Famous Italian Physicians

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Surviving without food for a day can be possible but an hour without medicine on a sick day is practically impossible. That is the kind of significance doctors or physicians hold in our life. We may forget them on our good healthy days, but one bad cough or a degree more than normal body temperature can make us turn to them as our saviours. Physicians, all over the world, are tagged as god-send angels who nip the illness at the bud. Their contribution in the field of medical science has been huge. Their passion for servitude and commitment towards eradication of diseases big and small have made a strong impact on the society, helping every individual move en route to hale and hearty life. Italy has given the world some of the top-notch physicians whose contribution to the field of medical science has been immense. Their medical ingeniousness and ground-breaking accomplishments have created a strong foothold in treating and curbing various illnesses and diseases. While Italian epidemiologist Carlo Urbani made the breakthrough by identifying SARS as a highly contagious disease, it was Camillo Golgi who discovered several anatomical and physiological phenomenas. Italian women such as Maria Montessori had the audacity to defy the norms by standing tall in the profession which was male-dominated once. Check this segment to find out about famous Italian physicians.
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 1 
Maria Montessori
(Italian Educator and Founder of the 'Montessori Method of Education')
Maria Montessori
4
Birthdate: August 1, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiaravalle, Italy
Died: April 30, 1952

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and physician best known for developing the Montessori method of education, a student-friendly method, which is being used in several public and private schools around the world. In 2020, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of their Top 100 Women of the year.

 2 
Rita Levi-Montalcini
(Italian Neurologist Who Won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Rita Levi-Montalcini
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: December 30, 2012

Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian neurologist whose discovery of nerve growth factor earned her the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Throughout her life, Levi-Montalcini's work in neurobiology earned her several other honors and awards, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement and the European Academy of Sciences' Leonardo da Vinci Award.

 3 
Cesare Lombroso
(Criminologist, Phrenologist, Physician)
Cesare Lombroso
4
Birthdate: November 6, 1835
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: October 19, 1909

Cesare Lombroso was an Italian criminologist, phrenologist, and physician. He founded the Italian School of Positivist Criminology at the end of the 19th century. Initially an army surgeon, he later became a professor of forensic medicine and hygiene. His works drew from the concepts of physiognomy, degeneration theory, and psychiatry. Later in life, be became interested in spirituality.

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 4 
Luigi Galvani
(Anatomist, Physicist, Physician, University teacher)
Luigi Galvani
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1737
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bologna
Died: December 4, 1798

Luigi Galvani was an Italian physician, biologist, physicist, and philosopher. He is credited with the discovery of animal electricity and is considered a pioneer of bioelectromagnetics. He and his wife made one of the first forays into the study of bioelectricity when they discovered that the muscles of dead frogs' legs twitched when struck by an electrical spark.  

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 5 
Andrea Dotti
(psychiatrist)
Andrea Dotti
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naples
Died: September 30, 2007

Andrea Dotti was an Italian psychiatrist. He specialized in treating women with depression and was the assistant director of Rome University's psychiatric department. He was also a skier, tennis player, dancer, and art collector. He was married to famous actress Audrey Hepburn from 1969 to 1982, and the couple had one son. Dotti had several affairs during their marriage. 

 6 
Carlo Urbani
(Epidemiologist)
Carlo Urbani
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Castelplanio
Died: March 29, 2003
Microbiologist Carlo Urbani, a parasitic infections expert, was working at the WHO Hanoi office when the deadly and contagious disease SARS had started to spread across the world in 2003. He alerted the WHO headquarters in Geneva about the disease, thus saving many lives, though he eventually succumbed to it.
 7 
Gerolamo Cardano
(South African Politician and Zulu Tribal Leader Who Was Home Minister of South Africa from 1994 to 2004)
Gerolamo Cardano
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1501
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: September 21, 1576

Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano is best known for his iconic work Ars magna, or The Great Art, which contributed immensely to the field of algebra. Throughout his illustrious life, he had been a physician, a math lecturer, and an astrologer. He was also the first to describe typhus fever clinically.

 8 
Gianna Beretta Molla
(Italian Roman Catholic Pediatrician)
Gianna Beretta Molla
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Magenta, Italy
Died: April 28, 1962

Gianna Beretta Molla was a Roman Catholic pediatrician, canonized as a saint for saving her unborn child’s life at the expense of her own. Although she knew that the removal of only the fibroma would endanger her life, she refused have an abortion, thus upholding the Roman Catholic doctrine that even an unborn child has a fundamental right to life.

