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.
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.
Roberto Saviano is an Italian essayist, writer, and screenwriter. Since 2006, Saviano has been living under police protection after receiving death threats from an Italian criminal organization, which was upset with Saviano's works that expose the functionality of organized crime in Italy. Over the years, Roberto Saviano has also contributed to prominent Italian and international newspapers.
Giacomo Leopardi was one of the greatest lyric poets of the 19th century. Born into a noble family, he mastered several languages and wrote many works by 16, in spite of suffering from a cerebrospinal ailment. Remembered for his iconic works such as A Silvia, he died during a cholera epidemic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11 Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, and literary theorist. He was also a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and a member of the Knights Hospitaller, a Catholic military order. He played a key role in the development of the Tuscan dialect as a literary language. As a priest, he promoted the Christian perfection of Renaissance humanism.
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.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi is an Italian historian, essayist, writer, archaeologist, and journalist. He earned a degree in classical arts at the University of Bologna and became an archaeologist. He later pursued an academic career and published many essays and articles. He has held conferences and seminars in many reputed universities. He is also the author of several best-selling novels.
Alessandro Barbero is an Italian historian, essayist, and novelist. He studied literature and medieval history at the University of Turin. He is the author of numerous works on history, including The Battle, an account of the Battle of Waterloo. He is also a TV and radio commentator and organizer on the Italian cultural scene. He received the 1996 Strega Prize.