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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maria Elena Boschi is an Italian politician and lawyer. Since 2013, Boschi has been serving as a member of the Chamber of Deputies. In 2016, Boschi became the first woman to be appointed as the Secretary of the Council of Ministers. She made headlines when she left the Democratic Party in 2019 to join Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva.
Maria Pia of Savoy was an Italian princess who became the Queen of Portugal after marrying King Luís I of Portugal in 1862. She was the third queen to represent the House of Savoy. Maria Pia is best remembered for her compassion and charitable works. She was often referred to as the mother of the poor and angel of charity.
Laura Boldrini is an Italian politician who served as the president of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy from 2013 to 2018. She studied law at the Sapienza University of Rome and worked at the World Food Programme (WFP) as the Italian spokesperson. She has been part of numerous missions to crisis spots, including Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan.
Apart from being a seasoned politician, Forza Italia member Jole Santelli was also a qualified lawyer. She had been the president of Calabria and was part of the Chamber of Deputies. Known for promoting Italian companies overseas, Santelli had been battling cancer when she died of a heart attack.
Nina Menegatto is a businesswoman who currently serves as the Princess of Seborga. Since 2019, she has been reigning over a micronation known as the Principality of Seborga. The former wife of the previous head of state Marcello Menegatto, Nina is the first woman to serve in this position.
Letizia Battaglia is an Italian photojournalist and photographer whose photos depict a wide range of Sicilian life. Battaglia is renowned for her influential work on the Sicilian Mafia. Her life and career inspired a 2019 documentary titled Shooting the Mafia. Over the course of her career, Letizia Battaglia has been honored with several awards like Dr. Erich Salomon Award.
Susanna Agnelli was an Italian businesswoman, politician, and writer. Agnelli is best remembered as the first woman to serve as the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position which she served from 1995 to 1996. Susanna Agnelli is also remembered for her bestselling autobiography titled We always wore sailor suits.
Franca Rame, the wife of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo, was one of Italy’s most popular stage actors. A left-wing political activist, she was also a member of the Senate. A frequent collaborator of her husband, she was named a muse by Fo, who also shared his Nobel with her.
Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria was a well-educated woman and grew up appreciating art and culture. The wife of Grand Duke Cosimo II de Medici, she also had a palace of her own, the Poggio Imperiale. Following Cosimo’s death, she and her mother-in-law, Christine of Lorraine, served as regents.
Letizia Moratti is an Italian politician and businesswoman who served as the president of RAI from 1994 to 1996. From 2001 to 2006, she served as the Italian Minister of Public Education. From 2006 to 2011, Moratti was the mayor of Milan.
Paola Severino is an Italian politician and lawyer who served as the nation's minister of justice from November 2011 to April 2013. Severino is the first woman to be appointed as Italy's minister of justice. One of the top criminal lawyers in the country, Paola Severino has worked for important personalities like Romano Prodi, Francesco Caltagirone, and Cesare Geronzi.
Italian politician and Communist Party member Camilla Ravera was the first woman to be a lifetime senator. She was initially associated with Antonio Gramsci’s newspaper L’Ordine Nuovo. She also edited La Compagna. As a parliamentarian, she passed bills related to the provision of equal wages for women.