Famous Italian Poets

Have you ever fancied writing a piece of poetry? If yes, then you would know that penning rhythmic works that have a great amount of aesthetic value to them can be so difficult. Poetry is a window of life that takes readers on to a fanciful journey, sometimes awakening the soul and on other occasions giving it some food for thought. Whatever the case may be, poems through their minimal use of words, help readers delve deeper into the meaning of life. Italy is considered to be the cultural paradise of the world. Artists and writers have prospered and propelled in Italy. Italy has had a stockpile of famous poets who, with their rhythm and rhyme, penned poetic masterpieces on different aspects of life such as ature, romance and even problem plaguing the society. Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divina Commedia’ was one of the pinnacles of Middle Ages literature. Francesco Petrarca’s magnum opus came with his collection of 366 poems called ‘Canzoniere’. Giacomo Leopardi’s ‘Canti’ and ‘Operette morali’ became one of the most famous poems of Italian literary history. Matteo Maria Boiardo is a world renowned Italian poet for his epic poem ‘Orlando innamorato’. Read on to more about Italian poets who have earned unparalleled name and an irreplaceable status in the world map, all thanks to their insurmountable contribution in poetry.
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 1 
Dante Alighieri
(Italian Writer and Philosopher Best Known for His Poem ‘Divine Comedy’)
Dante Alighieri
15
Birthdate: 1265 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: September 14, 1321

Dante Alighieri was an Italian writer, poet, and philosopher. His work Divine Comedy is widely regarded as the greatest literary work ever produced in the Italian language and the most prominent poem of the Middle Ages. Often referred to as the father of the Italian language, Dante Alighieri played a crucial role in establishing the Italian literature.

 2 
Michelangelo
(Regarded as the Most Accomplished Artist of His Era (High Renaissance))
Michelangelo
5
Birthdate: March 6, 1475
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy
Died: February 18, 1564

Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo was a prominent figure of the High Renaissance. He is credited to have influenced the Western art in unprecedented ways. He is widely regarded as the greatest artist of his age and one of the greatest artists of all time. He was equally revered and respected as an architect.

 3 
Pier Paolo Pasolini
(Italian Filmmaker Known for His Radical Methods, Overtly Political and Often Scandalous Content)
Pier Paolo Pasolini
5
Birthdate: March 5, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bologna, 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.

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 4 
Ovid
(Poet)
Ovid
5
Birthdate: March 20, 0043
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sulmo, Italy, Roman Republic
Died: 0017 AD

Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, lived during the rule of Augustus. He is held at par with Latin legends Virgil and Horace. Remembered for his mythological masterpiece the Metamorphoses, a 15-book Latin poem, he spent his final years exiled in a city on the Black Sea.

 5 
Francesco Petrarch
(Poet, Scholar and Humanist)
Francesco Petrarch
4
Birthdate: July 20, 1304
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: July 19, 1374
Legendary Renaissance poet and the father of humanism Petrarch is remembered for his poems addressed to a certain Laura. While his lawyer father pushed him into studying law, Petrarch’s love for literature made him quit the domain after 7 years, following which he focused on writing. 
 6 
Giovanni Boccaccio
(One of the Greatest European Prose Writers of His Time)
Giovanni Boccaccio
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1313
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Certaldo, Italy
Died: September 21, 1375

Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian poet, writer, and correspondent of Petrarch. An important Renaissance humanist, Boccaccio was also one of the most prominent personalities of 14th-century European literature. A versatile writer, Giovanni Boccaccio is often viewed as the most important European prose writer of his generation. His works influenced popular personalities like Geoffrey Chaucer and Miguel de Cervantes.

 7 
Giordano Bruno
(Philosopher & Mathematician Known For His Cosmological Theories)
Giordano Bruno
4
Birthdate: 1548
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nola, Italy
Died: February 17, 1600

Giordano Bruno was an Italian philosopher, friar, mathematician, cosmological theorist, poet, and Hermetic occultist. Best remembered for his cosmological theories, Bruno insisted that the universe could have no center as it is infinite. In 2004, Herbert Steffen founded the Giordano Bruno Foundation in Bruno's honor.

