List of people from Central Italy

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This is a list of notable central Italians.

Central Italy comprises four regions: Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, and Lazio, which hosts Rome, the Capital city.


Chess players[edit]






Fashion designers[edit]

Fashion models[edit]

Military figures[edit]

  • Castruccio Castracani (1281–1328), was a famous condottiero created duke of Lucca in 1327.
  • Niccolò Piccinino (1386–1444), condottiero, was a cavalryman who spent the most important years of his career in the service of Milan.
  • Federico da Montefeltro (1422–1482), learned Renaissance prince who was an outstanding military leader and a great patron of the arts.
  • Vitellozzo Vitelli (c. 1458 – 1502), was a famous military leader or condottiero from Città di Castello, Umbria.
  • Cesare Borgia (1475/76 – 1507), was a Cardinal, military leader, and Machiavellian politician. He was the son of Pope Alexander VI.
  • Francesco Ferruccio (1489–1530), was a military commander. He served in the Bande Nere in various parts of Italy, earning a reputation as a daring fighter.
  • Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma (1545–1592), was a famous military commander who served Philip II and became governor-general of the Netherlands.
  • Ottavio Piccolomini (1599–1656), was duke of Amalfi and one of the most powerful people in Spain as well as a key player in the Thirty Years' War.
  • Pier Ruggero Piccio (1880–1965), a skilled war pilot, distinguished himself in World War I as a daring fighter pilot. He had a total of 24 victories.
  • Enrico Toti (1882–1916), was a cyclist, patriot and one of the greatest of Italy's war heroes.
  • Franco Lucchini (1917–1943), was a World War II fighter pilot with 26 individual victories and 52 shared.



