Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, and teacher, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers. He was extremely popular during his lifetime and composed many instrumental concertos and operas. He was also a Roman Catholic priest and worked at a home for abandoned children. Even though he died in 1741, his music continues to be popular.
Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and physician best known for developing the Montessori method of education, a student-friendly method, which is being used in several public and private schools around the world. In 2020, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of their Top 100 Women of the year.
Antonio Salieri was an Italian classical composer, conductor, and teacher considered a key figure in the development of late 18th-century opera. He was a protégé of eminent composer Christoph Willibald Gluck. For several years, he served as the director of the Italian opera by the Habsburg court. His works were performed widely across Europe during his lifetime.
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.
The founder of the Salesian Order, John Bosco, also known as Don Bosco, started his life as a priest in Turin. He began teaching young boys who came to Turin for jobs and later branched out to form a similar institution for girls too, with St. Mary Mazzarello.
Venerated for recovering numerous lost or neglected Classical Latin manuscripts from different European monasteries, Poggio Bracciolini was an early Renaissance humanist, scholar and calligrapher. Among his most notable recoveries are On the Nature of Things, a didactic poem by Titus Lucretius Carus, Ten Books on Architecture by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, and Pro Sexto Roscio, a speech by Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Regarded as the father of international law, Italian jurist Alberico Gentili was perhaps the first in western Europe to distinguish between secular law and canon law. He had also tutored Queen Elizabeth I, had served as a professor of law at Oxford, and specialized in Roman law.
Remembered as the second anti-pope, Novatian was also the first Roman theologian who wrote in Latin. Apart from developing Novatian Schism and studying apostasy, he also built his own church, despite immense opposition. He is believed to have been martyred after fleeing Rome during the persecution of Christians.
Considered as the most important translator among the Toledo School of Translators, Italian translator Gerard of Cremona translated many major scientific books from Arabic and Greek to Latin. Notable works of Cremona includes translating Aristotle's On the Heavens, Archimedes' On the Measurement of the Circle, al-Khwarizmi's On Algebra and Almucabala, Euclid's Elements of Geometry and most famously Ptolemy's Almagest.
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.
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.
Best known for discovering the Muratorian Fragment, Lodovico Antonio Muratori was a pioneer of Italian historiography. He began his career as a priest and joined the Ambrosian library of Milan. He is remembered for his works such as Anecdota and Annali d’Italia. He was also against orthodox religious beliefs.
Caelestius was an influential theologian in early Christianity. He was a devoted follower of the Christian teacher Pelagius and the Christian doctrine of Pelagianism. With his propaganda, he was successful in convincing many people to convert. Since their teachings were opposed to Augustine of Hippo, Caelestius and Pelagius were repeatedly condemned and called “heretics.”