Famous Italian Leaders

Think of Italy and the first thing that strikes the mind is its enchanting beauty, picturesque landscape, magnificent art, rich culture and heritage, vibrant history and lip-smacking cuisine! But there is more to Italy that what meets the eye – Italian leaders! One of the most charming and hardworking people in the world, Italian leaders are recognized for their wit, intelligence and charisma. Much of the credit for safeguarding the country’s unique blend of mesmerizing past and effervescent present goes to its leaders who have helped maintain a balance and created a niche of distinctiveness for Italy in the world over. According to the Constitution of Italy, the country is ruled by elected representatives. The Prime Minister is the executive head of the country, while the role of the President is largely ceremonial. Italy has had numerous leaders since 1861, but few of them have left a lasting imprint on the minds of the people in Italy and abroad. Alcide de Gasperi, Aldo Moro, Giovanni Spadolinni, Mario Monti, Giorgio Napolitano, Enrico Letta, Matteo Renzi are some of Italian leaders who have contributed to the country’s growth and advancement. Given in this section are the details about life and works of famous Italian leaders.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Paul of Tarsus

Paul of Tarsus
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: 0064 AD

 2 Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 26, 0121
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 17, 0180

Marcus Aurelius played an important role in the Roman Empire. A Stoic philosopher, Marcus was part of the Five Good Emperors and the last emperor of the Pax Romana—a 200-year-long period of relative peace in the Roman Empire. Also a writer, his work Meditations is regarded by many as one of the greatest works of philosophy.

 3 Cicero

Cicero
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Famous As: Philosopher, Political Theorist
Birthdate: January 3, 0106
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian, Ancient Roman
Died: December 7, 0043
Roman statesman, lawyer, and scholar Cicero was one of the greatest 1st-century BC prose writers and orators. He influenced Latin literature immensely and introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans. He was declared an enemy of the state, following his opposition to Mark Antony after Julius Caesar’s death, and was executed.

 4 St Francis of Assisi

St Francis of Assisi
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Famous As: Founder of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans)
Birthdate: November 26, 1182
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 3, 1226

An Italian Catholic friar, deacon, mystic, and preacher, St Francis of Assisi was the founder of the men's Order of Friars Minor and the women's Order of Saint Clare. He arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene in 1223. Also known as Francesco, he is one of the most venerated religious figures in Christianity.

 5 Saint Valentine

Saint Valentine
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0226 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 14, 0269

 6 Pope John Paul I

Pope John Paul I
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Famous As: Pope of Roman Catholic Church
Birthdate: October 17, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 28, 1978
Pope John Paul I, also known as The Smiling Pope and The September Pope, was the shortest-reigning Pope and died 33 days after being made the Pope. He was the first Pope to choose a double name, including the names of his predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI.
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 7 Steve Scalise

Steve Scalise
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 6, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian, American
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 8 Lorenzo de' Medici

Lorenzo de' Medici
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Famous As: Leader
Birthdate: January 1, 1449
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 8, 1492

Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman. Nicknamed Lorenzo the Magnificent, de' Medici was the most enthusiastic and powerful patron of Renaissance culture in Italy. He is credited with providing sponsorships to artists like Michelangelo and Botticelli, thereby contributing indirectly to the development of art in the Republic of Florence. His life and work inspired a couple of TV series.

 9 Giuseppe Conte

Giuseppe Conte
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian

 10 Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi
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Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Italy
Birthdate: September 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Media mogul Silvio Berlusconi served as the Italian prime minister for 9 years. Owner of the media groups Mediaset and Fininvest, and former owner of A.C. Milan, he also launched the first Italian private TV channel, Telemilano. Despite a conviction for tax fraud, he became a European Parliament MP later.

 11 Cosimo de' Medici

Cosimo de' Medici
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Famous As: Banker
Birthdate: April 10, 1389
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian
Died: August 1, 1464

 12 Pompey

Pompey
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Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: September 29, 0106
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 28, 0048

Considered ruthless by his opponents, Pompey was an ancient Roman general who was a veteran of many wars and played a key role in changing Rome from a republic to an empire. Pompey was first an ally of his more illustrious compatriot Julius Caesar whose daughter he married, and then became his enemy. He was assassinated in Egypt, an end not uncommon in history.

 13 Benedict of Nursia

Benedict of Nursia
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: March 2, 0480
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 21, 0547
The only valid mention of Saint Benedict is found in the Dialogues of St. Gregory I. Of the many legends about him is the one in which he rolled himself against bushes to inflict wounds, just to escape the Devil who showed the image of a beautiful woman to him.

