Monica Bellucci is one of the most popular actresses from Italy. Her popularity in the West helped her become the oldest woman to play a Bond girl in the history of the James Bond film franchise. Known for her hourglass figure, she has been regarded as a sex symbol and has appeared in lists like 100 Hottest Women of All-Time.
Known as the quintessential “femme fatale” of the "Golden Age of Hollywood," Sophia Loren rose from participating in a beauty pageant as a teenager, to being the first actor to win the Academy Award for a foreign-language movie. The Italian bombshell is also known for her affair with Cary Grant.
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who played a key role in the political affairs of France during the rule of her sons, a period which came to be known as the age of Catherine de' Medici. Catherine is credited with saving the monarchy from deposition during the French Wars of Religion.
Italian-American actress Isabella Rossellini has made an important contribution to the American and Italian film industry. She has also appeared on stage, including an Off-Broadway production of The Stendhal Syndrome. Also known for her involvement in conservation efforts, Rossellini serves as the director and president of the Howard Gilman Foundation, which focuses on the preservation of arts, photography, and wildlife.
Giada De Laurentiis is an Italian-American chef, restaurateur, television personality, and writer. She won the Gracie Award under the Best Television Host category for hosting Giada at Home. The founder of a catering business called GDL Foods, Giada De Laurentiis has been an influential figure in the American culinary business over the last few years.
Carla Bruni is an Italian-French fashion model and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition after marrying the then president of France Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008. Also known for her political activities, philanthropy, and charity work, Bruni established the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation in 2009; the foundation helps promote access to knowledge for all. She also supports organizations, such as PETA.
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.
Marzia Kjellberg née Bisognin, who was initially known as CutiePieMarzia, is a popular Italian beauty and fashion vlogger. She later moved to Japan, where she stays with her husband, famous Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie. Apart from launching a clothing line, she has also launched a home décor, pottery, and jewelry brand, Maì.
Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress and photojournalist counted amongst the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Considered a sex symbol in her youth, she had a successful career both in the film and TV industries. She later built a second career as a photojournalist. She is a recipient of the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award.
Claudia Cardinale is a Tunisian-born Italian actress who played important roles in some of the most popular Italian and French movies of the 1960s and 1970s. After achieving immense popularity as an actress in Italy, Cardinale starred in the 1963 American comedy film The Pink Panther, which increased her popularity. Claudia Cardinale was also renowned for her beauty.
Valentina Nappi is an Italian adult model and pornographic film actress. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like AVN Award and XBIZ Award. Widely recognized as an intellectual pornstar, Nappi contributes as a columnist for MicroMega. She has also been featured in magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. In November 2013, Nappi was named Pet of the Month by Penthouse.
Born to an Italian Germanist scholar father and a Greek painter mother, Valeria Golino was destined to be associated with the arts but had initially aspired to be a cardiologist. She later stepped into movies and gained fame for her roles in movies such as Rain Man and the Hot Shots! franchise.
Simonetta Stefanelli is an Italian fashion designer, entrepreneur, and former actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone in the popular crime film, The Godfather. After retiring from acting in 1992, Simonetta Stefanelli became an entrepreneur. She owns a fashion store called Simo Bloom, where she designs shoes and purses.
Bounty hunter and reality star Beth Chapman soared to fame with the shows Dog the Bounty Hunter, Dog's Most Wanted, and Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, along with her husband, Duane "Dog" Chapman. While filming Dog's Most Wanted, she died of throat cancer, which had spread to her lungs.
Lidia Bastianich is an Italian-American television host, celebrity chef, restaurateur, and author. She owns many restaurants in the US, including one in Manhattan. Bastianich is the recipient of several awards and honors, including a couple of Lifetime Achievement Awards. Also a philanthropist, Lidia Bastianich supports various non-profit organizations, such as the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which aims at promoting Italian-American heritage.
Best known for her title role in the film Teresa, Pier Angeli had stepped into showbiz at the tender age of 16. The Golden Globe-winning actor also appeared in films such as Flame and the Flesh and The Silver Chalice. She died of a barbiturate overdose at 39.
Emma Morano was an Italian supercentenarian. Born in 1899, she was the last living person born in the 1800s whose age had been verified. At the time of her death, Morano was the world's oldest living person to have her age verified. She lived for 117 years and 137 days and remains the oldest Italian ever.
Saint Lucy was a Christian martyr who was killed during the Great Persecution. Lucy is venerated as a saint in the Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches. She is one of the women commemorated in the Canon of the Mass by Roman Catholics. Saint Lucy's Day, her traditional feast day, is observed on 13 December by Western Christians.
Leonarda Cianciulli was an Italian serial killer who murdered three women and turned their bodies into soaps and tea cakes. She is also known as the "Soap-Maker of Correggio." Between 1939 and 1940, she killed three of her neighbors--all of them middle-aged women--as part of human sacrifices. She was eventually found guilty of her crimes and sentenced to prison.
Michelle Beadle is a sports reporter best known for her association with the popular cable sports channel, ESPN. Over the years, she has hosted important shows for various networks, including ESPN. Apart from being a sports reporter, Michelle Beadle has also been a Red Carpet reporter for popular shows like Grammy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Tony Awards, and SAG Awards.
Giuliana Rancic is an Italian-American television personality and entertainment reporter. Over the years, she has co-hosted several important events like the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Also known for her good looks, Rancic was named in the 100 Most Beautiful people list by People magazine in 2006. In 2014, she won the Daytime Emmy Award under the Fan Favorite category.
Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer who designed the wardrobes for many films like Topaze and Moulin Rouge. Widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the world of fashion, Schiaparelli was considered the greatest rival of Coco Chanel.
Daniela Bianchi is an Italian actress known for her portrayal of Bond girl Tatiana Romanova in the popular spy film, From Russia with Love. After appearing in the second James Bond film, Bianchi landed roles in a number of Italian and French movies. Apart from acting, Daniela Bianchi also studied ballet and worked as a fashion model.
Clara Petacci was a mistress of Benito Mussolini, an Italian dictator who inspired other totalitarian rulers like Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler. Her life inspired the 1984 Italian historical drama film Claretta, in which she was played by actress Claudia Cardinale. In the 1985 TV docu-drama Mussolini and I, Petacci was portrayed by Barbara De Rossi.
Caterina Murino first gained attention after participating in the Miss Italy contest. She later began her showbiz career as a model and starred in films such as The Corsican File. She also appeared as Bond Girl Solange in Casino Royale. She is also well-versed in dances such as flamenco and tango.
Laura Pausini is an Italian television personality and singer-songwriter. Having sold over 70 million records, Pausini is the fourth best-selling female singer in Latin music. In 2006, Pausini became the first female Italian musician to receive a Grammy Award. In 2021, her song Io sì (Seen) became the first Italian-language song to win the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
Once likened to pop icon Samantha Fox, Sabrina Salerno was a pop diva from the 1980s. She began her career winning a beauty contest and then became a known face on Italian TV, with shows such as Premiatissima. She later soared to fame with tracks such as Sexy Girl and Boys.
Caterina Sforza was an Italian noblewoman who served as a regent for her son Ottaviano, the Lord of Imola and Forlì. Caterina is among the few women who caught the attention of Italian Renaissance writer Niccolò Machiavelli who discussed her at length. In 2010, she became the subject of a historical novel titled Scarlet Contessa.