Famous Italian Novelists

Find out more about the greatest Italian Novelists, including Umberto Eco, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italo Calvino, Luigi Pirandello and Andrea Camilleri.

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

Vote for Your Favourite Italian Novelists

 1 Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco
4
Famous As: Medievalist, Philosopher and Author of 'The Name of the Rose' and 'Foucault's Pendulum'
Birthdate: January 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alessandria, Italy
Died: February 19, 2016

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.

 2 Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini
5
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: March 5, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bologna, Kingdom of Italy
Died: November 2, 1975

Noted film director and actor Pier Paolo Pasolini had already gained fame as a poet and author before stepping into the entertainment industry. The openly gay filmmaker was known for his usage of non-professional actors and themes of sexuality. His brutal murder remains to be a controversial topic.

 3 Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 15, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Santiago de Las Vegas, Havana, Cuba
Died: September 19, 1985

Italian journalist, short-story writer and novelist Italo Calvino, counted among noted Italian fiction writers in the 20th-century, emerged as the most translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his demise. Notable works of Calvino include novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler; the collection of 12 short stories titled Cosmicomics, and the Our Ancestors trilogy.

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 4 Gabriele D'Annunzio

Gabriele D'Annunzio
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Famous As: Poet
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.  

 5 Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naples, Italy

Elena Ferrante is an Italian novelist whose works have been translated into several languages. Ferrante is best known for her Neapolitan Novels book series. In 2016, Ferrante was named among the 100 most influential people list published by Time magazine. In 2016, her book The Story of the Lost Child was also shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize.

 6 Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri
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Famous As: Writer, Best known as the writer of the popular Inspector Montalbano series of crime novels
Birthdate: September 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Porto Empedocle, Italy
Died: July 17, 2019

Andrea Camilleri was an Italian writer whose book The Potter's Field was honored with the CWA International Dagger award in 2012. Over the course of his career, Camilleri also won other prestigious awards, such as the Nino Martoglio International Book Award.

 7 Carlo Collodi

Carlo Collodi
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: October 26, 1890

Carlo Collodi was an Italian journalist, author, and humorist. He is best remembered for his popular children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio. The novel and its title character Pinocchio achieved international recognition when Disney adapted it into an animated musical fantasy film titled Pinocchio; the film went on to become one of the greatest films ever produced by Disney.

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 8 John Fante

John Fante
3
Famous As: Novelist, Short story writer
Birthdate: April 8, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: May 8, 1983

 9 Alberto Moravia

Alberto Moravia
3
Famous As: Journalist, Novelist
Birthdate: November 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: September 26, 1990

Alberto Moravia was an Italian journalist and novelist best remembered for exploring themes like existentialism, social alienation, and sexuality. His anti-fascist novel The Conformist inspired the 1970 political drama film of the same name. Moravia's works have also inspired other films, such as Agostino, Contempt, The Empty Canvas, and Two Women.

 10 Cesare Pavese

Cesare Pavese
3
Famous As: A Very Influential Italian Novelist, Poet and Short story writer
Birthdate: September 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Santo Stefano Belbo, Italy
Died: August 27, 1950

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.

 11 Giovanni Battista Belzoni

Giovanni Battista Belzoni
3
Famous As: Explorer, Antiquarian, Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Novelist, Travel writer
Birthdate: November 5, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Padua
Died: December 3, 1823

Giovanni Battista Belzoni was an Italian explorer and archaeologist of Egyptian antiquities. A pioneer in the field of Egyptian archaeology, Belzoni was the first person to enter the famous Pyramid of Khafre. Belzoni is also credited with unblocking the entrance of the temple at Abu Simbel and discovering the tomb of Seti I, which is referred to as Belzoni's Tomb. 

 12 Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 23, 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Died: July 23, 1957

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was an Italian writer best remembered as the last Prince of Lampedusa. Tomasi is quite popular for his novel The Leopard which was published posthumously in 1958. His life and career inspired a docufilm titled Die Geburt des Leoparden which was directed by Luigi Falorni and screened at the 14th Rome Film Festival.

 13 Rafael Sabatini

Rafael Sabatini
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 29, 1875
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Iesi, Italy
Died: February 13, 1950

Rafael Sabatini was an Italian-English author who wrote romance and adventure novels. Sabatini is best remembered for his bestselling novels like The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood: His Odyssey, and Bellarion the Fortunate. Overall, Rafael Sabatini wrote 34 novels, six non-fiction books, eight short story collections, and several uncollected short stories.

 14 Alain Elkann

Alain Elkann
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 23, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Alain Elkann is an Italian journalist and novelist. He is known for his role as the conductor of cultural programs aired on Italian TV. Elkann is also known for his work which promotes a cordial relation between Americans and Italians. He is the president of the Italy-USA Foundation's Scientific Committee. In 2010, he received the America Award for his work.

 15 Alessandro Manzoni

Alessandro Manzoni
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Famous As: Poet, Novelist and Philosopher.
Birthdate: March 7, 1785
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: May 22, 1873

Alessandro Manzoni was a 19th-century Italian poet, novelist, and philosopher. His novel The Betrothed is generally counted among the masterpieces of world literature. He is credited to have contributed to the stabilization of the modern Italian language. He was politically active and was a member of the Italian Senate. He was a proponent of Liberal Catholicism. 

