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Famous Italians

Based on the clues, try to name these people who were born in what is today Italy.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: April 20, 2015
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First submittedJanuary 6, 2013
Times taken58,313
Average score63.6%
Rating4.36
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Clue
Italian
Sailed to the New World in 1492
Christopher Columbus
"Mona Lisa" painter
Leonardo da Vinci
Died on the Ides of March
Julius Caesar
Venetian who traveled to China
Marco Polo
Writer who said the ends
justify the means
Niccolo Machiavelli
Inventor of radio
Guglielmo Marconi
"Magnificient" ruler of Florence
Lorenzo de' Medici
Painted the Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo
One of the Three Tenors
Luciano Pavarotti
First king of modern Italy
Victor Emmanuel II
Mapmaker who two continents
are named for
Amerigo Vespucci
Scandal-prone billionaire and
three time Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi
Clue
Italian
Helped to develop
the first nuclear reactor
Enrico Fermi
Discovered the four
largest moons of Jupiter
Galileo Galilei
Italian designer who is famous
for men's suits
Giorgio Armani
Actress and sex symbol who
starred in "Marriage Italian-Style"
Sophia Loren
Author of "The Divine Comedy"
Dante Alighieri
The first Roman emperor
Augustus
Fascist dictator
Benito Mussolini
"Life is Beautiful" director
Roberto Benigni
"Four Seasons" composer
Antonio Vivaldi
Painter of cherubs
and "The School of Athens"
Raphael
76 Comments
+9
Level 23
Nov 14, 2012
Mamma mia! So many people that I didn't know were Italian. Well, I should have known seeing most of their last names end with an 'i'.
+5
Level 69
Aug 10, 2019
Yea unlike with some people/countries, it isnt advertised/emphasized that they are from a certain country. It is more about the person than their nationality.
+8
Level 50
Nov 14, 2012
I hate myself for missing Fermi.
+2
Level 21
Nov 14, 2012
Medici! agh!
+1
Level 71
Nov 14, 2012
All those Vowels to end a Name Jeez
+1
Level 59
Jun 4, 2023
It's the Italian of the West after all!
+5
Level 27
Nov 14, 2012
In a recent Quiz you just stated that the quote to Macchiavelli is wrong. What now?
+6
Level ∞
Nov 14, 2012
It was on the misquotes quiz because he never said those exact words. Nevertheless, it was the essence of his philosophy.
+1
Level 15
Nov 14, 2012
Like i commented on that other quiz. Can i please have a source proving that
+3
Level 27
Nov 15, 2012
I've read that he was often misunderstood... but it would be a big discussion, what his essence really was... for example, it is or was often believed that he was for autocracy, but in fact he saw this as a necessary evil before a state could grow into a republic. But okay, it's a quiz ;-)
+3
Level ∞
Nov 15, 2012
@jamesjunkers Hard to prove a universal negative. But it should be easy for YOU to prove that he did say it.
+1
Level 82
Apr 19, 2015
I've also read that Machiavelli did not mean for The Prince to be taken literally but don't know enough about the subject to say why.
+2
Level 69
Jan 26, 2018
It seems to be fairly widely understood by scholars (if not the general public) that The Prince was meant as a takedown of the Medicis, i.e. thinly-veiled satire. Its contents were not consistent with what is otherwise known of Machievelli's views, and the Medicis sure made his life a living hell.
+1
Level 69
May 28, 2019
It has been a while since a read it. It did not seem to me satirical. He did seem to be earnestly arguing that bad actions can bring about good outcomes in certain circumstances. I believe the example he uses is that a ruler might use cruel violence to dissuade dissent and rebellion, allowing the longer term stability which will actually allow things to get better. Anyway, my memory could be bad or the translation I read could have been biased...
+4
Level 76
Jul 17, 2019
Indeed he never wrote those words. The closest thing is a footnote by Napoleon in the edition supposedly annotated by him (more likely it was British propaganda forged right after Waterloo). I forget what the exact phrase was.

Regarding the spirit of the phrase being in the content of the book, not exactly. As I understand it, Machiavelli argued that, once an end is achieved, the means to have reached it are justified. But if the end isn't achieved, then they aren't. In other words, the legitimacy is derived upon succesful conclusion of the action, not its initiation. A fine distinction, but an important one.

As for the purpose of the book itself, I wasn't aware of the satiric interpretation, which is interesting. The interpretation I got when I studied it was that it was a way to ingratiate himself with Lorenzo De Medici to get a job after he was ousted from public service with the fall of the Republic. And yes, he was a republican through and through.

