Famous Italian Writers

For all the serious reading aficionados, reading can never be complete without having read a Dante, Petrarch or Boccaccio. Isn’t it? For the rest, rack not your brains for these are classic Italian writers whose contribution to Italian and world literature has been immense. Whether it is their risqué stories or heart-warming sonnets or even deep and meaningful poetry, Italian writers have given the world masterpieces of literature. Interestingly, Italian writers have covered all the major genres of writing, be it novels or short stories, poems or sonnets, fiction or non-fiction and so on. Their works are often thought-provoking and very well versed. However, Italian written works are not just merely about classicists, for the country is home to great many contemporary writers as well, who have created a niche for themselves in the literary world. Be it Umberto Eco or Luigi Pirandello, Marco Travaglio or Paolo Giordano, Fabio Volo or Stefano Benni and even female writers like Dacia Maraini, Grazia Verasani and so on. Each of them have given Italian literature some unputdownable works. With this section, we explore the life and works of some of the world’s most famous Italian writers.

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 Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 30, 1265
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
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 Asia Argento

Asia Argento
0
Famous As: Actress, Model, Writer
Birthdate: September 20, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian
Asia Argento, daughter of filmmaker Dario Argento, has starred in movies such as XXX, Traveling Companion, and Transylvania. She declared that Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, while she was herself accused of assaulting Jimmy Bennett. She was dating Anthony Bourdain at the time of his death.

 3 Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli
0
Famous As: Political Philosopher
Birthdate: May 3, 1469
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: June 21, 1527
Italian Renaissance philosopher, diplomat, and author Niccolò Machiavelli is remembered for his work The Prince. He believed that the end or the intention behind any action justifies the action. He gave rise to the term Machiavellianism, which signifies the use of deceit and treachery to achieve one’s goals. 

 4 Joel McHale

Joel McHale
0
Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: November 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian, American

Actor, comedian, and producer Joel McHale is best known for hosting the television series The Soup. He was interested in sports as a young boy but shifted his focus to acting while in college and earned his master's degree in acting. Even though he is more popular as a television actor, he has appeared in many films too.

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 5 Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Casanova
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Famous As: Womanizer
Birthdate: April 2, 1725
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian
Died: June 4, 1798
Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova is best remembered for his memoir, Histoire de ma vie, which serves as a mirror of 18th-century European lifestyle. His countless affairs made him synonymous with the word "womanizer." He also befriended the European royalty and church authorities, and was quite fond of gambling.

 6 Pope John Paul I

Pope John Paul I
0
Famous As: Pope of Roman Catholic Church
Birthdate: October 17, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 28, 1978
Pope John Paul I, also known as The Smiling Pope and The September Pope, was the shortest-reigning Pope and died 33 days after being made the Pope. He was the first Pope to choose a double name, including the names of his predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI.
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 7 Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco
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Famous As: Italian Semiotician, Philosopher
Birthdate: January 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 19, 2016

Italian novelist Umberto Eco is best remembered for his novels The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. He also taught at the University of Bologna and had released quite a few children’s books and translations. He was also known for his work on semiotics and medieval studies.

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 8 Ovid

Ovid
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 20, 0043
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian, Romanian
Died: 0017 AD
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 9 Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini
0
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: March 5, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: November 2, 1975

 10 Petrarch

Petrarch
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Famous As: Poet & Philosopher
Birthdate: July 20, 1304
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 19, 1374

 11 Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini
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Famous As: Film Director and Scriptwriter
Birthdate: January 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 31, 1993

Italian film director and screenwriter, Federico Fellini, is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. He was nominated for the Academy Awards 12 times and won four in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. His distinctive style of film-making has inspired generations of directors in both Italy and Hollywood.

 12 Francesco Petrarch

Francesco Petrarch
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Famous As: Poet, Scholar and Humanist
Birthdate: July 20, 1304
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 19, 1374

 13 Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori
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Famous As: Physician and Educator
Birthdate: August 31, 1870
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian
Died: May 6, 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.

 14 Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena
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Famous As: Mystic
Birthdate: March 25, 1347
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 29, 1380

 15 Benedict of Nursia

Benedict of Nursia
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: March 2, 0480
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 21, 0547

 16 Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner
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Famous As: Explorer, Politician, Writer, Mountaineer
Birthdate: September 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian

 17 Julius Evola

Julius Evola
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 19, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
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.

