Passions & Places



The name of Giacomo Leopardi, associated to his inseparable ties with his place of origin, has perhaps, in time, overshadowed other Marchigiani personalities who have also enriched, over the centuries, our literary heritage.

For example Annibal Caro who, born in Civitanova Marche in 1507, his name is attached to the wide spread translation of  Eneide of Virgilio. However he was also a writer and poet and in the middle of the 16th century became secretary to Alessandro Farnese, important cardinal and patron of artists and scholars. 

It was in this role that Caro earned his fame and had the opportunity to mix with the most important people of his time. His greatest operas are the enjoyable Lettere familiari, the Commedia degli Straccioni and l’Apologia degli accademici di Banchi di Roma contro messer Lodovico Castelvetro, in which Annibal Caro composed a lively image of society and his contemporaries. Until the middle of the 19th century, Civitanova Marche dedicated the communal theatre to their famous fellow citizen.

An avid and admired reader of the Lettere familiari was Giacamo Leopardi, who perhaps found the book during his time spent in the family library. Born in 1798 in Recanati (where the poet will be always be remembered with a mixture of love and hatred), from a young age he was interested in both classic and modern languages, philosophy and science. 

His agonising literary search brought him unhappiness and deepened his already physical suffering, such sufferance and pessimism which continually consumed Leopardi’s state of mind; always conscious of man’s useless suffering in his search of unattainable happiness. 

The Idylls that he left are noted all over the world, for example Le rimembranze, L’infinito, All luna, Il Risorgimento, A Silvia, Canzoni, and other important writings such as the Operette morali, the Canti, the Dialogo di Tristano e di un amico, the Dialago di un venditore di almanacchi e di un passagere and also his anthologies regarding the prose and poetry of art. He died in 1837 in Naples, whilst guest of his friend Antonio Ranieri, however his operas will be read and loved everywhere, for a long time yet.

Upon the death of Leopardi, a great literary fervour started up in Le Marche: many different personalities sprung up in the literary field, for example Luigi Mercatini, born in Ripatransone in 1821 and remembered above all for having written L’Inno a Garabald. 

The poet and playwright Ugo Betti, born in Camerino in 1892 (where for some years a drama prize has been awarded in his name), known particularly for Corruzione al palazzo di giustiza, a tradegy of justice and of power which he wrote in 1949. 

Fabio Tombari, born in Fano in 1899, a writer deeply tied to his homeland, a place from which he continuously drew inspiration for his tales, often crossing surreal tones and carnascialeschi the more traditional identity. Fano also remembers its famous fellow citizen by offering a literary prize in his name.

It is also necessary to cite other excellent contemporary scholars from Le Marche, such as Umberto Piersanti who, born in Urbino in 1944, continued to enrich the literary history of our region, telling of the colours and magle. Pursuing the ideal initially searched for by Leopardi, Giuseppe Bonura from Ancona, winner of the 1984 prize Premio Grinzane Cavour, wrote, amongst other things, Le notti del cardinale, an allegorical-historical story inspired by the memory of Monaldo Leopardi, father of the great poet.


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