Font Size





Menu Style



This website contains a selection of work from my last fifteen years as a scholar and a teacher. I hope it will be helpful as a means of exchanging views and perspectives with fellow scholars, as well as establishing and furthering collaborations with cultural and academic institutions.



After wavering, in my student years, between literary and linguistic studies, on the one hand, and philosophy, on the other, I eventually devoted myself to literature, this being what I felt, at the most fundamental level, that I was called to do. However, my familiarity with the philosophical approach has provided me with additional ways of looking at theatrical, lyrical and narrative phenomena. Indeed, in recent years, I have immersed myself more deeply in Holy Scripture, in patristics and in medieval theology, with a view to gaining a sharper understanding of medieval Humanities, particularly of Dante.

A cursory reading of the titles of my papers and projects may give an impression of eclecticism, but in fact there is a guiding principle behind the choice of subject-matter: awareness of the encyclopaedic substance of many literary masterpieces, certainly those of Dante. One needs only to study Dante to realize that the greatness of an author may be measured by the extent to which he thrusts his eyes and his words into the crystals, so to speak, and into the shadows, into geometrical conceptions and into the hidden recesses of human existence and human society: by his capacity to range from philosophical abstractions and political enquiries to issues of unhappiness and well-being, finally penetrating the intimacy of the individual’s sensory and emotional inner world.

Other preferences of mine become evident. Where Latin literature is concerned, these preferences are for the lyric poetry of Horace and Catullus; for the stark and highly individual lessons taught by Lucretius, in philosophy, and by Tacitus, in historiography, and, of course, not to be forgotten, the “great code” of western literature: the Aeneid, and Virgil’s other works. In the field of Italian literature, my research examines some topics relating to authors of the 16th Century, such as the interweaving of poetry and philosophy typical of Leopardi. Finally, my study of the development and the ambiguous characteristics of the narrative genres has extended beyond Latin and Italian examples to European literature in general, and I have a general interest, too, in the connections, or to be more accurate, the discordant harmony, between lyrical word and musical language. To sum up: one can certainly detect, in the account of my research-interests, a gradual descent from a branch of study requiring the most rigorous dedication (the Bible and Dante), towards the theme of travel tales. Intense reflection on literature has figured throughout my career as a scholar, but the descent in the level of my interests certainly reflects an inescapable fact about my life-experience. 

As a consequence, the writings linked to this website are of variable character and quality. They range from the fully elaborated essay to the draft, and from the article to anthologies of texts or sources. These writings are in Italian, however, the majority are summarized in the tables of contents, and, if required, I can provide an English translation of them. Some audio and video recordings of my lectures can also be found on this website.

Over the past few years I have planned and organized four conferences: three about Dante’s Divine Comedy; the last one about the possible inter-relationship between Holy Scripture and Italian literary texts of the 14th century. I have also been delighted by expressions of approval from several scholars and cultural and academic institutions, as a result of which some effective collaborations have begun: recently, with the Faculty of Letters of Tor Vergata University, and with the Pontifical Gregorian University, both in Rome. I have also been called upon to give a contribution to Dante, an international review of studies about Dante Alighieri.

With regard to lessons and lectures, the intention is to avoid the monotony and the one-sidedness of monologues, and at the same time, not to disguise the peculiar texture of argumentative discourse. That is to say: the mention, in many titles, of two voices in the same lecture reflects a desire on my part to give space for more than one approach or point of view. The reason for this choice lies in the belief that it is not possible to explore the texts in question by an itinerary that always runs in a straight line, and so it would be dishonest to hide any perplexities or interpretative problems to which multiple solutions may be given. After all, the audience for these lectures has not always been, and will not always be, the same; some of the lectures may only arouse the interest of specialized interlocutors, while others may have more to offer to a wider public with less defined or more varied tastes. On these topics, or other related subjects, I can give a lecture in English, with notice of at least two months.

In the secondary-school teaching, in which I am engaged at the Liceo E.Q. Visconti in Rome, I have not been willing to resign myself to the incipient ruin of our cultural and educational destiny. Among the main reasons for this decline, an obtuse and uncultured despotism which, joining forces with the libido adsentandi et adulandi described by Tacitus, forms an unholy alliance which is devastating civilized  life and even the faculty of thinking. Instead, I have tried to make the most of what I have learnt from my own masters, by teaching the students at least the basics of a scientific method, both in the analysis of texts and in bibliographical research and argumentative writing.
Suddenly, I realize that, driven by fury, I ended up taking it too seriously and giving myself up to grandiloquence. How much gravity! Assume the pose with the frown? As a Brutus, a Cato revived? For heaven's sake!