 16 Natalia Ginzburg

Natalia Ginzburg
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Died: October 7, 1991

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.

 17 Italo Svevo

Italo Svevo
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Trieste, Italy
Died: September 13, 1928

Italo Svevo was an Italian writer, playwright, novelist, short story writer, and businessman. Svevo was regarded as a pioneer of psychological fiction. He is remembered for his work La coscienza di Zeno, which is considered his magnum opus. Svevo is widely regarded as an important writer of the 20th century whose works had an influence on later generations of writers.

 18 Hugo Pratt

Hugo Pratt
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Famous As: Novelist, Writer, Painter, Screenwriter
Birthdate: June 15, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rimini
Died: August 20, 1995

 19 Grazia Deledda

Grazia Deledda
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 27, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nuoro
Died: August 15, 1936

Grazia Deledda was an Italian writer who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926, becoming the first Italian woman to receive the prize. Interested in writing from a young age, she became a writer despite her family’s objections. Today, her work is highly regarded across the world, and generations of writers continue to be inspired by her.  

 20 Emilio Salgari

Emilio Salgari
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Famous As: Writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction
Birthdate: August 21, 1862
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: April 25, 1911

 21 Alessandro Baricco

Alessandro Baricco
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 25, 1958
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

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. 

 22 Dino Buzzati

Dino Buzzati
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 16, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belluno, Italy
Died: January 28, 1972

Dino Buzzati was an Italian novelist, writer, painter, and poet. He studied law at the University of Milan and embarked on a career as a journalist. He served in Africa, as a journalist, with the Regia Marina, during World War II. He began writing fiction in the 1930s and published several novels, plays, and short stories. 

 23 Renata Adler

Renata Adler
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 19, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy

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. 

 24 Antonio Amurri

Antonio Amurri
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ancona, Italy
Died: December 18, 1992

 25 Leonardo Sciascia

Leonardo Sciascia
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Racalmuto, Italy
Died: November 20, 1989

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.

 26 Carlo Levi

Carlo Levi
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 29, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: January 4, 1975

Best known for his iconic documentary novel Christ Stopped at Eboli, Italian painter and author Carlo Levi had also studied medicine. His anti-fascist ideals and political activism got him exiled to Lucania. He was part of the neorealist and contemporary movements. He had also been a senator of the Italian parliament.

 27 Elissa Landi

Elissa Landi
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 6, 1904
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: October 21, 1948

 28 Elsa Morante

Elsa Morante
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 18, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 25, 1985

 29 Giovanni Papini

Giovanni Papini
2
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 9, 1881
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: July 8, 1956

 30 Arrigo Boito

Arrigo Boito
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Padua, Italy
Died: June 10, 1918

 31 Domenico Starnone

Domenico Starnone
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saviano, Italy

 32 Giovanni Verga

Giovanni Verga
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Famous As: Writer, best known for his depictions of life in his native Sicily, especially the short story
Birthdate: September 2, 1840
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Catania, Italy
Died: January 27, 1922

 33 Federico Moccia

Federico Moccia
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

 34 Edmondo De Amicis

Edmondo De Amicis
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 21, 1846
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oneglia, Imperia, Italy
Died: March 11, 1908

 35 Francis Marion Crawford

Francis Marion Crawford
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bagni di Lucca, Italy
Died: April 9, 1909

 36 Giorgio Bassani

Giorgio Bassani
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: April 13, 2000

 37 Francesco Guccini

Francesco Guccini
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 14, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Modena, Italy

 38 Dacia Maraini

Dacia Maraini
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 13, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fiesole, Italy

 39 Antonio Tabucchi

Antonio Tabucchi
2
Famous As: Writer and academic who taught Portuguese language and literature at the University of Siena, Italy
Birthdate: September 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: March 25, 2012

 40 Ignazio Silone

Ignazio Silone
2
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: May 1, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pescina, Italy
Died: August 22, 1978

 41 Niccolò Ammaniti

Niccolò Ammaniti
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 25, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

 42 Erri De Luca

Erri De Luca
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 20, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Naples, Italy

 43 Ennio Flaiano

Ennio Flaiano
2
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: March 5, 1910
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pescara, Italy
Died: November 20, 1972

 44 Giambattista Giraldi

Giambattista Giraldi
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 31, 1504
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Died: December 30, 1573

 45 Massimo Carlotto

Massimo Carlotto
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 22, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Padua, Italy

 46 Alessandro Barbero

Alessandro Barbero
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

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. 

 47 Matteo Bandello

Matteo Bandello
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Castelnuovo Scrivia, Italy
Died: 1561 AD

 48 Carlo Emilio Gadda

Carlo Emilio Gadda
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 14, 1893
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: May 21, 1973

 49 Massimo d'Azeglio

Massimo d'Azeglio
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Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: October 24, 1798
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: January 15, 1866

 50 Umberto Saba

Umberto Saba
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 9, 1883
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Trieste, Italy
Died: August 25, 1957