Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Category: Italian writers

Il giovane favoloso – Leopardi (film)


Video lezione Leopardi (italian)

Il giovane favolosoLeopardi (film)


The Englishwoman visits the Leopardi Library/Biblioteca Leopardi

Libraries and rare books in Le Marche

This library has survived intact for over 200 years thanks to Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837), one of Italy’s best-loved poets. He spent the greater part of his childhood and youth reading in this library, the creation of his father, Monaldo Leopardi.

The Italian class system is not the same as ours; however, I think it is safe to say that the Leopardi were what we would call gentry, and quite comfortably off. Monaldo was an “avid book collector” (p 363 of Canti / GiacomoLeopardi ; translated and annotated by JonathanGalassi. London : Penguin, c2010). In fact he spent so much money on this library that his wife had to sell her jewellery to restore the family fortunes.

I like Monaldo because he was more than a bibliophile. His instincts were those of a librarian; in other words, he wanted to share his books with everyone.

To children friends citizens Monaldo Leopardi [gives] the library in the year 1812 To children friends citizens Monaldo Leopardi…

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T. S. Eliot on Dante

Human Voices Wake Us: A Podcast of History, Poetry, Creativity & Myth

Is there atctcnything better than T. S. Eliot talking about his debt to Dante? Here is the majority of his famous essay “What Dante Means to Me” (hence my own “What Eliot Means to Me”), which can be found in his collection of essays, To Criticize the Critic and Other Writings. The essay was originally presented as a speech given at the Italian Institute of London, on July 4, 1950, when Eliot was sixty-one:

May I explain first why I have chosen, not to deliver a lecture about Dante, but to talk informally about his influence upon myself? What might appear egotism, in doing this, I present as modesty; and the modesty which it pretends to be is merely prudence. I am in no way a Dante scholar; and my general knowledge of Italian is such, that on this occasion, out of respect to the…

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Dante’s Anniversary

Joseph Luzzi

On the anniversary of his journey in THE DIVINE COMEDY, it’s a pleasure to share my piece on “reading Dante today” in THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR! [read here]


Photo Credit: Illustration from Sandro Botticelli’s portrait of Dante by Stephanie Bastek (Wikimedia Commons)

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Primo Levi: If This Is a Man-Shemà


Voice: Dino Becagli, Music: John Williams


Poetry in Holocaust Education Part 2/4: “Shema” by Primo Levi

If This Is a Man (Italian-English)


Wikipedia (Italian): Map of the route taken by Primo Levi from Auschwitz to Turin




Giuseppe Ungaretti: Mother


When the heart has not a beat

When the dark wall drops,

Mother brings me to the Lord,

Hands in hands as in my young years.







Diamonds: Friulian Dolomites

Italy Photo

Dolomiti Pesarine, Alpi Carniche, by Stefania Bufano Friulian Dolomites

Dolomiti Pesarine, Alpi Carniche, by Stefania Bufano

Pesarina Valley, Carnia, Stefania Bufano Photo

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