One of Italy's most beloved poets was born in Recanati in 1798. Giacomo Leopardi is widely studied and quoted in schools throughout the country, known for its prose and poetry, and patriotic writings. He's so beloved that a regional publicity campaign used Dustin Hoffman reciting Leopardi in various venues throughout Le Marche, to an effective Italian audience.
The house where Leopardi grew up is a museum. Born to a count and marchesa, the home is actually a modest noble palazzo in the heart of Recanati, designed by the poet's uncle who was an architect. His father had an impressive library, which young Giacomo made good use of, and they realized early that he was a child prodigy. He started writing prose and poetry at an early age on subjects of history, philosophy and science, from his studies in the library, in both Italian and Latin. He taught himself Greek and Hebrew. Giacomo enjoying translating classical lyrics into Italian.
His most acclaimed poems were penned here: L'Infinito is the best loved, but also Il Sogno, alla Primavera and alla Luna. He left Recanati to see the world and expand his horizons, traveling around Italy. Eventually road-weary, he became ill in Naples and was unable to return home as he had wished. He died in Naples and is buried next to Virgil, the ancient Roman poet, in Naples.
A visit to Recanati usually includes a pilgrimage to the house of Leopardi, the Colle dell'Infinito and other places connected to the poet (see the listing on the Casa di Leopardi website.) Another interesting visit is to the Cantina Conti Leopardi, a winery still held by the Leopardi family, outside town.
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Address in Recanati:
Via Giacomo Leopardi, 14.
Ph. (+39) 071 757 3380.