 14 Pope Paul VI

Pope Paul VI
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Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: September 26, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: August 6, 1978
Succeeding Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI was elected the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State in June 1963 and continued in his role till his death in August 1978. He reconvened the Second Vatican Council and after its conclusion worked towards implementation of its reforms. He was canonised in 2018 by Pope Francis.

 15 Giuseppe Garibaldi

Giuseppe Garibaldi
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Famous As: Italian Nationalist
Birthdate: July 4, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: June 2, 1882

Italian general, patriot, and republican Giuseppe Garibaldi is remembered for the role he played in the Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy. He is considered one of Italy's "fathers of the fatherland." A highly proficient military general, he also led the Expedition of the Thousand on behalf of Victor Emmanuel II. He died in 1882.

 16 Pio of Pietrelcina

Pio of Pietrelcina
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Birthdate: May 25, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 23, 1968

 17 Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII
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Famous As: Pope of Roman Catholic Church
Birthdate: March 2, 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 9, 1958

Pope Pius XII served as the head of the Catholic Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City from 1939 till 1958. Of the many positions he had held, one was the secretaryship of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. He is remembered for negotiating the treaty of Reichskonkordat.

 18 Scipio Africanus

Scipio Africanus
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Famous As: Roman General
Birthdate: 0236 BC
Nationality: Italian
Died: 0183 BC
Roman general and consul Scipio Africanus is remembered for his exploits during the Second Punic War. He gained the title Africanus by defeating Hannibal at the Battle of Zama. He was later dragged into a trial for accepting bribes and eventually left Rome to live in his villa in Liternum.

 19 Antonio Gramsci

Antonio Gramsci
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Famous As: Politician, Philosopher
Birthdate: January 22, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 27, 1937

Antonio Gramsci was an Italian politician, journalist, philosopher, linguist, and writer. A founding member of the Communist Party of Italy, Gramsci went on to serve as the leader of the party before he was arrested by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime. Since his death, Antonio Gramsci has been the subject of several plays and films.

 20 Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII
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Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: November 25, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: June 3, 1963

Pope John XXIII served as the Bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church from 1958 until his death in 1963. He took many people by surprise when he called the historic Second Vatican Council, which addressed relations between the modern world and the Catholic Church. Pope John XXIII was canonized on 27 April 2014.

 21 Pope Leo X

Pope Leo X
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Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: December 11, 1475
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 1, 1521
Son of Lorenzo the Magnificent and part of the Medici banking family of Florence, Giovanni de’ Medici, was tonsured at 7, as a mark of his entry into ecclesiastical life. He took over as Pope Leo X after Julius II’s death. An art connoisseur, he was a true Renaissance pope.

 22 Alessandra Mussolini

Alessandra Mussolini
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Famous As: Actor, Politician, Model
Birthdate: December 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian

 23 Lucius Cornelius Sulla

Lucius Cornelius Sulla
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Famous As: Roman consul
Birthdate: 0138 BC
Nationality: Italian
Died: 0078 BC

 24 Matteo Renzi

Matteo Renzi
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Famous As: Prime Minister of Italy
Birthdate: January 11, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian
Italia Viva party leader and the youngest-ever Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, was named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers. He was criticized by many for meeting controversial Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In early 2021, he received bullets in an envelope, causing a media frenzy. 

 25 Matteo Salvini

Matteo Salvini
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Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: March 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Matteo Salvini, or The Captain, is known for his staunch right-wing ideology. The former deputy prime minister of Italy is against illegal immigration and believes in the motto “Prima gli italiani,” or “Italians first.” Part of Lega, a rebranded version of Umberto Bossi’s Lega Nord, Salvini is a prominent Eurosceptic.

 26 Pope Gregory I

Pope Gregory I
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0540 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 12, 0604

Pope Gregory I served as the bishop of Rome from 590 until his death in 604. He is best remembered for sending the Gregorian Mission to Britain, which was successful in converting the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. He is also credited with developing the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts and is widely regarded as its de facto author.

 27 Pope Julius II

Pope Julius II
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Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: December 5, 1443
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 21, 1513

Pope Julius II served as the ruler of the Papal States and head of the Catholic Church from 1503 until his death in 1513. One of the most influential and powerful popes, Julius II left a significant political and cultural legacy. He commissioned a series of architecture and art projects, which beautified and improved the city to a great extent.

 28 Sergio Mattarella

Sergio Mattarella
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Famous As: President of Italy
Birthdate: July 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian

Sergio Mattarella is an Italian politician, academic, jurist, and lawyer. He is the current president of the Italian Republic. Before becoming the president of Italy, Mattarella served as the Minister for Parliamentary Relations. He also served as the Minister of Public Education and as the Italian Minister of Defence.

