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.
Giovanni Falcone was an Italian judge, who spent several years of his professional life trying to overthrow the power of the Sicilian Mafia. He studied law at the University of Palermo and had a brilliant career. He eventually became a prosecuting magistrate and was involved in a long legal battle with the Sicilian Mafia. He was assassinated in 1992.
Eugene Scalia is a prominent attorney. He attended the University of Chicago Law School, following which he embarked on a brilliant legal career. He served as the US secretary of labor under President Donald Trump. Previously, he had been a solicitor of the Department of Labor in the George W. Bush administration. He currently has a private practice.
Cesare Beccaria was an 18th-century Italian criminologist, philosopher, jurist, and politician. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment. He is still remembered for his treatise On Crimes and Punishments (1764), a pioneering work in the field of penology. He is considered the father of modern criminal law.
Italian lawyer Virginia Raggi made history when she became the first female mayor of Rome. A champion of women’s rights, she also prioritizes climate change issues and is concerned about de-congesting her city. A Five Star Movement member, she withdrew Rome’s 2024 Olympic bid, stating Rome would’ve been in debt otherwise.
Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico is regarded as a pioneer of what is now known as cultural anthropology, or ethnology. He brought together history and the social sciences in his work Scienza nuova. A poor bookseller’s son, he studied by candlelight but grew up to be a major Counter-Enlightenment figure.
Italian judge Paolo Borsellino is remembered for his lifelong struggle against the Sicilian Mafia. He, along with Giovanni Falcone, succeeded in convicting over 300 criminals during the Maxi Trial in 1986 and 1987. He was later killed in a car bomb attack that also killed five police officers.
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.
The incumbent president of the Italian Senate, Elisabetta Casellati is the first female to have acquired this position. The Forza Italia member is a qualified matrimonial lawyer and has been a researcher at the University of Padua, too. A self-proclaimed conservative, she supports chemical castration of rapists and is against abortion.
Gaetano dei Conti di Thiene, better known as Saint Cajetan, was a Italian priest who co-established the Theatine order, thus becoming a significant figure of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also created what later became the Bank of Naples. He is the patron saint of Argentina, bankers, gamblers, and unemployed people.
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.
13 Paolo Conte
Paolo Conte is an Italian singer, composer, pianist, and lawyer. Renowned for his grainy, resonant voice, Conte's compositions are reminiscent of Mediterranean and Italian sounds. Over the years, he has received honorary doctorates from several institutions, such as the University of Macerata. In 1999, Paolo Conte was honored with the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
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.
Prime Minister of Italy from 1917 to 1919, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando resigned from his position when he failed to secure concession at the Versailles Peace Conference. However, he remained active in politics, initially supporting the new Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini. Later he opposed fascism, remaining in retirement until the end of WWII and was nominated Senator for Life shortly thereafter.
Maria Elena Boschi is an Italian politician and lawyer. Since 2013, Boschi has been serving as a member of the Chamber of Deputies. In 2016, Boschi became the first woman to be appointed as the Secretary of the Council of Ministers. She made headlines when she left the Democratic Party in 2019 to join Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva.
Apart from being a seasoned politician, Forza Italia member Jole Santelli was also a qualified lawyer. She had been the president of Calabria and was part of the Chamber of Deputies. Known for promoting Italian companies overseas, Santelli had been battling cancer when she died of a heart attack.
Apart from serving as the deputy prime minister of his country, Italian politician Angelino Alfano has also held portfolios such as the ministry of foreign affairs. The son of a lawyer, he followed in his father’s footsteps to study law and boasts of a PhD in corporate law.
Italian composer Piero Piccioni began his career with the radio and his jazz band 013. He also composed using the American name Piero Morgan, and starting with the score for La Tempesta, he became a regular in Hollywood. He had composed more than 300 film soundtracks, ranging from horror to romance.
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.
Antonio Di Pietro is an Italian politician, magistrate, and lawyer. As a prosecutor, Di Pietro played a key role during the famous Mani Pulite corruption trials. Antonio Di Pietro is also renowned for being one of the first prosecutors from Italy to make use of digital technologies in his work; he often uses computers and visual presentations.
Francesca Morvillo was an Italian magistrate. In 1992, Morvillo became the first and only woman magistrate to be assassinated in Italy; she was killed alongside her husband Giovanni Falcone by the Sicilian Mafia. Her funeral was aired live on national television and a day of mourning was declared by the Parliament.
23 Paolo Sarpi
Italian theologian and scientist Paolo Sarpi was also a lawyer. He lost his father early and was raised by his mother and uncle. His intellect and seriousness had earned him the nickname The Bride in his early days. He advocated for the separation of the Church and the state.
Though born into a Catholic family, Bartolo Longo initially studied law and then became a Satanist priest. However, he later returned to Catholicism and devoted himself to a shrine named Our Lady of the Rosary and his initiatives for the poor, such as orphanages for the children of prisoners.
Antonio Salandra had been the prime minister of Italy during the beginning of World War I. Initially a law professor, he later made Italy join the war as part of the Triple Entente, rejecting the Triple Alliance. He had also penned books such as Italy and the Great War.
Pietro Della Vigna was an Italian diplomat and jurist who served as the secretary and chancellor to Emperor Frederick II. A man who encouraged the fine arts and science, Della Vigna contributed immensely to the welfare of Italy. He was falsely accused of treason, imprisoned, and blinded. One of Dante Alighieri's characters in Divine Comedy was inspired by Della Vigna.
Anthony J. Celebrezze was an American politician who served as the mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, from 1954 to 1961. He also served as the senior judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1980 to 1998. During his illustrious career, Celebrezze received honorary degrees from several prestigious institutions, such as Ohio Northern University and Wilberforce University.