 8 
Catullus
(Latin poet of the Late Roman Republic)
Catullus
8
Birthdate: 0084 BC
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: 0054 BC
Catullus was a Latin poet who was active in the Roman Republic. His extant works are read widely even today and they continue to influence not only poetry but also other forms of art. His poems have had a significant influence on other popular poets like Virgil and Ovid. Among Catullus' most famous works is his fifth poem. 
 9 
Luigi Pirandello
(Italian Playwright and Novelist & Winner of 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Luigi Pirandello
4
Birthdate: June 28, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Agrigento, Italy
Died: December 10, 1936

Luigi Pirandello was an Italian novelist, short story writer, poet, and dramatist. Best remembered for his plays, Pirandello was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934. An Italian nationalist, Pirandello supported Fascism; he asked the Fascist government to melt down his Nobel Prize medal for the Abyssinia Campaign.

 10 
Gabriele D'Annunzio
(Former Member of Italian Chamber of Deputies (1897-1900))
Gabriele D'Annunzio
6
Birthdate: March 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pescara, 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.  

 11 
Christine de Pizan
(Italian Poet and Court Writer for King Charles VI of France)
Christine de Pizan
4
Birthdate: 1364 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1430 AD
Christine de Pizan took up writing at 25, primarily to support her three children following her husband’s death. Starting with ballads, she later narrated the heroics of women in masterpieces such as The Book of the City of Ladies. She was also a court poet of French king Charles VI.
 12 
Julius Evola
(Philosopher)
Julius Evola
7
Birthdate: May 19, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: June 11, 1974

Julius Evola was an Italian poet, philosopher, painter, esotericist, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, and occultist. Evola is extremely popular in fringe circles due to his supernatural, magical, and metaphysical beliefs. Due to his traditionalist views on gender, which advocated a purely patriarchal society, Evola is regarded as one of Italy’s most influential fascist racists of all time.

 13 
Giacomo Leopardi
(One of the Most Radical and Challenging Thinkers of the 19th Century)
Giacomo Leopardi
4
Birthdate: June 29, 1798
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Recanati, Italy
Died: June 14, 1837

Giacomo Leopardi was one of the greatest lyric poets of the 19th century. Born into a noble family, he mastered several languages and wrote many works by 16, in spite of suffering from a cerebrospinal ailment. Remembered for his iconic works such as A Silvia, he died during a cholera epidemic.

 14 
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
(Italian Poet, Founder of the 'Futurist Movement' and Author of the First 'Futurist Manifesto')
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
4
Birthdate: December 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: December 2, 1944

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was an Italian poet, art theorist, and editor. He is credited with founding the Futurist movement and is remembered for his work Manifesto of Futurism. In 1918, he founded a political party called Futurist Political Party as an extension of the social and futurist artistic movement. The party merged with the Italian Fasces of Combat in 1919.

 15 
Veronica Franco
(16th Century Italian Poet and Courtesan)
Veronica Franco
4
Birthdate: March 25, 1546
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 22, 1591

A significant Venetian figure, Veronica Franco wasn’t an ordinary courtesan but was educated and a talented poet, too. She defended herself successfully against charges of witchcraft. Born to a courtesan, she was married to a doctor briefly and later became a sex worker to sustain herself and her children.

 16 
Juvenal
(Poet)
Juvenal
4
Birthdate: 0055 AD
Birthplace: Aquino, Italy
Died: 0127 AD

First-century Roman poet Juvenal is remembered for his iconic work Satires. From the sparse information available about him from the accounts of Martial, it is believed Juvenal was banished from emperor Domitian’s court for writing a satire on his administration. He later returned to Rome from his exile in Egypt.

 17 
Baldassare Castiglione
(Diplomat)
Baldassare Castiglione
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1478
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Casatico, Italy
Died: February 2, 1529
 18 
Vasco Rossi
(Singer-songwriter)
Vasco Rossi
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zocca, Italy
 19 
Cesare Pavese
(A Very Influential Italian Novelist, Poet and Short story writer)
Cesare Pavese
4
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.

