Former Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte is a qualified lawyer and teaches law at various universities. He was one of the few Italian prime ministers to have held office without any previous political experience. He was also the first Western leader to impose a national lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beppe Grillo is an Italian actor, comedian, politician, and blogger. The co-founder of a political party called Five Star Movement, Grillo turned to the internet in the early-2000s to popularize his ideas. After launching a website called beppegrillo.it, which became an influential website, he started writing influential blogs, which made him a leading Italian popularizer of digital utopianism.
Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian journalist, politician, and activist. He played a major role in the Italian revolutionary movement and in the unification of Italy. His efforts gave rise to an independent and unified Italy, which replaced many separate states that were dominated by foreign powers. Mazzini is widely regarded as the most influential European revolutionary.
Pippa Bacca made international headlines in March 2008, when she was found naked and strangled on the outskirts of Istanbul. The Italian feminist artist had apparently been raped and murdered in the middle of her hitch-hiking program Brides on Tour, which had her traveling from Milan dressed as a bride.
A leading member of the 1960s Berkeley Free Speech Movement, Mario Savio was a student free-speech activist. The son of a machinist, he showed his excellence in physics and later majored in philosophy. Suspended from Berkeley for his political activities, he worked odd jobs and later became an educator.
Italian-American photographer Tina Modotti was the daughter of migrant laborers in Austria. She later worked in a textile factory in Italy, before moving to the U.S., where she acted in Italian theater. Initially excelling in still lifes and portraits, she later gained fame for her signature close-ups of Mexican workers.
Initially a U.S. Air Force cadet, Erika Eiffel later established herself as an award-winning archer. She also established OS Internationale, an organization for objectum sexuals, or people who develop relationships with inanimate objects. She was featured in the documentary Married to the Eiffel Tower, which explored her attraction to the Eiffel Tower.
Renowned feminist activist and political theorist Silvia Federici is chiefly known for co-founding the International Feminist Collective, which launched the Wages for Housework campaign worldwide. She had taught in Nigeria and is now a professor at the Hofstra University. She has also penned books such as Caliban and the Witch.
A leading proponent of propaganda of the deed, Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta became involved in politics by the age of fourteen, when he wrote intimidating letters to King Victor Emmanuel II. A dynamic speaker and author, he helped to organize anarchist revolutionary groups in Europe and Americas, spending a total of 12 years in jail and 35 years in exile.
The grandnephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Joseph Bonaparte was a French-American lawyer and political activist, born and raised in Baltimore. Founder of Baltimore Reform League, his works attracted Theodore Roosevelt’s admiration and serving as U.S. Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General during the latter’s tenure as President, he established Bureau of Investigation, later Day FBI, prosecuting many antitrust suits.
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.
Italian author Leonardo Sciascia is best remembered for works on political corruption. Some of his notable works, such as Open Doors and Illustrious Corpses, were turned into films. Initially a member of the Italian Communist Party, he later joined the Radical Party. He was also elected to the European Parliament.
16 Carlo Levi
Best known for his iconic documentary novel Christ Stopped at Eboli, Italian painter and author Carlo Levi had also studied medicine. His anti-fascist ideals and political activism got him exiled to Lucania. He was part of the neorealist and contemporary movements. He had also been a senator of the Italian parliament.
Born into the mafia family of Luigi Impastato, Giuseppe Impastato, or Peppino, is remembered for breaking apart from his family and beginning anti-mafia activities. He launched the magazine L’Idea Socialista and the radio station Radio Aut. He ran for elections, too, but was later assassinated.
19 Franca Rame
Franca Rame, the wife of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo, was one of Italy’s most popular stage actors. A left-wing political activist, she was also a member of the Senate. A frequent collaborator of her husband, she was named a muse by Fo, who also shared his Nobel with her.
Born to Swiss parents in Italy, Giovanni Morelli later studied medicine in Switzerland and Germany, but never practiced. A connoisseur of arts, he established himself as an art historian and collector. He also dabbled in politics and passed an act forbidding the sale of artwork from public or religious institutions.
22 Albert Raby
Best remembered for successfully arranging a boycott against segregation of Chicago schools, African-American civil rights activist Albert Raby was also the convener of Coordinating Council of Community Organizations. It was on his request that Martin Luther King moved his movement to Chicago. Later he managed Harold Washington’s mayoral campaign; serving on the Commission on Human Relations during the latter’s tenure.
The founder of the Focolare Movement (The Work of Mary), Chiara Lubich is regarded as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the 20th century. During World War II, she and her followers attended to the wounded. She also taught elementary school and penned bestsellers such as Meditations.
Italian politician and Communist Party member Camilla Ravera was the first woman to be a lifetime senator. She was initially associated with Antonio Gramsci’s newspaper L’Ordine Nuovo. She also edited La Compagna. As a parliamentarian, she passed bills related to the provision of equal wages for women.
25 Carlo Poerio
The son of lawyer Baron Giuseppe Poerio and the brother of poet Alessandro Poerio, Carlo Poerio was a renowned Italian poet and revolutionary, known for his association with the Risorgimento and the 1848 Revolution. Once arrested, he was confined under inhumane conditions but was later released.
Livia Giuggioli, the former wife of Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth, made headlines when she split with Firth, over her alleged affair with Marco Brancaccia. Livia apparently tried covering up the affair by claiming Brancaccia was a stalker. She had first met Giuggioli while working as a production assistant.