  • Guido of Arezzo (c. 990 – 1050), was a "medieval music theorist whose principles served as a foundation for modern Western musical notation."[13]
  • Antonio Squarcialupi (1416–1480), was an organist and composer. He was "the most famous Italian organist of his time."[14]
  • Giovanni Animuccia (c. 1520 – 1571), was a composer. "Predecessor of Palestrina as maestro of the Vatican and regarded as extraordinarily fertile innovator."[15]
  • Gioseffo Guami (1542–1611), was an organist and composer of motets, madrigals and canzonas representative of the Venetian school.
  • Emilio de' Cavalieri (c. 1550 – 1602), was a composer and polymath. He lived mainly at the Florentine court of the Medici, where he was Inspector General of Arts.
  • Giulio Caccini (1551–1618), a tenor, composer, and teacher was the most important member of the Camerata.
  • Jacopo Peri (1561–1633), was a composer and singer. He is "often known as the 'inventor' of opera."[16]
  • Ottavio Rinuccini (1562–1621), was the first opera librettist, having produced the texts for Peri's Dafne and Euridice, as well as Monteverdi's L'Arianna.
  • Giovanni Francesco Anerio (c. 1567 – 1630), was an important composer and organist, brother of Felice Anerio.
  • Marco da Gagliano (1582–1643), was a celebrated composer. Gagliano's Dafne, to a text by Rinuccini, is a milestone in the early history of opera.
  • Gregorio Allegri (c. 1582 – 1652), was maestro di capella for Pope Urban VIII. He was seen as a successor to Palestrina.
  • Pietro Della Valle (1586–1652), composer, librettist, and theorist. Della Valle was also "a soldier, world traveler, and a passionate and articulate orientalist."[17]
  • Stefano Landi (February 1587 – 1639), was an early Baroque composer whose large output includes operas, madrigals, arias, masses, and other sacred compositions.
  • Francesca Caccini (September 1587 – after 1641), known as La Cecchina, was a skilled composer, singer, and instrumentalist who served the Medici court in Florence.
  • Antonio Cesti (1623–1669), "composer who, with Francesco Cavalli, was one of the leading Italian composers of the 17th century."[18]
  • Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687), was a composer and founder of the French operatic tradition. His name originally was Giovanni Battista Lulli.
  • Alessandro Stradella (1639–1682), was one of the major composers of his era,[19] writing some 30 stage works and 200 cantatas.[19]
  • Benedetto Pamphili (1653–1730), was a cardinal, a patron of music in Rome and a librettist, especially important during Handel's first year there.
  • Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni (1657–1743), composer and writer on music. He was "one of the best and most prolific composers of sacred music of his time."[20]
  • Francesco Manfredini (1684–1762), was an important composer of the Baroque Era. He worked mainly in the cultural orbit of Bologna.
  • Francesco Geminiani (1687–1762), was a violinist and composer noted for his concertos and sonatas.
  • Domenico Zipoli (1688–1726), was a composer. He is best known for his Sonate d'intavolatura per organo e cimbalo (1716), his only published work.
  • Francesco Maria Veracini (1690–1768), was lauded as one of the great violin virtuosi of the late Baroque and is also known as a composer of operas.
  • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736), was a famous composer. His intermezzo, La serva padrona, became a model for Italian opera buffa.
  • Antonio Sacchini (1730–1786), was a composer active in London from 1772 to 1781. "He was one of the leading 18th-century composers of opera seria."[21]
  • Luigi Boccherini (1743–1805), was "one of the great musicians of the classical era – so great that his contemporaries put him on an equal footing with Haydn."[22]
  • Giuseppe Cambini (1746–1825), was certainly one of the most prolific composers of the late 18th century, with well over 700 compositions to his name.
  • Muzio Clementi (1752–1832), was a musical polymath and child prodigy.[23] In his time, he was known as "the father of the piano."[23]
  • Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842), composer and teacher. He was a dominant figure in French musical life for half a century.
  • Francesco Morlacchi (1784–1841), was a composer of sacred music and operas, born at Perugia.
  • Pietro Raimondi (1786–1853), was a composer and conductor. A pupil of Conservatorio della Pieta, Naples.
