Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian electrical engineer and inventor best remembered for his work on long-distance radio transmission. Marconi, who is credited with inventing the radio, was honored with the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in the field of wireless telegraphy. Also a businessman, Marconi founded the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company in 1897.
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.
Named "Best Referee of the Year" by FIFA for six consecutive times, Pierluigi Collina has a degree in economics from University of Bologne. His aptitude for the job was discovered when at seventeen he took up a course in refereeing and shortly began officiating in numerous high profile matches. Although retired, he is still involved with football in various capacities.
One of Italy’s best-known paracyclists and race car drivers, Alex Zanardi has four Paralympic gold medals in his kitty, apart from his 12 World Championship gold medals. Following a 2001 race car accident, he lost both his legs. The former Formula One racer has won CART Championships, too.
Elettra Lamborghini began her career with TV reality shows such as Gran Hermano VIP and Super Shore. She later soared to fame with her chart-busting track Pem Pem, which was viewed over 4 million times in its debut week. Her track Tócame from Twerking Queen featured Grammy Award-winning rapper Pitbull.
Luigi Galvani was an Italian physician, biologist, physicist, and philosopher. He is credited with the discovery of animal electricity and is considered a pioneer of bioelectromagnetics. He and his wife made one of the first forays into the study of bioelectricity when they discovered that the muscles of dead frogs' legs twitched when struck by an electrical spark.
Italian painter and printmaker Giorgio Morandi is best remembered for his remarkable still life paintings of subjects such as vases, boxes, bottles, and flowers. Though he was hugely inspired by the works of Paul Cézanne, his paintings, known for their gentle, subdued tones, do not fit in any specific school of painting.
Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni was a major figure of the Bolognese School. His subjects were predominantly mythological and religious figures. Initially inspired by Annibale Carracci, he later deviated to lighter colors and free brushwork. His iconic works include the fresco Aurora and the composition Atalanta and Hippomenes.
Italian business magnate and former chairman of Ferrari and Fiat, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was born into a Piedmontese aristocratic family. A Columbia law-degree holder, he had initially been a racing car driver for Fiat 500 in Italy. He has also chaired a committee for the Rome 2024 Olympic bid.
Known as Bolognese Minerva, Laura Bassi became the first woman physics professor to have taught at a European university, when she started teaching at the University of Bologna. A child prodigy, she excelled in Latin and math at age 5. She was also the first lady with a doctorate in science.
Born to a tailor, Annibale Carracci set up a painters’ studio named Accademia degli Incamminati with his brother and cousin, thus establishing the famous Carracci family of painters. A significant figure of the Baroque movement, he is remembered for his iconic works such as Domine, Quo Vadis?
Raffaella Carra was an Italian singer, television presenter, dancer, and actress. She achieved immense popularity across Europe and Latin America during the peak of her illustrious career. An icon of women's liberation, Raffaella Carra supported the LGBT movement and was honored at the 2017 World Pride Madrid with the Gay Icon award.
Italian traveler Lodovico de Varthema was one of the first non-Islamic Europeans to travel to Mecca for a pilgrimage, by either converting to Islam or pretending to. He also set foot in India and visited places such as Goa, Calicut, and Vijayanagar. He was eventually knighted for his achievements.
Alessandro Pirzio Biroli was an Italian army General and professional fencer. He is best remembered for winning a silver medal at the 1908 Olympic Games. As an army man, he played a prominent role in the First World War, where he fought in the Macedonian Front. Alessandro Pirzio Biroli is also remembered for his role in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
Bettisia Gozzadini was an Italian jurist who served as a lecturer at the University of Bologna. She is widely believed to be the first woman to have served as a lecturer at a university. A renowned orator, Gozzadini gave a eulogy at the funeral of Enrico della Fratta on 31 May 1242. Bettisia Gozzadini was also renowned for her beauty.
Alessandro Algardi was an Italian sculptor and a popular exponent of the high-Baroque style of architecture. Along with Pietro da Cortona and Francesco Borromini, Algardi was counted among the major rivals of another popular sculptor and architect, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Alessandro Algardi is best remembered for his portrait busts that have great dignity and vivacity.