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 
Marcus Aurelius
(Philosopher)

Marcus Aurelius
11
Birthdate: April 26, 0121
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
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.

 2 
Giuseppe Garibaldi
(Revolutionary)

Giuseppe Garibaldi
15
Birthdate: July 4, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice, France
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.

 3 

Lorenzo de' Medici
9
Birthdate: January 1, 1449
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
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.

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 4 
Giuseppe Conte
(Politician)

Giuseppe Conte
10
Birthdate: August 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Volturara Appula, Apulia, Italy

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.

 5 

Cosimo de' Medici
6
Birthdate: April 10, 1389
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: August 1, 1464

One of the main patriarchs of the famed Medici family that ruled Florence, Italian banker Cosimo de' Medici was one of the richest men of his time. Medici was also a great patron of art and architecture. He also arranged a search for ancient manuscripts and opened a public library.

 6 
Antonio Gramsci
(Marxist philosopher, Journalist)

Antonio Gramsci
8
Birthdate: January 23, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ales, Italy
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.

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 7 

Alessandra Mussolini
9
Birthdate: December 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Alessandra Mussolini is an Italian former politician and former actress. The granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, she is a former member of the Chamber of Deputies and the Italian Senate. She was the leader of the national conservative political party Social Action as well. Prior to joining politics, she was a model and actress in the 1970s and 1980s.  

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 8 
Steve Scalise
(Politician)

Steve Scalise
5
Birthdate: October 6, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Steve Scalise is the current U.S. House of Representatives minority whip and represents Louisiana's 1st district. Scalise made headlines when, in 2017, he and three others were injured after a left-wing extremist shot them with a rifle at a Congressional baseball practice. Strangely, he still remains a gun rights supporter.

 9 
Matteo Salvini
(Deputy Prime Minister of Italy (2018-19))

Matteo Salvini
7
Birthdate: March 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
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.

 10 
Silvio Berlusconi
(Former Prime Minister of Italy)

Silvio Berlusconi
14
Birthdate: September 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan
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 
Mario Draghi
(Economist, Banker, University teacher)

Mario Draghi
5
Birthdate: September 3, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome

The son of a banker father, Italian economist Mario Draghi initially served as the president of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Italy governor, and is the current prime minister of Italy. The media named him Super Mario for efficiently handling the Eurozone debt crisis.

 12 
Matteo Renzi
(Prime Minister of Italy)

Matteo Renzi
7
Birthdate: January 11, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Florence
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. 

 13 
Germanicus
(Roman General)

Germanicus
5
Birthdate: May 24, 0015
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
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.

 14 
Gaius Cassius Longinus
(Roman General)

Gaius Cassius Longinus
5
Birthdate: October 3, 0085
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
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.

Giuseppe Mazzini
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1805
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
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.

 16 

Piero the Unfortunate
5
Birthdate: February 15, 1472
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: December 28, 1503

 17 

Flavius Aëtius
3
Birthdate: 0391 AD
Birthplace: Silistra
Died: September 21, 0454

 18 
Marcus Junius Brutus
(Former Politician most famous of the assassins of Julius Caesar)

Marcus Junius Brutus
6
Birthdate: 0085 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: October 23, 0042

 19 
Federica Mogherini
(Politician)

Federica Mogherini
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

 20 
Philip the Arab
(Political figure)

Philip the Arab
4
Birthdate: 0204 AD
Birthplace: Shahba
Died: 0249 AD

 21 
Aldo Moro
(Politician, Diplomat, University teacher)

Aldo Moro
4
Birthdate: September 23, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Maglie
Died: May 9, 1978

Christian Democracy member Aldo Moro had served as the Italian prime minister and had also held important portfolios such as foreign affairs and public education. He was also a University of Bari professor of law, initially. He was abducted and killed by left-wing terrorists known as The Red Brigades.

 22 
Roch
(Catholic Saint)

Roch
4
Birthdate: 1348 AD
Birthplace: Montpellier, France
Died: August 16, 1379
Saint Roch, or Rocco, the 14th-century saint from Montpellier, had taken care of victims of the Black Death in Italy. Having fallen prey to the same disease, he was rescued by a dog in a forest. The illness changed his appearance and caused him to be imprisoned for being an imposter.

 23 
Georg von Trapp
(Naval officer)

Georg von Trapp
4
Birthdate: April 4, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zadar, Croatia
Died: May 30, 1947

Georg von Trapp, or Captain von Trapp, was an Austrian naval officer who led the Trapp Family Singers, the family that inspired the play and the film The Sound of Music. An able military man, he had also been part of World War II and was knighted by the Austrian government.

 24 
Andrea Agnelli
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson)

Andrea Agnelli
4
Birthdate: December 6, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Turin

 25 
Luigi Di Maio
(Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Since 2019))

Luigi Di Maio
3
Birthdate: July 6, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Avellino, Italy

While Luigi Di Maio had studied both engineering and jurisprudence, he dropped out of university to take up odd jobs. A co-founder of the Friends of Beppe Grillo group, which later took the shape of the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement, Di Maio is the incumbent Italian foreign affairs minister.

 26 
Gannicus
(Leader)

Gannicus
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0071 AD

 27 

Cesare Beccaria
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1738
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milan
Died: November 28, 1794

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. 

