The Greatest Books Written by Italian Authors

  1. 1 . The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

    Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri's poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the ...

  2. 2 . Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

    In the early summer of the year 1348, as a terrible plague ravages the city, ten charming young Florentines take refuge in country villas to tell each other stories — a hundred stories of love, adv...

  3. 3 . Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo

    Zeno's Conscience is a novel by Italian businessman and author Italo Svevo. The main character is Zeno Cosini and the book is the fictional character's memoirs that he keeps at the insistence of hi...

  4. 4 . The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

    The Leopard is a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa that chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento. Published posthumously in 1958, after two rejections by the ...

  5. 5 . If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

    Calvino's anti-novel is about the efforts of his two characters — a man called only The Reader, and the Other Reader, a woman named Ludmilla — to read ten very different novels. They are never able...

  6. 6 . Complete Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi

    Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (June 29, 1798 – June 14, 1837) was an Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist.

  7. 7 . The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

    It is the year 1327. Franciscans in an Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, but Brother William of Baskerville’s investigation is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths. Translated by Will...

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  8. 8 . The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati

    Often Likened to Kafka's The Castle, this great Italian novel, first published in 1945, is both a scathing criticism of military life and a meditation on the human thirst for glory. It tells of you...

  9. 9 . The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

    The Betrothed is an Italian historical novel by Alessandro Manzoni, first published in 1827, in three volumes. It has been called the most famous and widely read novel of the Italian language. S...

  10. 10 . The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese

    An orphan rescued from death by a farm family returns to Italy from America after World War II with money in his pockets, but wealth cannot protect him from the harsh realities of life. Original.

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  11. 11 . Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

    Invisible Cities (Italian: Le città invisibili) is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. It was published in Italy in 1972 by Giulio Einaudi Editore.

  12. 12 . Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello

    Six Characters in Search of an Author (Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore) is the most famous and celebrated play by the Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. The play is a satirical tragicomedy. It was ...

  13. 13 . The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani

    The young, middle-class Jewish narrator recounts his relationship with the Finzi-Continis, an insular, upper-class Jewish family, in Ferrara on the eve of World War II and the family's blindness to...

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  14. 14 . History by Elsa Morante

    History: A Novel is a novel by Italian author Elsa Morante, largely seen to be her most famous and controversial work. Published in 1974, it narrates the story of a woman, Ida Ramundo, and her two ...

  15. 15 . If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi

    Recounts the adventures of a band of Jews--former Soviet soldiers and concentration camp survivors--who battle the retreating German army in the closing days of World War II

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  16. 16 . My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

    A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style le...

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  17. 17 . The Marriage Of Cadmus And Harmony by Roberto Calasso

    THE MARRIAGE OF CADMUS AND HARMONY is a book without any modern parallel. Forming an active link in a chain that reaches back through Ovid's METAMORPHOSES directly to Homer, Roberto Calasso's re-ex...

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  18. 18 . A Violent Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini

    Not far from tourist Rome are the slum suburbs. Here immigrants lured to the capital by promises of work, gather and make accommodation with the modern world. A new generation emerges, brutal, vuln...

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  19. 19 . The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

    The Neapolitan Novels is a 4-part series by the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein and published by Europa Editions (New York). It includes the following novels: My Brilli...

  20. 20 . A Ghost at Noon by Alberto Moravia

  21. 21 . Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

    Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indica...

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  22. 22 . The Selected Works of Cesare Pavese by Cesare Pavese

    "There is only one pleasure, that of being alive. All the rest is misery," wrote Cesare Pavese, whose short, intense life spanned the ordeals of fascism and World War II to witness the beginnings o...

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  23. 23 . Poems of Eugenio Montale by Eugenio Montale

    Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) is acknowledged as one of the great poets of the twentieth century and received many honours, including the Nobel Prize in 1975. His lyrical, mysterious poems abound in ...

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  24. 24 . The Viceroys by Federico De Roberto

    A lost literary classic, written in 1894, The Viceroys is one of the most acclaimed masterworks of Italian realism. The novel follows three generations of the aristocratic Uzeda family as it strugg...

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  25. 25 . I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti

    The hottest summer of the twentieth century. A tiny community of five houses enclosed by wheat fields. While the adults shelter indoors, six children venture out on their bikes across the scorched,...

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  26. 26 . The Harvesters by Cesare Pavese

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  27. 27 . Bébo's Girl by Carlo Cassola

    Bebo's Girl (Italian: La ragazza di Bube) is a novel by Italian writer Carlo Cassola which was published in 1960 and was awarded that year’s Premio Strega. Its initial reception was enthusiastic an...