  • Nicola Vaccai (1790–1848), opera composer. He wrote Giulietta e Romeo in 1825, the libretto of which was adapted by Romani for Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi.
  • Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868), was one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. The Barber of Seville is probably the greatest comic opera ever written.
  • Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani (1812–1867), was one of the great sopranos of his age. Studied with her father, the tenor Nicola Tacchinardi.
  • Erminia Frezzolini (1818–1884), was a great artist, "considered by many the greatest soprano of the 19th century, Jenny Lind not excepted."[24]
  • Marietta Alboni (1823–1894), was a singer, described in Grove's Dictionary as "the most celebrated contralto of the nineteenth century."
  • Giovanni Sgambati (1841–1914), was a pianist, composer, and child prodigy.[25] "He was a leading figure in the late 19th-century resurgence of non-operatic music in Italy."[26]
  • Alfredo Catalani (1854–1893), composer whose only well known work – La Wally was brought to non-operatic prominence through the hugely successful French thriller Diva.
  • Alessandro Moreschi (November 1858 – 1922), was a castrato singer. Known as "the angel of Rome" because of vocal purity.
  • Giacomo Puccini (December 1858 – 1924), was an opera composer. He ranks as one of the greatest opera composers of all time.
  • Pietro Mascagni (1863–1945), was an operatic composer. He is known for his opera Cavalleria rusticana, based on the tale by Giovanni Verga.
  • Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924), was a pianist, composer, and polymath who attained fame as a pianist of brilliance and intellectual power.
  • Luisa Tetrazzini (1871–1940), was "the most famous coloratura soprano of her day."[27] She made many concert tours, appearing in London for the last time in 1934.
  • Giuseppe De Luca (1876–1950), was an operatic baritone. His debut was at Piacenza in 1897, singing Valentin in Gounod's Faust.
  • Titta Ruffo (1877–1953), was a baritone, most famous for his role of Figaro in Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville.
  • Vittorio Gui (1885–1975), was a conductor and composer. He founded the Orchestra Stabile (1928), which led to the creation of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
  • Ezio Pinza (1892–1957), was a singer. "In many respects the finest lyric bass of the twentieth century, and one of the most popular singers in history."[28]
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968), "was one of the most prolific Italian composers of the first half of the twentieth century."[29]
  • Mario Del Monaco (1915–1982), was a leading dramatic tenor for Italian operas in the 1940s and 1950s, most famous for Otello.
  • Franco Corelli (1921–2003), was a celebrated tenor. His strong, dark voice has made him a favourite in such roles as Don José, Radamès and Calaf.
  • Renata Tebaldi (1922–2004), was one of the greatest opera singers of all time – Arturo Toscanini, hard to please, said she had the "voice of an angel."[30][self-published source]
  • Riz Ortolani (1926–2014), was a film composer. His best known piece is probably More, the theme tune from Mondo cane, which was Oscar nominated for Best Song.
  • Ennio Morricone (born 1928), is one of the most prolific film composers of all time. In 2007 Morricone won an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement after five previous nominations.
  • Sylvano Bussotti (born 1931), is a polymath of his age: composer, successful painter, set designer, stage, film, and opera director.
  • Riccardo Fogli (born 1947), is a singer. He was a winner in 1982 at Festival di Sanremo with Storie di tutti i giorni.
  • Francesco De Gregori (born 1951), commonly known in his native country as Il principe poeta (The Poet Prince),[31] is a famous singer-songwriter.
  • Ryan Paris (born 1953), original name Fabio Roscioli, is a singer. His biggest success was the world famous song Dolce Vita.
  • Dario Marianelli (June 1963), is a composer of piano, orchestral, and film music. He won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Atonement in 2008.
  • Eros Ramazzotti (October 1963), is a singer-songwriter. "An international superstar whose appeal spans not only Western Europe but also Latin America."[32]
  • Jovanotti (born 1966), original name Lorenzo Cherubini, is a singer-songwriter and rapper.
  • Tiziano Ferro (born 1980), is a famous pop singer. He remains best known for his European hit Perdono and his Latin American hit Sere nere.


  • Pietro Cavallini (1259 – c. 1330), painter and mosaicist. He was a member of the ancient Roman family of the Cerroni.
  • Francesco Traini (fl. 1321 – 1345), painter and illuminator. "He was the most accomplished Pisan artist in the second quarter of the 14th century."[33]
  • Filippo Lippi (c. 1406 – 1469), was a leading painter of the Renaissance. He painted religious subjects on altarpieces and in frescoes in various towns in Italy.
  • Antonio del Pollaiolo (1429/33 – 1498), was a painter, sculptor, goldsmith, and engraver. Representative of the Florentine school of the late quattrocento.
  • Niccolò Alunno (1430–1502), was a painter of the Umbrian School, who was also active in The Marches.
  • Antoniazzo Romano (c. 1430 – c. 1510), was the most important local painter in Rome during the period when the city reemerged as a major power in Italy.[34]
  • Luca Signorelli (c. 1445 – 1523), was one of the great painters during the Renaissance. His masterpiece is the fresco cycle in Orvieto Cathedral.
  • Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445 – 1510), creator of The Birth of Venus and Primavera, was one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance.
  • Pinturicchio (1454–1513), original name Bernardino di Betto, was a painter of the Umbrian school known for his frescoes in the Collegiate Church at Spello.
  • Filippino Lippi (c. 1457 – 1504), Renaissance painter of the Florentine school, who was the son of Filippo Lippi and the pupil of Botticelli.
  • Fra Bartolomeo (1472–1517), painter who was "a prominent exponent in early 16th-century Florence of the High Renaissance style."[35]
  • Pontormo (1494–1557), "was the leading painter in mid-16th-century Florence and one of the most original and extraordinary of Mannerist artists."[36]
  • Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574), was a painter and polymath from Arezzo. Author of The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.
  • Giovanni Baglione (1566–1643), was a painter, draughtsman and writer. He executed canvases and frescoes of religious and mythological subjects, and portraits.
  • Giuseppe Cesari (1568–1640), was a celebrated historical painter, sometimes called il Cavaliere d'Arpino.
  • Domenico Fetti (c. 1589 – 1623), was a painter. "His most characteristic works are of religious themes turned into scenes of everyday contemporary life."[37]
  • Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – c. 1656), was a painter. She specialized in paintings of strong heroines, especially from the Bible.
  • Pietro da Cortona (1596/7 – 1669), painter and architect, was one of the leading protagonists of the exuberant, high Baroque style.
  • Giovanna Garzoni (1600–1670), was a painter, best known for her studies of flowers, plants, and animals.
  • Francesco Furini (1603–1646), "was one of the leading Florentine painters of the first half of the 17th century."[38]
  • Filippo Baldinucci (1624–1697), was a painter, art historian, and biographer. He wrote "the first dictionary of art terminology."[39]
  • Carlo Maratta (1625–1713), was a leading painter of the Roman school under the influence of the counter-reformation.
  • Pompeo Batoni (1708–1787), was "the preeminent painter of 18th century Rome and in the 1780s probably the most famous artist in Europe."[40]
  • Marcello Bacciarelli (1731–1818), court painter to King Stanisław August Poniatowski, was one of the most prolific artists in Warsaw during the late 18th century.
  • Vincenzo Camuccini (1771–1844), was a painter. Among his best-known works are Death of Caesar and Death of Virginia.
  • Francesco Podesti (1800–1895), was a painter and Member of the Accademia di San Luca.
  • Constantino Brumidi (1805–1880), painter whose lifework was the painting of portraits and frescoes for the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
  • Giovanni Fattori (1825–1908), perhaps the best of the Macchiaioli, was fond of battle scenes and landscapes populated by long-horned white cattle.
  • Telemaco Signorini (1835–1901), painter and graphic artist. He was a leader of the Macchiaioli.
  • Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), was an important painter of the early 1900s. His favorite subject was the single figure.
  • Alberto Burri (1915–1995), was a painter, collagist and designer, born at Città di Castello in Umbria.