 9 
Girolamo Fracastoro
(Italian Physician, Poet and Scholar in Mathematics, Geography and Astronomy)
Girolamo Fracastoro
2
Birthdate: 1478 AD
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: August 6, 1553

Girolamo Fracastoro was an Italian poet, physician, and scholar in astronomy, geography and mathematics. He is credited with authoring a theory, which is regarded as a precursor to germ theory; his theory was influential for almost three centuries. He is also credited with inventing terms, such as syphilis. 

 10 
Michele Ferrari
(Italian Physician and Cycling Coach Known for His Role in Supplying Bicycle Racers with Performance-Enhancing Drugs)
Michele Ferrari
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy

Michele Ferrari is an Italian physician and cycling coach notorious for his role in supplying bicycle racers with performance-enhancing drugs. He received his degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Ferrara and became a specialist in sports medicine at the Sapienza University of Rome. His clients include Lance Armstrong, Michael Rogers, and Alexander Vinokourov. 

 11 
Camillo Golgi
(Physician, Pathologist, Biologist)
Camillo Golgi
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1843
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Corteno, Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, Italy
Died: January 21, 1926

Nobel Prize-winning cytologist and physician Camillo Golgi is remembered for his contribution to the study of the central nervous system. He revolutionized medical science with his staining technique and discoveries such as the Golgi cell, the Golgi tendon organ, and the Golgi apparatus, apart from his research on malaria.

 12 
Francesco Redi
(Italian Physician, Naturalist, Biologist, and the First Person to Challenge the Theory of Spontaneous Generation)
Francesco Redi
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1626
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: March 1, 1697

Called the founder of experimental biology and father of modern parasitology, Italian physician, biologist, naturalist and poet Francesco Redi did the first major experiment to challenge spontaneous generation. His book Esperienze intorno alla generazione degl'insetti includes most of his famous experiments, while his poem book Bacco in Toscana is counted among the finest works of 17th-century Italian poetry.   

 13 
Pietro Bembo
(Former Renaissance cardinal who wrote one of the earliest Italian grammars and assisted in establishing the Italian literary language)
Pietro Bembo
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1470
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: January 18, 1547

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. 

 14 
Dino Risi
(Film Director)
Dino Risi
2
Birthdate: December 23, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: June 7, 2008
 15 
Gabriele Falloppio
(One of the Most Important Anatomists and Physicians of the 16th Century)
Gabriele Falloppio
4
Birthdate: 1523 AD
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: October 9, 1562

Sixteenth-century Italian anatomist Gabriele Falloppio was also a Catholic priest. Of his many discoveries, the most well-known are the tubes which link the ovaries to the uterus, named fallopian tubes. He was also the first to offer written description of a condom as a protective measure against syphilis.

 16 
Constantine The African
2
Birthplace: Carthage, Tunisia
Died: 1099 AD
 17 
Giovanni Alfonso Borelli
(Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Historian of mathematics, Entomologist)
Giovanni Alfonso Borelli
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1608
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Naples
Died: December 31, 1679

While he matriculated in math and taught the subject later, Giovanni Alfonso Borelli also made pioneering discoveries as a physicist and physiologist. With works such as De Motu Animalium, he revolutionized the field of biomechanics, explaining muscular movements with the help of statics and dynamics.

Giovanni Battista Morgagni
2
Birthdate: February 25, 1682
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Forlì, Italy
Died: December 6, 1771
 19 
Santorio Santorio
(Italian Physician and Physiologist Known for His Discoveries Concerning Metabolism and Invention of Technical Instruments)
Santorio Santorio
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1561
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Koper, Slovenia
Died: February 25, 1636

Santorio Santorio was an Italian physician, physiologist, and professor. He is best remembered for inventing several medical devices during his lifetime. He was the first person to use a water current meter, a wind gauge, and a thermoscope. Among his best known work is De Statica Medicina, which is credited with influencing generations of physicians.

