Famous Italian Political Leaders

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.

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 Cicero

Cicero.
5
Famous As: Philosopher, Political Theorist
Birthdate: January 3, 0106
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arpinum, Roman Republic, modern Arpino, Lazio, Italy
Died: December 7, 0043
Roman statesman, lawyer, and scholar Cicero was one of the greatest 1st-century BC prose writers and orators. He influenced Latin literature immensely and introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans. He was declared an enemy of the state, following his opposition to Mark Antony after Julius Caesar’s death, and was executed.

 2 Lorenzo de' Medici

Cicero.
4
Famous As: Leader
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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 3 Pompey

Cicero.
4
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: September 29, 0106
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Picenum
Died: September 28, 0048

Considered ruthless by his opponents, Pompey was an ancient Roman general who was a veteran of many wars and played a key role in changing Rome from a republic to an empire. Pompey was first an ally of his more illustrious compatriot Julius Caesar whose daughter he married, and then became his enemy. He was assassinated in Egypt, an end not uncommon in history.

 4 Cosimo de' Medici

Cicero.
4
Famous As: Banker
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.

 5 Silvio Berlusconi

Cicero.
5
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Italy
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.

 6 Antonio Gramsci

Cicero.
4
Famous As: Politician, Philosopher
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.

 7 Alessandra Mussolini

Cicero
4
Famous As: Politician
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 Matteo Salvini

Cicero.
4
Famous As: Political Leader
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.

 9 Sulla

Cicero
4
Famous As: Roman consul
Birthdate: 0138 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0078 BC

A Roman general and statesman, Lucius Cornelius Sulla is remembered for carrying out significant constitutional reforms during the last phase of Roma Empire. Winner of the first civil war, he was appointed dictator under Valerian law and undertook number of reforms intending to strengthen the Roman republic; but actually paved the way for rise of future dictators like Julius Caesar.

 10 Matteo Renzi

Cicero.
4
Famous As: Prime Minister of Italy
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. 

 11 Gianni Agnelli

Cicero
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Engineer, Politician, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Turin
Died: January 24, 2003

 12 Giuseppe Mazzini

Cicero.
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.

 13 Marcus Junius Brutus

Cicero
4
Birthdate: 0085 BC
Birthplace: Rome
Died: October 23, 0042

 14 Philip the Arab

Cicero
3
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: 0204 AD
Birthplace: Shahba
Died: 0249 AD

 15 Federica Mogherini

Cicero
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

 16 Beppe Grillo

Cicero.
9
Famous As: Comedian
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.

 17 Lord Acton

Cicero.
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1834
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naples
Died: June 19, 1902

Lord Acton was an English Catholic historian, writer, and politician. Born to a prominent family in Naples, he was the son of a British baronet. He studied at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where he developed a deep love of historical research. After building a career as a historian and writer, he ventured into politics as well. 

 18 Steve Scalise

Cicero
4
Famous As: Politician
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.

 19 Luigi Di Maio

Cicero.
3
Famous As: Party leader of the Five Star Movement
Birthdate: July 6, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Avellino

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.

 20 Benito Mussolini

Cicero.
14
Famous As: Former Duce
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.

 21 Julius Nepos

Cicero
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0430 AD
Birthplace: Roman Italy
Died: May 9, 0480

 22 Aldo Moro

Cicero
3
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat, University teacher
Birthdate: September 23, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Maglie
Died: May 9, 1978

 23 Gabriele D'Annunzio

Cicero
3
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.  

 24 Marcus Aemilius Lepidus

Cicero
3
Famous As: Roman military commander
Birthdate: 0088 BC
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0013 BC

 25 Cesare Beccaria

Cicero
3
Famous As: Jurist
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. 

 26 Cardinal Mazarin

Cicero
3
Famous As: Cardinal
Birthdate: July 14, 1602
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pescina, Italy
Died: March 9, 1661

 27 Virginia Raggi

Cicero
3
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer
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.

 28 Sergio Mattarella

Cicero.
4
Famous As: President of Italy
Birthdate: July 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Palermo, 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.

 29 Marta Fascina

Cicero
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 9, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melito di Porto Salvo, Italy

 30 Giulio Andreotti

Cicero
3
Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Politician, Diplomat, Reporter
Birthdate: January 14, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome
Died: May 6, 2013

 31 Lothair I

Cicero
3
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: 0795 AD

 32 Vitellius

Cicero
4
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: September 24, 0015
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: December 22, 0069

 33 Galeazzo Ciano

Cicero
3
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: March 18, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Livorno, Italy
Died: January 11, 1944

 34 Pietro Badoglio

Cicero
3
Famous As: Prime Minister
Birthdate: September 28, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Grazzano Badoglio
Died: November 1, 1956

 35 Enrico Dandolo

Cicero
3
Famous As: diplomat, politician
Birthdate: 1107 AD
Birthplace: Venice
Died: April 30, 1205

 36 Giorgio Napolitano

Cicero
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 29, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Naples

 37 Numa Pompilius

Cicero
3
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: April 21, 0753
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cures
Died: 0673 BC

 38 Theodoric the Great

Cicero
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: May 12, 0454
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pannonia
Died: August 30, 0526

 39 Zita of Bourbon-Parma

Cicero
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tuscany
Died: March 14, 1989

 40 Marcus Claudius Tacitus

Cicero
3
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: 0200 AD
Birthplace: Terni
Died: May 31, 0276

 41 Valentinian III

Cicero
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: July 2, 0419
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ravenna
Died: March 16, 0455

 42 Catiline

Cicero
3
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: 0108 BC
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0062 BC

 43 Mario Monti

Cicero
3
Famous As: Economist, Politician, University teacher
Birthdate: March 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Varese

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.

 44 Italo Balbo

Cicero
3
Famous As: politician, military personnel
Birthdate: June 6, 1896
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ferrara
Died: June 28, 1940

 45 Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

Cicero
3
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: May 24, 1671
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy
Died: July 9, 1737

 46 Romano Prodi

Cicero
3
Famous As: Economist, Politician, University teacher
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.

 47 Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence

Cicero
3
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: July 22, 1510
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 6, 1537

 48 Isabella d'Este

Cicero
3
Famous As: Political Figure
Birthdate: May 19, 1474
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Died: February 13, 1539

 49 Antonio Tajani

Cicero
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 4, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

 50 Majorian

Cicero
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: October 31, 0420
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: August 7, 0461