Famous Italian Women

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Not every Italian lady is a fashionista as many people may believe! But every Italian woman is surely blessed with the femininity and grace that makes her naturally beautiful and desirable. Being an Italian woman is not just about being beautiful, it is more about having the character and determination that most Italians identify with. The world’s very first gynecologist, Trotula of Salerno, was an Italian woman physician who specialized in women’s health during the 11th and 12th centuries. Another pioneer was Dorotea Bucca, the physician who was the first person to encourage women to enter the science fields. Italian women have several achievements to be proud of—the first ever woman in the world to be awarded a University degree was the Venetian mathematician Elena Cornaro Piscopia.

Vote for Your Favourite Italian Women
 1 
Monica Bellucci
(Italian Actress, Model and the 'Oldest Bond Girl' in the History of the Franchise)
Monica Bellucci
57
Birthdate: September 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Città di Castello, Italy

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.

 2 
Sophia Loren
(One of the Greatest Female Stars of Classical Hollywood Cinema)
Sophia Loren
36
Birthdate: September 20, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

 3 
Donatella Versace
(Fashion Designer and Chief Creative Designer of the Luxury Fashion House 'Versace')
Donatella Versace
26
Birthdate: May 2, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reggio Calabria, Italy
Donatella Versace, sister of the founder of the Italian fashion brand Versace, Gianni Versace, inherited the company after Gianni’s murder in 1997. Donatella is now the company’s chief creative officer. She supports Elton John’s AIDS Foundation and was the first woman to win the GQ Designer of the Year award. 
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 4 
Catherine de' Medici
(Queen Consort of France (1547 - 1559))
Catherine de' Medici
9
Birthdate: April 13, 1519
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 5, 1589

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

 5 
Maria Callas
(One of the Most Renowned and Influential Opera Singers of the 20th Century)
Maria Callas
9
Birthdate: December 2, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: September 16, 1977
Greek soprano Maria Callas, also known as “La Divina,” is considered one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner was also in the news for her affair with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, her rivalry with Renata Tebaldi, and her gradually declining vocal ability.
 6 
Greta Scacchi
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Nola Johns’ in the TV Miniseries ‘Broken Trail’)
Greta Scacchi
14
Birthdate: February 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Greta Scacchi is best known for her Emmy-winning role in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. She also earned a BAFTA nomination for her role in Heat and Dust and an Emmy nomination for Broken Trail. She is also a seasoned theater actor and has worked toward prevention of overfishing.
 7 
Isabella Rossellini
(Actress, Author and Philanthropist Known for Her Roles in Films: ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Death Becomes Her’)
Isabella Rossellini
16
Birthdate: June 18, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

 8 
Giada De Laurentiis
(Chef and Host of 'Giada at Home')
Giada De Laurentiis
18
Birthdate: August 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

 9 
Carla Bruni
(Singer, Supermodel & Spouse of the ex-French President 'Nicolas Sarkozy')
Carla Bruni
8
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

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.

 10 
Asia Argento
(Actress and Director Known for Her Films: 'XXX', ‘'Marie Antoinette' and ‘Misunderstood’)
Asia Argento
26
Birthdate: September 20, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
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.
 11 
Maria Montessori
(Italian Educator and Founder of the 'Montessori Method of Education')
Maria Montessori
3
Birthdate: August 1, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiaravalle, Italy
Died: April 30, 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.

 12 
Artemisia Gentileschi
(One of the Most Progressive and Expressive Painters of Her Generation)
Artemisia Gentileschi
6
Birthdate: July 8, 1593
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 1652 AD
Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi was a prominent artist of the 17th century. She was the first female member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno and was known for her depiction of the female form. She was raped by painter Agostino Tassi and participated in a 7-month trial.
 13 
Victoria De Angelis
(Bassist best known as a member of the Italian pop-rock band Måneskin)
Victoria De Angelis
0
Birthdate: April 28, 2000
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 14 
Marzia Bisognin
(Fashion Designer)
Marzia Bisognin
6
Birthdate: October 21, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Arzignano, Italy
 15 
Claudia Cardinale
(Italian Actress Who Acted in Italian, French and English Films in the 1960s and 1970s)
Claudia Cardinale
19
Birthdate: April 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Goulette, Tunisia

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.

 16 
Valentina Nappi
(Italian Pornographic Actress and Model)
Valentina Nappi
1
Birthdate: November 6, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Scafati, Campania, Italy

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.

 17 
Gina Lollobrigida
(Actress, Photojournalist)
Gina Lollobrigida
1
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Subiaco, Italy

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.  

 18 
Lucrezia Borgia
(Duchess Consort of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio (1505 - 1519))
Lucrezia Borgia
4
Birthdate: April 18, 1480
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Subiaco, Italy
Died: June 24, 1519
Spanish-Italian noblewoman Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, ruled as the governor of Spoleto. She was part of many politically motivated marriages. She has been portrayed as the femme fatale in many movies and novels. Dosso Dossi’s Portrait of a Youth is the only credible portrait of Lucrezia.
 19 
Beth Chapman
(Television Personality)
Beth Chapman
16
Birthdate: October 29, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, U.S
Died: June 26, 2019

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.

 20 
Julia Fox
(Actress)
Julia Fox
1
Birthdate: April 30, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
 21 
Lisa del Giocondo
(Noblewomen)
Lisa del Giocondo
5
Birthdate: June 15, 1479
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: July 15, 1542
 22 
Chiara Ferragni
(Italian Businesswoman, Fashion Designer and Founder of Fashion Blog ‘The Blonde Salad’)
Chiara Ferragni
15
Birthdate: 1987 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
While studying law in Milan, Chiara Ferragni discovered her love for fashion and started The Blonde Salad, her fashion blog. She dropped out of university, only to be featured on Forbes 30 under 30, as a top fashion influencer. She has also been the subject of a Harvard case study.
 23 
Lidia Bastianich
(Italian-American Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur Known for Her Cooking Shows)
Lidia Bastianich
3
Birthdate: February 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pula, Croatia

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.