+3
Level 34
Apr 22, 2014
Infatti non è Macchiavelli, ma Machiavelli
+1
Level 54
Dec 4, 2012
Couldn't spell Galileo. Should have gotten Fermi. Years ago, I used to sub at Enrico Fermi High...
+1
Level 33
Dec 22, 2012
Dang it... I must've tried every variation of Machiavelli except the right one. :(
+1
Level 35
Dec 29, 2012
20. misd di medici and unbelievably caesar!
+1
Level 85
Jan 5, 2013
Since he's known as "Lorenzo the Magnificent" you should accept "Lorenzo."
+2
Level ∞
Jan 6, 2013
Lorenzo will work now.
+18
Level 75
Jan 4, 2016
Thank you. While typing that I got Sophia Loren as a freebie.
+1
Level 42
Feb 4, 2021
Can you change it back?
+7
Level 28
Aug 27, 2013
The quiz was pretty good, but I am going to be a little picky for a second. Caesar and Augustus are not Italians, they are Romans. That is a very big difference. The Roman empire just happened to be centralized in what is now Italy for a while.

Over all though, good quiz, I barely got any of the more modern names.

+10
Level 65
Feb 17, 2019
Yes but under this logic just a few are actually Italians: Galilei was from HRE, Vivaldi and Polo were from the Republic of Venice, etc.
+3
Level 38
Aug 20, 2021
Sorry but he's right. Considering Roman emperors as Italians is a huge anachronism. Like saying Charlemagne was French/German. They lived in a completely different world, they're nothing more than romans. We need to stop looking in the past with modern eyes, even though it's tempting
+4
Level 41
Sep 10, 2021
We're not looking at history through a modern lens, we're contextualizing. Everyone knows Augustus and Caesar were Roman and not Italian, but that doesn't change that they're Italian figures due to the fact that they built what eventually became Italy. You don't have to nitpick everything.

Also Charlemagne is very much considered French.

+3
Level 69
Mar 12, 2024
Charlemagne is definitely more German than French
+1
Level 66
Oct 23, 2013
easy...
+3
Level 56
Apr 19, 2015
You misspelled "fascist" as "facist". Also, the first king of Italy was Odoacer, almost 1400 years before the person mentioned in the quiz. Odoacer was Germanic, so yes, the first king of Italy wasn't Italian. I think the question should be replaced.
+3
Level 86
Apr 19, 2015
I'm afraid you're right, there were many "kings of Italy" (or Rex Italiae in latin) between the 5th et the 16th century. However, since this refers to the unification of Italy in the 19th century, I suggest to say "First king of modern Italy" or "First king of unified Italy", something like that.
+4
Level ∞
Apr 20, 2015
Okay, I added "modern" to the clue.
+1
Level 39
Feb 2, 2023
technically the first kings of Italy were Italian/Roman during the period of 753-509 BC, who ruled over the Kingdom of Rome
+2
Level 82
Apr 19, 2015
Isn't Versace at least as famous as Armani? Also, both Augustus and Julius were Caesar.
+1
Level 42
Aug 15, 2023
Julius Caesar was not a Roman emperor.
+7
Level 48
Apr 19, 2015
I think that also italian names should be accepted: Colombo for Columbus, Raffaello for Raphael, Vittorio Emanuele for Victor Emanuel
+2
Level ∞
Apr 20, 2015
Okay
+3
Level 67
Apr 20, 2015
You accept Italian original names, but you don't accept Vittorio Emanuele. Why???
+17
Level 75
Apr 20, 2015
You couldn't add Donatello and complete the Ninja Turtles cycle?
+5
Level 51
Apr 22, 2015
So let me get this straight: you include Roberto Benigni but neglect Fellini, Antonioni, Visconti, De Sica, Rossellini, Olmi, Pontecorvo, Tornatore and Leone. One of the greatest film countries in the world represented by... Roberto Benigni. Okay.
+2
Level 48
Nov 11, 2016
I got Benigni, but would only get Fellini from that list.
+9
Level 83
Apr 5, 2017
An Oscar win does wonders for your reputation and name recognition.
+1
Level 82
May 28, 2019
One of my Syrian friends is obsessed with Monica Belluci.
+9
Level 64
Jul 17, 2019
Write your own damn quiz.
+2
Level 87
Mar 30, 2017
I remembered the Seinfeld episode involving the LEAST famous of the 3 tenors, and how nobody could remember who it was...
+1
Level 89
Nov 20, 2020
It's really....you! ;)
+1
Level 41
Nov 4, 2017
I'm pretty sure that Amerigo Vespucci was not a map maker but rather his friend who named the land ,that Vespucci had a wrongfully claimed, "America." in fact Amerigo had never really been to the New World he only wrote fantastic fiction about what he found there. Basically the americas were named after a liar. History cracks me up!
+5
Level 68
May 28, 2019
Vespucci WAS a map maker AND an explorer who actually WENT to the Americas and helped conceive the fact that they were indeed a new continent and not part of the Indies.

Your're maybe referring to Marco Polo, whose commentary on his voyages to China were transcripted by a fellow inmate in the prison of Genua. His story ("Il Milione") was very much fantasy, but he actually was there and lived and worked there for years.

So no, Americas were NOT named after a liar.

+2
Level 78
Dec 8, 2021
I dunno. He said that he'd watch my laptop in Starbucks when I went to the bathroom. I got back and he's standing in line not even looking at it. Seems like a liar to me.
+5
Level 64
Mar 7, 2018
If you find a way to include a Donatello (or Donatella, such as Versace) - you would have the namesake of all TMNT on this quiz.
+1
Level 82
May 28, 2019
wow I did much better on this than I did the first time. I don't remember taking it the first time but just looking at my stats.
+7
Level 69
May 28, 2019
Where is Mario?

Disappointment

+1
Level 40
Aug 2, 2022
In New Donk City!
+3
Level 64
Jul 17, 2019
I feel for those males who've never seen Sophia Loren.
+4
Level 47
Aug 1, 2019
How dare Enrico Fermi, a person that has an ELEMENT named after hi (fermium), have the lowest percentage!
+5
Level 84
Jun 15, 2020
Wait until you find out about Yuri Oganessians percentage in quizzes
+1
Level 69
Aug 10, 2019
I missed 6.. Dante was on the tip of my tongue but wouldnt get out. I know machiavelli and lore. But the bottom three I would never have gotten.
+1
Level 86
Oct 9, 2019
nice seeing vespucci and columbus on this
+2
Level 40
Aug 2, 2022
Yep, nice seeing the people who started slavery and racism.
+1
Level 63
Oct 2, 2023
That wasn't necessary.
+1
Level 21
Apr 21, 2024
I agree with AllOfSanMarino, that really wasn't neccessary. And they didn't "start" racism or slavery.
+2
Level 50
Oct 17, 2019
Marconi did not invent the radio but stole the invention from Nikola Tesla.
+6
Level ∞
Oct 17, 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio

The first practical radio transmitters and receivers were developed around 1895-6 by Italian Guglielmo Marconi

+3
Level 94
Nov 14, 2019
it is somewhat comforting that Berlusconi is way down the top guessed list, definitely not the best sponsor of Italy in the world. I liked your clue anyway.
+2
Level 44
Dec 28, 2019
In Polish schools they teach that Christopher Columbus was Polish
+4
Level 45
Aug 18, 2020
christopehr himself was born 1451 in genoa, italy, being an italian, but apparently his parents were portuguese and polish, so maybe that's what you mean. ultimately, he was italian though.
+7
Level 36
Jan 26, 2021
No way. Nobody teaches that he was Polish. Many people don't know however that Copernicus and Marie Curie were Polish.
+4
Level 37
Mar 10, 2021
I mean, with the PiS party in charge I think they actually do teach that Columbus was Polish in some parts of Poland B. At least from two cases I know this to be the case, but I don't know if that's only anecdotal evidence or part of a bigger pciture.
+2
Level 57
Feb 14, 2020
Wasn't the first radio invented by Tesla?
+4
Level 59
Oct 24, 2020
Fun Fact- Armani is the world's richest LGBTQ since he's bisexual
+2
Level 68
Oct 22, 2021
One woman?? Out of 20? Here are some of you want to add some: Donatella Versace, Isabella Rosselini, I reckon Catherine is more famous than Lorenzo (Medici), Hortensia, Maria Montessori, Monica Bellucci to name a few!
+1
Level 59
Dec 22, 2022
Only heard of Montessori.
+1
Level 21
Apr 21, 2024
I feel sorry, you really outta check out Monica Bellucci!! Lol
+1
Level 59
Dec 22, 2022
Surprised at the low rates for Fermi and Mussolini.
+1
Level 59
Jun 4, 2023
Took it again without remembering I wrote this, was about to say I was surprised about the low rate for Fermi
+1
Level 76
Feb 1, 2024
Spelling: "Magnificent" ruler of Florence