LifeTerracina was born in Chiaia
Chiaia is a neighbourhood on the seaside in Naples, bounded by Piazza Vittoria on the east and Mergellina on the west. The most prominent landmark in the area is the large public park known as the Villa Comunale...
, a suburb of Naples. Her mother, Diana Anfora of Sorrento and father, Paolo Terracina, had at least one more daughter and two sons. She got encouragement from the famous poet Vittoria Colonna
Vittoria Colonna , marchioness of Pescara, was an Italian noblewoman and poet.-Biography:The daughter of Fabrizio Colonna, grand constable of the kingdom of Naples, and of Agnese da Montefeltro, Vittoria Colonna was born at Marinoa fief of the Colonna family in the Alban Hills near Rome.Betrothed...
, who sent her a brief poem praising her talents. In 1545, she entered the Academi of the Incogniti in Naples and got to know several literari figures before she left in 1547.
She married her relative Polidoro Terracina and sometimes addressed poems to him. She had befriended many influential people of her day, like the patroness Giovanna d'Aragona
Giovanna d'Aragona was a patron of the arts, printers and religious reform in Naples during the Renaissance.-Family:She was the oldest daughter of Duke Ferdinando of Malteno and Castellana de Cardona. Her father was a younger son of Ferdinand I of Naples...
and the writer Angelo di Costanzo
Angelo di Costanzo
Angelo di Costanzo , Italian historian and poet, was born at Naples about 1507.He lived in a literary circle, and fell in love with the beautiful Vittoria Colonna...
WorkShe published nine volumes of poetry, both in Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....
and in Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...
. In Venice, she published the chivalric romance Discorso sopra il Principio di Trutti I Canti di Orlando Furioso, a poem linked to Ludovico Ariosto
Ludovico Ariosto was an Italian poet. He is best known as the author of the romance epic Orlando Furioso . The poem, a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens with diversions...
's Orlando Furioso
Orlando Furioso is an Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture. The earliest version appeared in 1516, although the poem was not published in its complete form until 1532...
, which was reprinted thirteen times. In it she defended women from their detractors, but laments that not more have literary pursuits.
Sometimes she dedicated poems to those she had met at the Academi of the Incogniti. In the many poems she wrote in praise of others, she generally spoke of her unworthiness as a poet. She exchanged poems of praise with Laura Battiferri
Laura Battiferri was a famous Italian poet during the Renaissance. She was the illegitimate daughter of Giovanni Battiferri, but was later legitimized.-Life and work:In 1550, her second husband was the sculptor Bartolomeo Ammanati....
, in which the two women praised the other, but trivialized their own talents.
During her lifetime she was lauded for her work. In some of her works she deplores social disturbances and political turmoil. She also insisted that women should pursue fame for their work and addressed her seventh book to the widows of Naples.
The National Library of Florence holds more than two hundred of her uncollected poems.