 24 
Valeria Golino
(Actress, who was featured in many films in Italy and appeared in Hot Shots! and Rain Man)
Valeria Golino
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Naples, Italy

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.

 25 
Ilona Staller
(Hungarian Former Pornographic Actress and Member of the Chamber of Deputies (1987 - 1992))
Ilona Staller
9
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.

 26 
Alessandra Mussolini
(Member of the European Parliament (2004 - 2008, 2014 - 2019))
Alessandra Mussolini
4
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.  

 27 
Dalida
(French-Italian Singer and Actress)
Dalida
7
Birthdate: January 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shubra, Cairo, Egypt
Died: May 3, 1987
French singer and actress Dalida, whose aching voice ruled over hearts for three decades, sold millions of records worldwide. Dalida sang in 10 languages and holds a world record for most weeks at the top of the music chart. She was also the first singer to receive platinum and diamond discs while she also owns more than 70 gold records.
 28 
Simonetta Stefanelli
(Best Known for Her Role of 'Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone' in the Film 'The Godfather')
Simonetta Stefanelli
8
Birthdate: November 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

 29 
Pier Angeli
(Former Actress who won a 1952 Golden Globe Award for her breakout role in Teresa)
Pier Angeli
5
Birthdate: June 19, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cagliari, Italy
Died: September 10, 1971

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.

 30 
Michelle Beadle
(Sports Reporter and Host)
Michelle Beadle
2
Birthdate: October 23, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Italy

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.

 31 
Camila Giorgi
(Tennis player)
Camila Giorgi
1
Birthdate: December 30, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Macerata, Italy
 32 
Saint Lucy
(Saint)
Saint Lucy
3
Birthdate: 0283 AD
Birthplace: Syracuse, Roman Empire
Died: 0304 AD

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.

 33 
Allison Miller
10
Birthdate: September 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Allison Miller is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Michelle Benjamin in the serial drama TV series, Kings. Miller was passionate about acting, so much so that she dropped out of college in 2006 to pursue acting. A multi-talented personality, Miller has trained in modern, jazz, and tap dance. She also plays the guitar and the piano.

 34 
Laura Pausini
(Pop Singer Known for Her Single ‘La Solitudine')
Laura Pausini
0
Birthdate: May 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Faenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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.

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu
2
Birthdate: April 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Lisa Moretti
1
Birthdate: November 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inglewood
 37 
Leonarda Cianciulli
(Serial Killer)
Leonarda Cianciulli
20
Birthdate: April 18, 1894
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montella
Died: October 15, 1970

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.  

 38 
Clare of Assisi
4
Birthdate: July 16, 1194
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Assisi, Italy
Died: August 11, 1253
Clare of Assisi, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, ran away from home to escape marriage and received her vows instead. She later formed the Poor Clares. She was made the patron saint of television, as she had once seen the Mass on the walls of her room.
 39 
Allegra Versace
(Italian Heiress, Director of ‘Gianni Versace S.p.A.’ and Daughter of Fashion Designer Donatella Versace )
Allegra Versace
17
Birthdate: June 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Italian-American socialite Allegra Versace is the heiress of the international fashion line Versace. Daughter of designer Donatella Versace and model Paul Beck, Allegra has previously worked as a theatrical dresser and is the director of Gianni Versace S.p.A. She has had a long battle with anorexia.
 40 
Carly Pope
(Actress)
Carly Pope
2
Birthdate: August 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
 41 
Maria Goretti
(Regarded as a Roman Catholic saint and martyr)
Maria Goretti
1
Birthdate: October 16, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Corinaldo, Italy
Died: July 6, 1902
 42 
Caterina Murino
(actress born in Sardinia, who became known for portraying Bond girl Solange Dimitrios in Casino Royale)
Caterina Murino
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cagliari, Italy

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.

 43 
Daniela Bianchi
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Tatiana Romanova’ in the James Bond Film ‘From Russia with Love’)
Daniela Bianchi
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

 44 
Moana Pozzi
(Actress)
Moana Pozzi
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: September 15, 1994
 45 
Emma Morano
(Supercentenarian)
Emma Morano
6
Birthdate: November 29, 1899
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Civiasco, Vercelli
Died: April 15, 2017

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.

 46 
Elsa Schiaparelli
(Fashion designer)
Elsa Schiaparelli
1
Birthdate: September 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 13, 1973

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.

 47 
Rosabell Laurenti Sellers
(Actress, famous for her title role in the Italian fantasy series Mia and Me)
Rosabell Laurenti Sellers
2
Birthdate: March 27, 1996
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States
 48 
Violante Placido
(Actress most famous for her roles in films like the comic book adaptation Ghost Rider and its sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance)
Violante Placido
0
Birthdate: May 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 49 
Caterina Sforza
(Italian Noblewoman, Lady of Imola and Countess of Forlì)
Caterina Sforza
0
Birthdate: 1463 AD
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: May 28, 1509

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.

 50 
Sabrina Salerno
(Pop Singer Best Known for Her 1987 Single ‘Boys (Summertime Love)')
Sabrina Salerno
0
Birthdate: March 15, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy

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.

Italian women have left their indelible marks on world literature and fine arts. Francesca Caccini was the first woman to compose opera while Sofonisba Anguissola became the first female artist to achieve international fame. Anna Magnani, a famous actress of the post-war period strived hard to break the stereotype that actresses are meant only to be beautiful and sexy and rose to fame through her intelligence and acting skills. Read on to learn more about the famous Italian women who made this world more vibrant and richer.