Born in Naples, daughter of professor Giuliano Bonfante, Bonfante studied fine arts and classics at Barnard College, gaining her BA in 1954; she gained her MA in classics from the University of Cincinnati in 1957 and her Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University in 1966. Bonfante received the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement in 2007 from the Archaeological Institute of America.
 Selected publications
- Etruscan dress, 1975
- (with Giuliano Bonfante) The Etruscan language: an introduction, 1983
- Etruscan life and afterlife: a handbook of Etruscan studies, 1986
- Reading The Past Etruscan, 1990
- Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum USA 3, 1997
- (with Judith Swaddling) Etruscan myths, 2006
- The Barbarians of Ancient Europe, 2011
- Annuario della Nobiltà Italiana, XXXI edizione (Teglio, 2010), volume III, titolati umbertini
The Plays of Hrotswitha of Gandersheim, translator, with Alexandra Bonfante-Warren (1979).
- Faculty page, New York University
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