 18 Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Rossellini
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Famous As: Film director, Actor, Film producer, Playwright, Screenwriter, Racecar driver
Birthdate: May 8, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: June 3, 1977

 19 Primo Levi

Primo Levi
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Famous As: Writer, Chemist
Birthdate: July 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 11, 1987

 20 Paolo Sorrentino

Paolo Sorrentino
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Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Actor, Playwright
Birthdate: May 31, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian

 21 Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger
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Famous As: Author, Lawyer
Birthdate: 0061 AD
Nationality: Italian, Turkish
Died: 0112 AD

 22 Pierluigi Collina

Pierluigi Collina
0
Famous As: Association football referee, Writer, Economist
Birthdate: February 13, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian

 23 Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 16, 1313
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 21, 1375

 24 Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni
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Famous As: Film Director, Screenwriter, Editor
Birthdate: September 29, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 30, 2007

 25 Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino
0
Famous As: Writer, Poet, Politician, Journalist, Reporter, Essayist, Novelist, Literary editor, Screenwriter, Science fiction writer, Children's writer
Birthdate: October 15, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian, American
Died: September 19, 1985

 26 Tana French

Tana French
0
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian, American

 27 Antonio Carluccio

Antonio Carluccio
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: April 19, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian
Died: November 18, 2017

 28 Giorgio Agamben

Giorgio Agamben
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Famous As: Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Poet lawyer
Birthdate: April 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian

 29 Luchino Visconti

Luchino Visconti
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Famous As: Theatre director, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer
Birthdate: November 2, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 17, 1976

 30 Gabriele D'Annunzio

Gabriele D'Annunzio
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 1, 1938

 31 Charles Atlas

Charles Atlas
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Famous As: Bodybuilder
Birthdate: October 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian, American
Died: December 24, 1972

 32 Leon Battista Alberti

Leon Battista Alberti
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Famous As: Architect, Linguist
Birthdate: February 18, 1404
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 20, 1472

 33 Giulio Andreotti

Giulio Andreotti
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Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Politician, Diplomat, Reporter
Birthdate: January 14, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian
Died: May 6, 2013

 34 Luigi Pirandello

Luigi Pirandello
0
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 28, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 10, 1936

 35 Veronica Franco

Veronica Franco
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Famous As: Courtesan, Poetess
Birthdate: March 25, 1546
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 22, 1591

 36 Oriana Fallaci

Oriana Fallaci
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Famous As: War correspondent, Politician, Writer, Journalist, Conspiracy theorist
Birthdate: June 29, 1929
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 15, 2006

 37 Benvenuto Cellini

Benvenuto Cellini
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Famous As: Sculptor, Writer, Medallist, Painter, Autobiographer
Birthdate: November 3, 1500
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 13, 1571

 38 Roberto Saviano

Roberto Saviano
0
Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: September 22, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian

 39 Juvenal

Juvenal
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0055 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: 0127 AD

 40 Giacomo Leopardi

Giacomo Leopardi
0
Famous As: Writer, Poet, Philosopher, Philologist
Birthdate: June 29, 1798
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: June 14, 1837

 41 Plautus

Plautus
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Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: 0254 BC
Nationality: Italian, Ancient Roman
Died: 0184 BC

 42 Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 17, 2019

 43 Dario Fo

Dario Fo
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Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: March 24, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian

 44 Carlo Collodi

Carlo Collodi
0
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 26, 1890

 45 Filippo Tommaso Marinetti

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
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Famous As: Poet, Writer, Playwright, Composer, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: December 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 2, 1944

 46 Francesco Redi

Francesco Redi
0
Famous As: Physician, Naturalist, Poet, Writer, Painter, Entomologist, Parasitologist
Birthdate: February 18, 1626
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 22, 1698

 47 Robert Bellarmine

Robert Bellarmine
0
Famous As: Theologian, Writer, Librarian, University teacher, Catholic priest
Birthdate: October 4, 1542
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 17, 1621

 48 Gabriele Amorth

Gabriele Amorth
0
Famous As: Catholic priest, Writer, Theologian
Birthdate: May 1, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 16, 2016

 49 Mario Bava

Mario Bava
0
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Writer, Responsible for special effects
Birthdate: July 31, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 25, 1980

 50 Baldassare Castiglione

Baldassare Castiglione
0
Famous As: Diplomat, Poet, Writer
Birthdate: December 6, 1478
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 8, 1529