Achille Lauro (16 June 1887, Piano di Sorrento - 15 November 1982) was an Italian businessman and politician.
Born the fifth of six children of the shipowner Gioacchino and of Laura Cafiero, he was on his part the shipowner and founder of the Flota Lauro, one of the most powerful Italian fleets of all time and one of the major fortunes in the south of Italy, in addition to the owner of a true financial empire created by himself. A determining fact in marking the force of his activities was his genial intuition that his workers should participate in the benefits of their activities.
Often found in society news for his frequent romantic encounters, the popular tradition recorded legendary characteristics to his amatory capacities.
As a politician, he maintained a great popularity and was venerated by the majority of the population of the city of Naples, to the point that in the municipal elections of 1952 and 1956 he received almost 300,000 votes, higher than any number of votes received by any candidate in local elections up to that point. In the general elections of 1953, he received 680,000 votes for the Chamber of Deputies, also a number that had never been achieved before.
During the decades of Italian fascism, he was named the National Counselor of the Chamber of the fasces and the corporations, appointed to this position by Galeazzo Ciano, the son-in-law of Benito Mussolini himself, who was active in shipping commerce. Also during this period he was named president of the Naples football club SSC Napoli, where he succeeded Giorgio Ascarelli.
After the war, after an initial participation in the Common Man's Front, he became active in the monarchist movement of Alfredo Covelli and financially supported the birth of the Monarchist National Party (PNM), and was for a long time the mayor of Naples, appreciated and questioned for his management of the public funds.
A square in the coastal town of Sorrento is named in his honour.
- Achille Della Ragione. Achille Lauro superstar: la vita, l'impero, la leggenda. Napoli, 2003.
- Serena Romano. Don Achille, 'o comandante. Milano, 1992.
- Pietro Zullino. Il Comandante. Milano, 1976.