 20 
Gaius Maecenas
(Political Advisor to Octavian, the First Roman Emperor)
Gaius Maecenas
3
Birthdate: April 15, 0068
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Arezzo
Died: 0008 BC
Gaius Maecenas was a political advisor to Octavian, the first Roman emperor. A patron for several important Augustan poets, including Virgil and Horace, Gaius Maecenas also served as a quasi-culture minister during the reign of his friend Octavian, who came to be known as Augustus after becoming the Roman emperor.
 21 
Torquato Tasso
(16th Century Italian Poet Best Known for His 1591 Poem 'Gerusalemme Liberata')
Torquato Tasso
4
Birthdate: March 11, 1544
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sorrento, Italy
Died: April 25, 1595

Torquato Tasso was a 16th-century Italian poet. He is best remembered for his poem Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered). The son of a prominent poet, Tasso grew up to be a brilliant young man. Even though his father wanted him to become a lawyer, he decided to become a poet and achieved considerable fame. His poems were widely translated. 

 22 
Giambattista Basile
(Poet)
Giambattista Basile
3
Birthdate: 1566
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Giugliano in Campania, Italy
Died: January 31, 1632
 23 
Ludovico Ariosto
(Italian Poet Best Known for His Romance Epic Poem ‘Orlando Furioso’)
Ludovico Ariosto
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1474
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reggio Emilia, Italy
Died: July 6, 1533

Ludovico Ariosto was an Italian poet best remembered for authoring the epic poem Orlando Furioso, which describes the adventures of Orlando, Charlemagne, and the Franks. Ariosto is also credited with coining the term humanism, which is among the most commonly used words by modern philosophers.

 24 
Lorenzo Da Ponte
(Former poet and librettist best known for his collaboration with Mozart)
Lorenzo Da Ponte
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1749
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vittorio Veneto, Italy
Died: August 17, 1838
 25 
Kuki Gallmann
(Writer)
Kuki Gallmann
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Treviso, Italy Treviso, Kingdom of Italy Italy

Born to Italian writer Cino Boccazzi, Kuki Gallmann later moved to Kenya with her husband and son, both of whom she lost in separate accidents. Taking up Kenyan citizenship, she focused on ecological conservation. He bestselling book I Dreamed Of Africa was later made into a movie.

 26 
Salvator Rosa
(Italian Baroque Painter Known for Romanticized Landscapes and History Paintings)
Salvator Rosa
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1615
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arenella, Naples, Italy
Died: March 15, 1673

Baroque painter and poet Salvator Rosa was born near Naples, to a land surveyor father, who wanted him to become a priest or a lawyer. However, Rosa deviated to art. Initially devoted to landscapes, he later focused on religious art. He is remembered as a pioneer of the Neapolitan school.

 27 
Marsilio Ficino
(Philosopher, Writer, Cleric, Astrologer, Poet)
Marsilio Ficino
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1433
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Figline Valdarno
Died: October 1, 1499
 28 
Vittoria Colonna
(Poet)
Vittoria Colonna
4
Birthdate: 1492
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marino, Italy
Died: February 25, 1547
 29 
Alessandro Manzoni
(Italian Poet, Novelist and Senator of the Kingdom of Italy)
Alessandro Manzoni
3
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. 

 30 
Totò
(Comedian)
Totò
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rione Sanità, Naples, Italy
Died: April 15, 1967
 31 
Propertius
(Latin Elegiac Poet of the Augustan Age)
Propertius
5
Birthplace: Umbria, Italy
Propertius was a Latin elegiac poet who was active during the Augustan age. His extant work consists of four books of Elegies. Although he was not as famous as his contemporaries, Propertius is widely regarded as a major poet by modern scholars.
 32 
Statius
(Greco-Roman Poet of the 1st Century CE)
Statius
3
Birthdate: 0045 AD
Birthplace: Naples
Died: 0096 AD
Statius was a Greco-Roman poet whose extant Latin poetry includes an epic titled The Thebaid, which consists of 12 books and recounts the clash of two siblings, Polynices and Eteocles, over the throne of Thebes. Among his other surviving works are a collection of occasional poetry titled The Silvae and The Achilleid, an unfinished epic.
 33 
Constanzo Beschi
(Poet)
Constanzo Beschi
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1680
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy
Died: February 4, 1747
 34 
Pietro Aretino
(Poet, Writer, Playwright, Journalist)
Pietro Aretino
3
Birthdate: April 19, 1492
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Arezzo
Died: October 21, 1556