  28. 28 . Disobedience by Alberto Moravia

  29. 29 . The Time of Indifference by Alberto Moravia

    Gli Indifferenti (The Time of Indifference, also translated as The Indifferent Ones) is a novel by Alberto Moravia, published in 1929.

  30. 30 . I Malavoglia by Giovanni Verga

    I Malavoglia (Italian pronunciation: [i malaˈvɔʎʎa]) is the best known novel by Giovanni Verga. It was first printed in 1881. An English edition, The House by the Medlar-Tree (1890), translated by ...

  31. 31 . Life of Christ by Giovanni Papini

    Giovanni Papini's "Life of Christ" was the number two non-fiction best seller in the year 1923. Papini gained international fame with his religious novel "Storio Di Christo" and this, the English t...

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  32. 32 . Silk by Alessandro Baricco

    In 1861 French silkworm merchant Hervé Joncour travels to Japan. He strikes a business deal with a local baron and is utterly bewitched by the man's concubine. An unlikely love blossoms between the...

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  33. 33 . To Each His Own by Leonardo Sciascia

    To Each His Own (Italian title: A ciascuno il suo) is a 1966 detective novel by Leonardo Sciascia in which an introverted academic (Professor Laurana), in attempting to solve a double-homicide, get...

  34. 34 . Il Piacere by Gabriele D'Annunzio

    Il Piacere (The Pleasure) is the first novel by Gabriele d'Annunzio, written in 1889 at Francavilla al Mare, and published the following year by Fratelli Treves. Beginning in 1895, the novel was re...

  35. 35 . Conversations in Sicily by Elio Vittorini

    Conversazione in Sicilia (Italian pronunciation: [koɱversatˈtsjoːne in siˈtʃiːlja]) is a novel by the Italian author Elio Vittorini. It originally appeared in serial form in the literary magazine L...

  36. 36 . Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi

    Pereira Maintains (Italian: Sostiene Pereira) is a 1994 novel by the Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi. It is also known as Pereira Declares and Declares Pereira. Its story follows Pereira, a journal...

  37. 37 . One, No One and One Hundred Thousand by Luigi Pirandello

    One, No One and One Hundred Thousand (Italian: Uno, Nessuno e Centomila [ˈuːno nesˈsuːno e ˌtʃɛntoˈmiːla]) is a 1926 novel by the Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. The novel had a rather long and di...

  38. 38 . Sandokan by Emilio Salgari

    Sandokan is a fictional late 19th-century pirate created by Italian author Emilio Salgari. His adventures first appeared in publication in 1883. Sandokan is the protagonist of 11 adventure novels....

  39. 39 . The Path to the Nest of Spiders by Italo Calvino

    The Path to the Nest of Spiders (Italian: Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno) is a 1947 novel by the Italian writer Italo Calvino. The narrative is a coming-of-age story, set against the backdrop of Wor...

  40. 40 . Senilità by Italo Svevo

    Senilità, translated into English as As a Man Grows Older or Emilio's Carnival, is Italo Svevo's second novel, first published in 1898. The novel's protagonist is Emilio Brentani, a failed writer t...

  41. 41 . The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino

    The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Italian: Il castello dei destini incrociati) is a 1973 novel by the Italian writer Italo Calvino. Its narrative details a meeting among travelers who are inexplicab...

  42. 42 . Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante

    "A deeply observed, excruciatingly blunt novel."-The New Yorker "The raging, tormented voice of the author is something rare."-The New York Times Following her mother's untimely and mysterious deat...

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  43. 43 . The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino

    A young, eighteenth-century Italian nobleman defies parental authority by adopting an exclusively arboreal life, watching from his perch in the trees the passing of the Enlightenment and participat...

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  44. 44 . Baudolino by Umberto Eco

    It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino sa...

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  45. 45 . Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino

    Chosen as one of the New York Times’s ten best books in the year of its original publication, this collection immediately won a cherished place among lovers of the tale and vaulted Calvino into the...

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  46. 46 . Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte

    Curzio Malaparte was a disaffected supporter of Mussolini with a taste for danger and high living. Sent by an Italian paper during World War II to cover the fighting on the Eastern Front, Malaparte...

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  47. 47 . Gogol's Wife by Tommaso Landolfi

  48. 48 . The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

    The stories have various themes: the experiences of life in Nazi concentration camps, legacies from the profession of chemistry, tales both true and with his own fantasy, creating a vision of the s...

  49. 49 . The Orlando Furioso by Lodovico Ariosto

    Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando, more literally Mad Orlando) (in Italian furioso is seldom capitalized) is an Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on late...

  50. 50 . Ballad of the Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt