Famous Italian Political Leaders

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Italy was led by the monarchy until its unification in 1946 when it finally adopted the parliamentary republic government after a national referendum. Just like any other country that follows parliamentary republic kind of governance, Italy is headed by the President who serves as the head of the state and Prime Minister who is vested with all the executive powers. As the head of state, the President of the Republic represents the unity of the nation and has many of the duties which were previously performed by the King of Italy. The Prime Minister serves as the head of the council of ministers who in turn hold effective executive powers. Unlike other parliamentary systems, the leader of the Italian government is not authorized to request the dissolution of the Parliament or to dismiss the ministers that are appointed by him. Since its independence from the monarchy, Italy has had some of the most well-known and renowned political leaders. Strong willed and dynamic, these leaders have led from the front safely securing the welfare, advancement and development of the nation. With this section, check out some of the most prolific Italian leaders, their life and their career as politicians.
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 1 
Lorenzo de' Medici
6
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.

 2 
Ilona Staller
(Hungarian Former Pornographic Actress and Member of the Chamber of Deputies (1987 - 1992))
Ilona Staller
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Ilona Staller is a former porn star, singer, and politician. She achieved popularity by appearing in Telefono rosso, the first Italian hardcore pornography production, and then went on to pose nude in Playboy's editions around the world. In 1980, an erotic series titled La Cicciolina was made based on Ilona Staller's life and career.

 3 
Antonio Gramsci
(Italian Philosopher Best Known for His Theory of 'Cultural Hegemony')
Antonio Gramsci
6
Birthdate: January 22, 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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 4 
Silvio Berlusconi
(Former Prime Minister of Italy)
Silvio Berlusconi
9
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.
 5 
Alessandra Mussolini
(Member of the European Parliament (2004 - 2008, 2014 - 2019))
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.  

 6 
Matteo Salvini
(Deputy Prime Minister of Italy from 2018 to 2019)
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.
 7 
Matteo Renzi
(Prime Minister of Italy)
Matteo Renzi
6
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. 
 8 
Giuseppe Mazzini
(Italian Politician, Activist and Champion of the Movement for Italian Unity)
Giuseppe Mazzini
3
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.

 9 
Giorgia Meloni
(Politician)
Giorgia Meloni
4
Birthdate: January 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 10 
Marcus Junius Brutus
(Former Politician most famous of the assassins of Julius Caesar)
Marcus Junius Brutus
5
Birthdate: 0085 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: October 23, 0042
 11 
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.

 12 
Federica Mogherini
(Politician)
Federica Mogherini
3
Birthdate: June 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 13 
Philip the Arab
(Political figure)
Philip the Arab
4
Birthdate: 0204 AD
Birthplace: Shahba
Died: 0249 AD
 14 
Beppe Grillo
(Italian Actor, Comedian and Co-Founder of the ‘Five Star Movement’ Political Party)
Beppe Grillo
11
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.

 15 
Gabriele D'Annunzio
(Former Member of Italian Chamber of Deputies (1897-1900))
Gabriele D'Annunzio
4
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.  

 16 
Luigi Di Maio
(Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Since 2019))
Luigi Di Maio
4
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.

 17 
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.

 18 
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.

 19 
Virginia Raggi
(Politician, Lawyer)
Virginia Raggi
4
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.

 20 
Giorgio Napolitano
(Politician)
Giorgio Napolitano
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Naples
 21 
Enrico Dandolo
(Doge of Venice 1192 – 1205)
Enrico Dandolo
3
Birthdate: 1107 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: April 30, 1205
 22 
Valentinian III
4
Birthdate: July 2, 0419
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ravenna
Died: March 16, 0455
 23 
Majorian
(King)
Majorian
3
Birthdate: 0420
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: August 7, 0461
 24 
Numa Pompilius
(Political figure)
Numa Pompilius
4
Birthdate: April 21, 0753
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cures
Died: 0673 BC
 25 
Benito Mussolini
(Dictator of Italy and Principal Founder of Fascism Who Was Prime Minister of Italy from 1922 to 1943.)
Benito Mussolini
18
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.

 26 
Julius Nepos
(Emperor)
Julius Nepos
4
Birthdate: 0430 AD
Birthplace: Roman Italy
Died: May 9, 0480
 27 
Catiline
(Political leader)
Catiline
4
Birthdate: 0108 BC
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0062 BC
 28 
Isabella d'Este
(Political Figure)
Isabella d'Este
4
Birthdate: May 19, 1474
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Died: February 13, 1539
Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1510
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 6, 1537
 30 
Marcus Claudius Tacitus
3
Birthdate: 0200 AD
Birthplace: Terni
Died: May 31, 0276
 31 
Romano Prodi
(Economist, Politician, University teacher)
Romano Prodi
3
Birthdate: August 9, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Scandiano

Former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi is also known as “The Professor,” having served as an economics professor at the University of Bologna. The Olive Tree Coalition leader has also previously worked with Goldman Sachs. He has also led the European Commission of the EU.

Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1671
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy
Died: July 9, 1737
 33 
Mario Monti
(Prime minister of Italy (2011–13))
Mario Monti
4
Birthdate: March 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Varese, Italy

Born to a banker, it was no surprise that Mario Monti would choose economics and management as his university majors. The Yale alumnus later gained fame as an academic and an economist and also became the prime minister of Italy, leading his nation through the Italian debt crisis.

 34 
Galeazzo Ciano
(Diplomat)
Galeazzo Ciano
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Livorno, Italy
Died: January 11, 1944
 35 
Marta Fascina
(Politician)
Marta Fascina
4
Birthdate: January 9, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melito di Porto Salvo, Italy
 36 
Bettino Craxi
(Politician)
Bettino Craxi
4
Birthdate: February 24, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milan
Died: January 19, 2000

Italy’s first Socialist prime minister, Bettino Craxi was born to an anti-fascist lawyer who was persecuted by Benito Mussolini’s regime. He later deviated from the traditional socialism and even changed the symbol of his party from the hammer-and-sickle to a red carnation. He was nicknamed The Big Boar due to his size.

 37 
Gaius Gracchus
(Politician)
Gaius Gracchus
4
Birthdate: 0154 BC
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0121 BC
 38 
Scipio Aemilianus
(Politician)
Scipio Aemilianus
3
Birthdate: 0185 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0129 BC
 39 
Matilda of Tuscany
(Tuscan Countess Remembered for Her Role in the Clash between the Emperor and the Papacy)
Matilda of Tuscany
3
Birthdate: 1046 AD
Birthplace: Lucca, Italy
Died: July 24, 1115

Matilda of Tuscany, who was the countess of Tuscany and belonged to the House of Canossa. She is mostly remembered for her role in the clash between the Holy Roman Emperor and the papacy. She later became a mythical figure in Italy, with appearances in literary works, music, and art.

 40 
Giulio Andreotti
(Writer, Journalist, Politician, Diplomat, Reporter)
Giulio Andreotti
5
Birthdate: January 14, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome
Died: May 6, 2013

Giulio Andreotti was an Italian politician who served as the prime minister of Italy on three occasions between 1972 and 1992. Widely regarded as the most important and powerful politician of the First Republic, Andreotti was the second longest-serving Italian prime minister after Silvio Berlusconi in the post-war era. Giulio Andreotti also served in several ministerial positions throughout his career.

 41 
Sallust
(Historian, Politician)
Sallust
3
Birthdate: 0086 BC
Birthplace: Amiternum, Italy
Died: 0035 BC

Sallust was a Roman historian and politician who hailed from an Italian plebeian family.  He was a popularis and a vehement opponent of the old Roman aristocracy. Later in his career, he became a partisan of Julius Caesar. He is considered the earliest known Latin-language Roman historian with surviving works to his name. 

 42 
Francesco I Sforza
(Duke of Milan from 1450 to 1466)
Francesco I Sforza
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1401
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Miniato, Italy
Died: March 8, 1466

A 15th-century Italian captain, Francesco I Sforza reigned as the duke of Milan. He was one of the 7 illegitimate sons of Sforza dynasty founder, Muzio Attendolo Sforza. He later backed a Milan–Florence alliance, which led to the Peace of Lodi. He was also known as a patron of art and architecture.

 43 
Italo Balbo
(Italian Fascist Politician Who Commanded the Country's Air Force and Served as Governor-General of Libya)
Italo Balbo
4
Birthdate: June 6, 1896
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ferrara
Died: June 28, 1940

Italian fascist politician Italo Balbo commanded the country’s air force under the dictatorial rule of Benito Mussolini. He was previously a leader of the Blackshirt militia. However, his pro-British sentiments made Mussolini move him away from Italy to make him the Governor-General of Italian Libya. He was killed by accidental friendly fire.

 44 
Louis II, Holy Roman Emperor
4
Birthdate: 0825 AD
Died: August 12, 0875
 45 
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
(Economist, Politician, Banker)
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1920
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Livorno
Died: September 16, 2016

Former Italian president and prime minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi had a major role in introducing Italy to the euro. He had been the governor of the Bank of Italy for 14 years and had held several portfolios, including the ministry of treasury. He was also a World War II veteran.

 46 
Fulvia
(Political figure)
Fulvia
3
Birthdate: 0083 AD
Birthplace: Tusculum, Italy
Died: 0040 AD
 47 
Elisabetta Casellati
(Politician, Lawyer)
Elisabetta Casellati
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rovigo, Italy

The incumbent president of the Italian Senate, Elisabetta Casellati is the first female to have acquired this position. The Forza Italia member is a qualified matrimonial lawyer and has been a researcher at the University of Padua, too. A self-proclaimed conservative, she supports chemical castration of rapists and is against abortion.

 48 
Antonio Tajani
(Politician)
Antonio Tajani
4
Birthdate: August 4, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 49 
Bona Sforza
(Queen of Poland Grand Duchess of Lithuania (18 April 1518 – 1 April 1548))
Bona Sforza
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1494
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vigevano, Italy
Died: November 19, 1557

An ideal elite Renaissance woman, Bona Sforza was the queen of Poland and the wife of Sigismund I the Old. She is remembered for her fiery resistance to the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, when he suggested Bona be planted as a Habsburg spy to counter the Jagiellonian dynasty.

 50 
Sandro Pertini
(Former President of Italy (1978 - 1985))
Sandro Pertini
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1896
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stella, Liguria, Italy
Died: February 24, 1990

Sandro Pertini was an Italian journalist and socialist politician. From 1978 to 1985, he served as the president of Italy. As the president, Sandro Pertini played an important role in reinstating the public's faith in the Italian government. In 1986, he was honored with the Freedom medal.