 29 Pope Clement VII

Pope Clement VII
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Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: May 26, 1478
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 25, 1534

Pope Clement VII was head of the Catholic Church from 1523 to 1534. He also served as the ruler of the Papal States and is considered the most unfortunate of the popes as his reign was marked by military, political, and religious struggles. Despite his troubled papacy, Pope Clement left a remarkable cultural legacy, having commissioned artworks by personalities like Michelangelo.

 30 Pope Pius IX

Pope Pius IX
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Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: May 13, 1792
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 7, 1878

Pope Pius IX served as the longest-tenured pope. His reign also witnessed the first Vatican Council and was thus the last pope who had control over the Papal States. He also issued the Syllabus of Errors and inspired books such as The Pope Who Would Be King by David Kertzer.

 31 Germanicus

Germanicus
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Famous As: Roman General
Birthdate: May 24, 0015
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 10, 0019
Germanicus Julius Caesar, son of Nero Claudius and Antonia the Younger, was a Roman general. He was known for his chiseled physique and his military prowess. He took over the provinces of Cappadocia and Commagene, and also proceeded to fight against the governor of Syria, before he died of poisoning.

 32 Mario Draghi

Mario Draghi
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Famous As: Economist, Banker, University teacher
Birthdate: September 3, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian

 33 Gianni Agnelli

Gianni Agnelli
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Famous As: Entrepreneur, Engineer, Politician, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: January 24, 2003

 34 Vitellius

Vitellius
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: September 24, 0015
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 22, 0069

 35 Gaius Cassius Longinus

Gaius Cassius Longinus
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Famous As: Roman General
Birthdate: October 3, 0085
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 3, 0042
The last of the Romans, Gaius Cassius Longinus was the main conspirator in the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. When Brutus was made the praetor urbanus by Caesar, Cassius was angered and thus plotted revenge. Following the murder, he left for Syria, but committed suicide after losing to Mark Antony.

 36 John Bosco

John Bosco
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Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: August 16, 1815
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian
Died: January 31, 1888

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.

 37 Pope Pius X

Pope Pius X
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Famous As: Head of the Catholic Church (1903-1914)
Birthdate: June 2, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian
Died: August 20, 1914

Pope Pius X was the head of the Catholic Church from 1903 to 1914. He is credited for initiating the preparation of the 1917 Code of Canon Law. He was vehemently opposed to modernism as a pope. He regularly gave homily sermons in the pulpit, a rare practice for popes. He was beatified in 1951 and canonized in 1954.

 38 Clare of Assisi

Clare of Assisi
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: July 16, 1194
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: August 11, 1253
Clare of Assisi, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, ran away from home to escape marriage and received her vows instead. She later formed the Poor Clares. She was made the patron saint of television, as she had once seen the Mass on the walls of her room.

 39 Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII
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Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: March 2, 1810
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 20, 1903
Pope Leo XIII is best remembered for writing the Prayer to St. Michael and his encyclicals on the Rosary, which earned him the nickname Rosary Pope. He advocated for age-old Christian ways and means and was the first pope to have no authority over the Papal States.

 40 Piero the Unfortunate

Piero the Unfortunate
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 15, 1472
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 28, 1503

 41 Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI
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Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: May 31, 1857
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 10, 1939

A man who believed in the motto “The peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ,” Pope Pius XI was also an avid scholar. His reign witnessed the rise of Benito Mussolini and the signing of the Lateran Treaty, which recognized Vatican City as an independent nation state.

 42 Pope Innocent III

Pope Innocent III
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Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: February 22, 1161
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 16, 1216

Pope Innocent III served as the Pope of the Catholic Church from 1198 until his death in 1216. One of the most influential and powerful of the medieval popes, Pope Innocent exerted influence over the European Christian states, claiming supremacy over kings of Europe.

 43 Federica Mogherini

Federica Mogherini
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian

 44 Marcus Junius Brutus

Marcus Junius Brutus
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Birthdate: 0085 BC
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 23, 0042

 45 Gannicus

Gannicus
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Famous As: Leader
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: 0071 AD

 46 Giuseppe Mazzini

Giuseppe Mazzini
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Birthdate: June 22, 1805
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 10, 1872

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.

 47 Anselm of Canterbury

Anselm of Canterbury
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 1033 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 21, 1109

Owing to his quality classical education, Anselm of Canterbury became one of the finest Latinists of his time. As Archbishop of Canterbury, he resisted the English kings and was exiled. He is now remembered as a significant figure in the Investiture Controversy, which pitted the king against the pope.

 48 Philip the Arab

Philip the Arab
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Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: 0204 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: 0249 AD

 49 Pope Boniface VIII

Pope Boniface VIII
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Birthdate: 1230 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 11, 1303

 50 Alexander Severus

Alexander Severus
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Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: October 1, 0208
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 19, 0235