Irnerius was an Italian jurist who is credited with founding the School of Glossators. He is also credited with teaching the Corpus Juris Civilis at the University of Bologna. The revival of Roman law, which was first taught at Bologna, was a significant event in the history of Europe.
Bartolus de Saxoferrato was an Italian law professor. Regarded as one of the greatest jurists of Medieval Roman Law, Bartolus is widely accepted to be the first theorist of international law. A prolific writer, he influenced several civilian writers like Richard Zouch and Alberico Gentili. Thanks to his popularity, many characters in Italian plays have been named after Bartolus.
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.
Piero Schlesinger was an Italian jurist, lawyer, banker, and academic. From 1971 to 1993, Schlesinger served as the president of Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM). Piero Schlesinger is credited with co-authoring an academic textbook named Manuale di diritto privato which is regarded as one of the most influential among academic textbooks of private law in Italy.
Urbano Rattazzi was an Italian statesman and one of Italy's founding fathers. Rattazzi held several prominent cabinet positions including that of prime minister in the early years of the Italian Republic. Urbano Rattazzi's ambiguous policies were opposed by Giuseppe Garibaldi which brought about his eventual downfall.
Gaetano Filangieri was an Italian philosopher and jurist whose works had a strong influence on several prominent personalities including Benjamin Franklin; Franklin was one of his ardent admirers and the two exchanged several letters from 1780 until Gaetano Filangieri's demise in 1788.
Verres was a Roman magistrate whose trial threw light on the extent of corruption in the Roman provinces. Infamous for his misgovernment of Sicily, Verres is remembered for his plundering of temples and extortion of local farmers which eventually led to his prosecution.
Francesco Saverio Pavone was an Italian magistrate who served as the chief of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Venice for several years. He played an important role in exposing the activities of an organized crime group named Mala del Brenta which in turn dismantled the group and led to the conviction of former Italian crime boss Felice Maniero.
Initially a lawyer, Lanfranc later taught at a school he founded. He eventually renounced his career to enter the Benedictine ministry as a monk. He discovered a conspiracy by some earls against William of Normandy. He later served as the abbot of St Stephen and as the archbishop of Canterbury.
Guido delle Colonne was a 13th-century Italian writer and judge. He is credited with authoring History of the destruction of Troy, an elaborate narrative of the famous Trojan War. The book was widely translated and Guido is credited with bringing the legend of Troy to Italy. Guido delle Colonne's works were praised by the popular Italian poet Dante Alighieri.
39 Ugo Betti
Ugo Betti was an Italian judge and author. Widely regarded as the greatest Italian playwright of all time, Betti wrote 27 plays including The Mistress of the House and Troubled Waters. Dubbed the Italian Kafka, Ugo Betti's works explore human emotions, such as guilt.
Franciscus Accursius was an Italian lawyer and the son of famous jurist and glossator Accursius. Renowned for his tact, Franciscus Accursius served as the king's secretary from the late-1270s to 1282. Writer and philosopher Dante Alighieri had accused him of sodomy, placing him in Hell along with other sodomites.
Cino da Pistoia was an Italian poet and jurist who taught law at the universities of Florence, Siena, Naples, and Perugia. Many of his students, including Francesco Petrarca and Bartolus, went on to become successful and popular. Cino da Pistoia's poems were renowned for their harmony of rhythms and purity of language, attracting praises from the likes of Dante Alighieri.
Paola Severino is an Italian politician and lawyer who served as the nation's minister of justice from November 2011 to April 2013. Severino is the first woman to be appointed as Italy's minister of justice. One of the top criminal lawyers in the country, Paola Severino has worked for important personalities like Romano Prodi, Francesco Caltagirone, and Cesare Geronzi.
Dionisio Anzilotti was an Italian jurist who also served as the judge of the World Court, which existed from 1922 to 1946. Anzilotti also taught international law in Rome, Bologna, Florence, and Palermo from 1892 to 1937. He is credited with authoring a textbook titled Corso di diritto internazionale which was translated into many languages.
Pier Paolo Vergerio the Elder was an Italian statesman, humanist, canon lawyer, and pedagogist. He is best remembered for being one of the 15 delegates who traveled to Perpignan along with Emperor Sigismund. He also served as the emperor's secretary from 1417 until his death in 1444.
Bulgarus was an Italian jurist and an important member of the famous group of jurists and glossators, the Four Doctors of Bologna. The most revered of the Four Doctors, Bulgarus was considered the Chrysostom of the Glossators.
Pasquale Stanislao Mancini was an Italian statesman and jurist. He played a key role in convincing Ferdinand II to enter the war against Austria in 1848. He also played a major role in the signing of the Triple Alliance, an agreement between Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary.
Azo of Bologna was an Italian jurist who served as a professor of civil law at Bologna. He is best remembered for one of his most influential works, Summa Codicis. His work was later translated into Old French.
Lorenzo Acquarone was an Italian politician and lawyer who served as a faculty member at the University of Genoa from 1966 to 2006. Over the years, Lorenzo Acquarone has received several prestigious awards and honors, such as Italian Medal of Merit for Culture and Art and Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Bernardo Tasso was an Italian poet and courtier. He fathered Torquato Tasso, who would go on to become one of the greatest Italian poets of all time. Bernardo Tasso is credited with serving several noblemen during his career. A prolific writer, Bernardo Tasso wrote odes, eclogues, sonnets, and psalms. He also wrote the epic poem L'Amadigi.
Renzo Gattegna was an Italian lawyer who also served as the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. Gattegna was 67 years old when he replaced Claudio Morpurgo to become the president of the national association on 16 July 2006.