Pietro Aretino was an Italian author, poet, satirist, and playwright. He wielded influence on contemporary politics and art. An outspoken critic, Aretino was one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. A self-proclaimed sodomite, Pietro Aretino was involved in romantic relationships with men, which was uncommon at that time.

 35 
Giacomo Balla
(Painter)
Giacomo Balla
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: March 1, 1958
 36 
Giuseppe Ungaretti
(Italian Modernist Poet, Academic & Author)
Giuseppe Ungaretti
3
Birthdate: February 8, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: June 2, 1970

Giuseppe Ungaretti was an Italian poet, essayist, journalist, academic, and critic. One of the most important contributors to Italian literature during the 20th century, Ungaretti was honored with the first Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1970. He is credited with popularizing hermetic poetry, a form of difficult and obscure poetry.

 37 
Gemma Donati
(Poet)
Gemma Donati
3
Birthdate: 1267 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1333 AD
 38 
Giosuè Carducci
(Poet, Writer and Journalist)
Giosuè Carducci
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1835
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pietrasanta, Italy
Died: February 16, 1907

Giosuè Carducci was an Italian poet, literary critic, teacher, and writer. Widely regarded as the national poet of modern Italy, Carducci was a very influential figure. He became the first Italian to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1906. Carducci was also a translator and is responsible for translating some of Heine and Goethe into Italian.

 39 
Maria Valtorta
(Writer)
Maria Valtorta
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caserta, Italy
Died: October 12, 1961
 40 
Ennius
(Writer)
Ennius
3
Birthdate: 0239 BC
Birthplace: Rudiae, Italy
Died: 0169 BC
 41 
Pietro Bembo
(Former Renaissance cardinal who wrote one of the earliest Italian grammars and assisted in establishing the Italian literary language)
Pietro Bembo
3
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. 

 42 
Dino Buzzati
(Novelist, Short Story Writer, Painter and Poet Known for His Novel ‘The Tartar Steppe')
Dino Buzzati
4
Birthdate: October 14, 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. 

 43 
Salvatore Quasimodo
(Italian Poet, Translator and Winner of 1959 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Salvatore Quasimodo
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Modica, Italy
Died: June 14, 1968
Nobel Prize-winning Italian poet Salvatore Quasimodo is best remembered for lyrical poetry. Known as a major figure of Hermeticism, he was also a member of the Italian Communist Party. While he had initially found work as an engineer at the Civil Engineering Corps, he later devoted himself to poetry. 
 44 
Poliziano
(Poet)
Poliziano
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1454
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montepulciano, Italy
Died: September 29, 1494
 45 
Paul the Deacon
(Monk)
Paul the Deacon
3
Birthdate: 0720 AD
Birthplace: Cividale del Friuli
Died: April 13, 0799
 46 
Eugenio Montale
(Poet)
Eugenio Montale
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1896
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: September 12, 1981
 47 
Elsa Morante
(Novelist)
Elsa Morante
3
Birthdate: August 18, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 25, 1985
 48 
Ugo Foscolo
(Writer)
Ugo Foscolo
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1778
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zakynthos, Greece
Died: September 10, 1827
 49 
Stesichorus
(Poet)
Stesichorus
3
Birthdate: 0630 AD
Birthplace: Mataurus, Italy
Died: 0555 AD
 50 
Giovanni Papini
(Journalist)
Giovanni Papini
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1881
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: July 8, 1956