Political figures[edit]


  • Pope John XIII (c. 930/35 – 972), original name Giovanni dei Crescenzi, was pope from 965 to 972.
  • Pope John XIX (... – 1032), original name Romano dei Conti di Tuscolo, was pope from 1024 to 1032.
  • Pope Innocent II (... – 1143), original name Gregorio Papareschi, was pope from 1130 to 1143.
  • Pope Eugene III (... – 1153), original name Bernardo da Pisa, was pope from 1145 to 1153.
  • Pope Anastasius IV (c. 1073 – 1154), original name Corrado Di Suburra, was pope from July 1153 to December 1154.
  • Pope Lucius III (c. 1100 – 1185), original name Ubaldo Allucingoli, was pope from 1181 to 1185.
  • Pope Celestine II (1100/05 – 1144), original name Guido di Castello, was pope from 1143 to 1144.
  • Pope Honorius III (1148–1227), original name Cencio Savelli, was pope from 1216 to 1227.
  • Pope Innocent III (1160/61 – 1216), original name Lotario dei Conti di Segni, was pope from 1198 to 1216.
  • Pope Gregory IX (before 1170 – 1241), original name Ugolino di Conti, was pope from 1227 to 1241.
  • Pope Alexander IV (1199–1261), original name Rinaldo Conti, Count of Segni, was pope from 1254 to 1261.
  • Pope Honorius IV (c. 1210 – 1287), original name Giacomo Savelli, was pope from 1285 to 1287.
  • Pope Nicholas III (c. 1225 – 1280), original name Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, was pope from 1277 to 1280.
  • Pope Nicholas IV (1227–1292), original name Girolamo Masci, was pope from 1288 to 1292.
  • Pope Boniface VIII (c. 1235 – 1303), original name Benedetto Caetani, was pope from 1294 to 1303.
  • Pope Martin V (1369–1431), original name Otto or Oddone Colonna, was pope from 1417 to 1431.
  • Pope Leo X (1475–1521), original name Giovanni de' Medici, was pope from 1513 to 1521.
  • Pope Clement VII (1478–1534), original name Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was pope from 1523 to 1534.
  • Pope Julius III (1487–1555), original name Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, was pope from 1550 to 1555.
  • Pope Leo XI (1535–1605), original name Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici, was pope from 1–27 April 1605.
  • Pope Clement VIII (1536–1605), original name Ippolito Aldobrandini, was pope from 1592 to 1605.
  • Pope Paul V (1552–1621), original name Camillo Borghese, was pope from 1605 to 1621.
  • Pope Urban VIII (1568–1644), original name Maffeo Barberini, was pope from 1623 to 1644.
  • Pope Innocent X (1574–1655), original name Giovanni Battista Pamphilj, was pope from September 1644 to January 1655.
  • Pope Clement X (1590–1676), original name Emilio Bonaventura Altieri, was pope from 1670 to 1676.
  • Pope Clement IX (1600–1669), original name Giulio Rospigliosi, was pope from 1667 to 1669.
  • Pope Clement XII (1652–1740), original name Lorenzo Corsini, was pope from 1730 to 1740.
  • Pope Pius XII (1876–1958), original name Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was pope from 1939 to 1958.