Gabriele D'Annunzio
5
Birthdate: March 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pescara, Kingdom of Italy
Died: March 1, 1938

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.  

 29 
Benito Mussolini
(Dictator, Prime Minister of Italy (1922-1943))

Benito Mussolini
53
Birthdate: July 29, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Predappio, Italy
Died: April 28, 1945

The dictator of Italy from 1925 to 1945, Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party in 1919. It opposed class discrimination and supported nationalism. But when in power, Mussolini crushed rival political parties, trade unions, free press and free speech. He was overthrown by his former colleagues in the Fascist government in July 1943 and ultimately shot dead in April 1945.

 30 
Pope Linus
(Bishop)

Pope Linus
4
Birthdate: 0010 AD
Birthplace: Volterra, Italy
Died: 0076 AD

 31 
Pontius Pilatus
(Official)

Pontius Pilatus
13
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Abruzzo, Italy
Died: 0039 AD

 32 
Beppe Grillo
(Comedian)

Beppe Grillo
14
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy

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.

 33 
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
(King of Italy (1861-1878))

Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
4
Birthdate: March 14, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Palazzo Carignano, Turin, Italy
Died: January 9, 1878

Victor Emmanuel II of Italy reigned as the king of Sardinia from 1849 to 1861. He then became the first king of a united Italy in 1861 and reigned as its king until his death in 1878. Since he played a major role in the Second Italian War of Independence, Italians started referring to him as Father of the Fatherland.

 34 
Pietro Badoglio
(Former Minister of Italian Africa)

Pietro Badoglio
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Grazzano Badoglio, Italy
Died: November 1, 1956

Initially an artillery officer, Pietro Badoglio served as a general during the two World Wars. He eventually signed an armistice with the Allies to withdraw Italian forces from World War II. He eventually served as the prime minister of Italy and was also the 1st Duke of Addis Abeba.

 35 
Sergio Mattarella
(President of Italy Since 2015)

Sergio Mattarella
4
Birthdate: July 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Palermo, Kingdom of Italy

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.

 36 
Rodolfo Graziani
(Military officer)

Rodolfo Graziani
3
Birthdate: August 11, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Filettino, Italy
Died: January 11, 1955

 37 
Numa Pompilius
(Political figure)

Numa Pompilius
3
Birthdate: April 21, 0753
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cures
Died: 0673 BC

 38 

Publius Quinctilius Varus
6
Birthdate: 0046 BC
Birthplace: Cremona
Died: 0009 AD

Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus had also been made the governor of Africa. Working under Roman emperor Augustus, he lost three Roman legions to the Germanic tribes of Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest and eventually committed suicide by falling upon his sword.

 39 
Virginia Raggi
(Politician, Lawyer)

Virginia Raggi
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

 40 
Marta Fascina
(Politician)

Marta Fascina
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melito di Porto Salvo, Italy

 41 
Giorgio Napolitano
(Politician)

Giorgio Napolitano
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Naples

 42 
Farouk of Egypt
(King of Egypt and the Sudan)

Farouk of Egypt
6
Birthdate: February 11, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: March 18, 1965

The eldest son of Sultan Fuad I, Farouk of Egypt received his education in Egypt and England before taking over the throne. He later gained criticism for his lavish lifestyle and his eccentricities, such as his order that except his entourage, no other cars could be painted red.

 43 
Enrico Dandolo
(Doge of Venice 1192 – 1205)

Enrico Dandolo
3
Birthdate: 1107 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: April 30, 1205

Zita of Bourbon-Parma
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tuscany, Italy
Died: March 14, 1989

 45 

Valentinian III
4
Birthdate: July 2, 0419
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ravenna
Died: March 16, 0455

Prince Henry of Battenberg
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1858
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: January 20, 1896

Prince Henry of Battenberg was a morganatic descendant of the Grand Ducal House of Hesse. He was the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by the Rhine, and his wife, Countess Julia von Hauke. He married Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, and became a member of the British Royal Family. 

 47 
Kurt Schuschnigg
(Politician)

Kurt Schuschnigg
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1897
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Riva del Garda, Italy
Died: November 18, 1977

Kurt Schuschnigg was an Austrian politician who served as the Chancellor of Austria from 1934 to 1938. He opposed the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany for which he was arrested in 1938. Schuschnigg was liberated by the US Army in 1945 post which he moved to the USA where he started working as a professor at Saint Louis University. 

 48 
Umberto I of Italy
(King of Italy (1878-1900))

Umberto I of Italy
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1844
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: July 29, 1900

Umberto I of Italy reigned as the king of Italy from 1878 until his death in 1900. His reign witnessed an attempted colonial expansion by Italy into the Horn of Africa, successfully annexing Somalia and Eritrea. Loathed by anarchists because of his approval of the Bava Beccaris massacre, Umberto I of Italy was assassinated by an anarchist named Gaetano Bresci.

 49 
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman emperor)

Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
4
Birthdate: July 26, 1678
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 17, 1711

Emperor Leopold I’s eldest son, Joseph I became the king of Hungary at the tender age of 9 and the king of Romans at 11. Though he strengthened Austria’s financial situation, bringing the Viennese city bank under the state, he failed to retain the Spanish crown for the Habsburg Monarchy.

 50 
Julius Nepos
(Emperor)

Julius Nepos
3
Birthdate: 0430 AD
Birthplace: Roman Italy
Died: May 9, 0480