 20 
Bernardino Ramazzini
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1633
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Carpi, Italy
Died: November 5, 1714
Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1533
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Acquapendente, Italy
Died: May 21, 1619
 22 
Cecile Kyenge
(Politician)
Cecile Kyenge
4
Birthdate: August 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kambove, DR Congo
 23 
Trota of Salerno
(Medical practitioner)
Trota of Salerno
2
Birthplace: Salerno, Italy
 24 
Realdo Colombo
(Professor)
Realdo Colombo
1
Birthdate: 1515 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: 1559 AD
 25 
Paolo Giovio
(Physician)
Paolo Giovio
1
Birthdate: April 19, 1483
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Died: December 11, 1552

Paolo Giovio was an Italian historian, physician, biographer, and prelate. He is best remembered for his work which chronicles the Great Wars of Italy. Giovio is also remembered for authoring Historiarum sui temporis libri XLV, an acclaimed work of contemporary history.

 26 
Philip Mazzei
(Physician)
Philip Mazzei
2
Birthdate: December 25, 1730
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Poggio a Caiano, Italy
Died: March 19, 1816
 27 
Andrea Cesalpino
(Physician)
Andrea Cesalpino
1
Birthdate: June 6, 1519
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: February 23, 1603
 28 
Mondino de Luzzi
(Italian physician)
Mondino de Luzzi
1
Birthdate: 1270 AD
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: 1326 AD
 29 
Aloysius Lilius
(Astronomer)
Aloysius Lilius
1
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Cirò, Calabria, Italy
Died: 1576 AD

Aloysius Lilius, also known as Luigi Lilio, is best remembered as the main author of the Gregorian Calendar. Well-versed in medicine and astronomy, Lilius hailed from Calabria, Italy, though not much is known about his life. His calendar was presented to Pope Gregory XIII by his brother Antonio.

 30 
Prospero Alpini
(Scientist)
Prospero Alpini
1
Birthdate: November 23, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marostica, Italy
Died: February 6, 1617
 31 
Severino Antinori
(Gynecologist and embryologist)
Severino Antinori
1
Birthdate: September 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 32 
Girolamo Mercuriale
(Philologist)
Girolamo Mercuriale
0
Birthdate: September 30, 1530
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Forli, Italy
Died: November 8, 1606
Jacopo Berengario da Carpi
1
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Carpi, Italy
Died: 1530 AD
 34 
Peter Chrysologus
2
Birthdate: 0406 AD
Birthplace: Imola, Italy
Died: July 31, 0450
 35 
Alessandro Achillini
1
Birthdate: October 20, 1463
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: August 2, 1512
 36 
Luigi Carlo Farini
1
Birthdate: October 22, 1812
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Russi, Italy
Died: August 1, 1866
 37 
Giulio Bizzozero
1
Birthdate: March 20, 1846
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Varese, Italy
Died: April 8, 1901
 38 
Giulio Giorello
(Philosopher)
Giulio Giorello
1
Birthdate: May 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: June 15, 2020

A highly intellectual scholar and a reputed epistemologist, Giulio Giorello graduated from the University of Milan with philosophy and mathematics. He later taught physics and natural science in a number of reputed universities across Italy before being appointed as professor of philosophy of science at his alma mater. A prolific writer, he published around twenty major works in his lifetime.

 39 
Antonio Franconi
(Physician)
Antonio Franconi
1
Birthdate: 1737 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: December 6, 1836
 40 
Giovanni Maria Lancisi
6
Birthdate: October 26, 1654
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: January 20, 1720
 41 
Giorgio Biandrata
0
Birthdate: 1516 AD
Birthplace: Saluzzo, Italy
Died: May 5, 1588
 42 
Hillel ben Samuel
0
Birthdate: 1220 AD
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: 1295 AD
 43 
Lorenzo Bellini
(Physician)
Lorenzo Bellini
0
Birthdate: September 3, 1643
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 8, 1704
 44 
Gaspare Aselli
(Physician)
Gaspare Aselli
1
Birthdate: 1581 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: September 9, 1625
 45 
Agostino Bertani
(Revolutionary)
Agostino Bertani
0
Birthdate: October 19, 1812
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: April 10, 1886
 46 
Domenico Guglielmini
(Italian Mathematician, Astronomer and Physician)
Domenico Guglielmini
0
Birthdate: September 27, 1655
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: July 27, 1710

Domenico Guglielmini is regarded as the pioneer of the Italian school of hydraulics, though he initially worked on astronomy. Apart from being a professor of hydrometry and mathematics, he was also a part-time physician, but eventually quit his research on hydraulics to focus on medicine full-time.