkann is also known for his work which promotes a cordial relation between Americans and Italians. He is the president of the Italy-USA Foundation's Scientific Committee. In 2010, he received the America Award for his work.
Born to Italian writer Cino Boccazzi, Kuki Gallmann later moved to Kenya with her husband and son, both of whom she lost in separate accidents. Taking up Kenyan citizenship, she focused on ecological conservation. He bestselling book I Dreamed Of Africa was later made into a movie.
Italo Svevo was an Italian writer, playwright, novelist, short story writer, and businessman. Svevo was regarded as a pioneer of psychological fiction. He is remembered for his work La coscienza di Zeno, which is considered his magnum opus. Svevo is widely regarded as an important writer of the 20th century whose works had an influence on later generations of writers.
Jeanne Modigliani was an Italian-French Jewish art historian. She was the daughter of artists Amedeo Modigliani and Jeanne Hébuterne. She lost both her parents as a small child and was adopted by her aunt. She conducted extensive biographical research on her father years after his death and published the book Modigliani: Man and Myth.
Yale Law School professor Guido Calabresi currently serves as the United States Circuit Judge. As a legal scholar, he is considered a pioneer of law and economics. He has around 50 honorary degrees from institutes across the globe and has penned books such as The Costs of Accidents.
Curzio Malaparte was an Italian writer, diplomat, war correspondent, and filmmaker. Many of his works, such as La pelle were adapted into films. In 1926, he co-founded an Italian magazine called 900, which played a major role in the rise of Italian fascism. Curzio Malaparte also served as a co-editor and editor of Fiera Letteraria and La Stampa respectively.
A microhistory expert, Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg has had teaching stints at the University of Bologna and UCLA. He is best known for his work The Cheese and the Worms and holds 16 honorary degrees from various universities. He also won the Balzan Prize for the History of Europe in 2010.
Grazia Deledda was an Italian writer who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926, becoming the first Italian woman to receive the prize. Interested in writing from a young age, she became a writer despite her family’s objections. Today, her work is highly regarded across the world, and generations of writers continue to be inspired by her.
Alessandro Baricco is an Italian writer and director. He is also an occasional performer. He is considered one of Italy's most versatile contemporary writers. He studied philosophy and piano and has worked as a music critic. He is also a playwright and essayist. He is a co-founder of the Holden School of Contemporary Humanities.
Renata Adler is an author, journalist, and film critic who has been a staff writer-reporter for The New Yorker. She studied comparative literature at Harvard University and later received a J.D. from Yale Law School. Despite not being much knowledgeable about films, she became a film critic for The New York Times. She has also written many books.
Known as one of the EU’s founding fathers, Italian politician Altiero Spinelli was a communist who had spent 16 years in confinement for opposing fascist powers. While in prison, he co-wrote the Ventotene Manifesto. He later represented Central Italy in the European Parliament and was part of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
Gianni Rodari was an Italian writer best known for his works of children's literature, notably Il romanzo di Cipollino. He is counted among Italy's most important 20th-century children's authors. As a young man, he participated in the Italian resistance movement and worked as a journalist. He began writing books for children in the 1940s.
Giuseppe Ungaretti was an Italian poet, essayist, journalist, academic, and critic. One of the most important contributors to Italian literature during the 20th century, Ungaretti was honored with the first Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1970. He is credited with popularizing hermetic poetry, a form of difficult and obscure poetry.