Writers and philosophers[edit]

  • Brunetto Latini (c. 1220 – 1294), was a writer, author of a prose encyclopedia in French, Li Livres dou Trésor and of Tesoretto, a didactic poem in a popular style in Italian.
  • Giles of Rome (c. 1243 – 1316), philosopher, theologian, and Augustinian Hermit. He was a member of the influential Colonna family.
  • Dino Compagni (c. 1255 – 1324), was a public official and historian, author of a valuable history of Florence Cronica delle cose occorrenti ne' tempi suoi (published 1726).
  • Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 – 1321), was an author and polymathic genius. Many scholars consider The Divine Comedy a summary of medieval thought.
  • Cino da Pistoia (1270 – 1336/37), a poet and jurist, whose full name was Guittoncino dei Sinibaldi.
  • Giovanni Villani (c. 1276 or 1280 – 1348), was a historian, official and diplomat, and author of the Nuova Cronica.
  • Petrarch (1304–1374), was a great lyric poet and scholar. He wrote more than 400 poems in Italian. Of these, 366 form his Canzoniere, on which his reputation rests.
  • Franco Sacchetti (c. 1335 – c. 1400), was a writer and statesman who is best known for his collection of stories, the Trecentonovelle.
  • Leonardo Bruni (c. 1370 – 1444), was a humanist, historian and philosopher, known for his work Historiarum Florentini populi libri XII (1415).
  • Giannozzo Manetti (1396–1459), scholar, statesman, writer, and translator. He was "one of the more considerable personalities of the age."[55]
  • Matteo Palmieri (1406–1475), was a humanist and historian who is best known for his work Della vita civile ("On Civic Life").
  • Luigi Pulci (1432–1484), was a poet, author of the burlesque epic in Tuscan dialect Morgante or Morgante Maggiore.
  • Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527), was a writer and polymathic genius whom many people consider the father of modern political science.[56]
  • Francesco Guicciardini (1483–1540), was a statesman, diplomat and historian, author of History of Italy (completed in 1540, published 1561–1564).
  • Pietro Aretino (1492–1556), was a poet, prose writer, and dramatist. His masterpiece Orazia (1546) was perhaps the best Italian tragedy of the 16th century.[57]
  • Agnolo Firenzuola (1493–1543), was a writer and poet, known for his work I ragionamenti d'amore (Tales of Firenzuola, 1548).
  • Luigi Alamanni (1495–1556), was a poet and statesman. He wrote plays and lively letters to his friends and introduced the epigram into modern Italian poetry.
  • Piero Vettori (1499–1585), also known as Pietro Vittorio, was a writer, philologist, and scholar.
  • Benedetto Varchi (1502/3 – 1565), was a scholar and critic, best known for his 16-volume history of Florence.
  • Giovanni della Casa (1503–1556), was an ecclesiastical careerist, writer and poet, known for his work Il Galateo.
  • Girolamo Mei (1519–1594), was a humanist, editor of Greek texts, and historian of Greek music.
  • Cesare Ripa (c. 1560 – c. 1645), was a writer and illustrator. Author of Iconologia (1593), an influential and often reprinted handbook of emblems for artists.
  • Lorenzo Magalotti (1637–1712), was a "philosopher, scientist, author, diplomat, and poet."[58]
  • Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni (1663–1728), priest, poet, and critic, was a founder-member of the Accademia degli Arcadi.
  • Metastasio (1698–1782), writer and musical genius. He was probably the single most influential figure in the history of eighteenth-century opera.[59]
  • Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (1791–1863), was a great poet and profound thinker. His poetic production "consists of about 2,000 sonnets written in the Roman dialect."[60]
  • Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837), was a poet. This tormented genius is revealed in his work to have been a precursor of modern existentialist thought.
  • Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi (1804–1873), was a writer – storyteller, essayist, dramatist, and polemicist – as well as a patriot.
  • Carlo Collodi (1826–1890), an author, wrote the famous children's story The Adventures of Pinocchio.
  • Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907), a poet, scholar, and literary critic, won the 1906 Nobel Prize for literature.
  • Rafael Sabatini (1875–1950), was a writer of novels of romance and adventure. He remains best known for The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, and Scaramouche.
  • Giovanni Papini (1881–1956), was a well-known writer, poet, critic, and a pioneer of the modern literary form of fiction as "fact."
  • Aldo Palazzeschi (1885–1974), original name Aldo Giurlani, was a poet and novelist from Florence.
  • Sandro Penna (1906–1977), was a poet of great charm, whose main theme is his homosexuality, which he makes no attempt to disguise.
  • Alberto Moravia (1907–1990), was one of the greatest novelists and short-story writers of the 1900s. Moravia wrote more than 30 books.
  • Eugenio Garin (1909–2004), a leading historian of Italian philosophy, had a powerful imprint on the many scholars who studied with him.
  • Fosco Maraini (1912–2004), was a writer and polymath whose book Secret Tibet was the first modern account of the remote Himalayan kingdom on "the roof of the world."
  • Vasco Pratolini (1913–1991), was a neorealist writer whose novels had a strong local setting.
  • Carlo Cassola (1917–1987), was a novelist and short-story writer. In 1960 Cassola won the Strega Prize for La ragazza di Bube (Bebo's Girl; film, 1964).
  • Luciano Bianciardi (1922–1971), was a writer. During his lifetime, he distinguished himself as a novelist, journalist, prolific translator, and pamphleteer.
  • Oriana Fallaci (1929–2006), was a journalist, writer, and former war correspondent best known for her abrasive interviews and provocative stances.
  • Dacia Maraini (born 1936), is a famous novelist, dramatist, poet, children's writer, and leading feminist commentator.
  • Tiziano Terzani (1938–2004), was a journalist and writer who mourned the corruption of Asia by the materialistic west.
  • Giorgio Agamben (born 1942), is a philosopher best known for his concept of homo sacer.
  • Antonio Tabucchi (1943–2012), was a writer and academic with a deep love of the culture and language of Portugal.
  • Andrea Riccardi (born 1950), is a Catholic historian. In 1968 in Rome, he founded the Community of Sant'Egidio.

Other notables[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Born in Bruneck from Roman parents.


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    "Stradella was one of the leading composers in Italy in his day and one of the most versatile. His music was widely admired, even as far afield as England. Most of it is clearly tonal, and counterpoint features prominently. His vocal output includes c 30 stage works, several oratorios and Latin church works and some 200 cantatas (most for solo voice)."
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