Scapigliatura is the name of the artistic movement which developed in Italy after the period known as Risorgimento, (1815–1871, which led to the unification of Italy and the modern Italian state). Scapigliatura is the Italian equivalent of the French bohème and Scapigliati (literally "dishevelled", "unkempt") the name given to this group of artists which included poets and writers, musicians, painters and sculptors.

Origin and inspiration

The term Scapigliatura was derived from the novel La Scapigliatura e il 6 Febbraio by Cletto Arrighi, pen name of Carlo Righetti (1830–1906), who was one of the forerunners of the movement. The main Italian inspiration of the Scapigliati was the writer and journalist Giuseppe Rovani
Giuseppe Rovani
Giuseppe Rovani was an Italian novelist.Rovani was born in Milan. He was known for criticism of historical novels of the Romantic style, which were popular in Italy at the time and whose stereotypes and old fashioned plots he pointed out...

 (1818–1874), author of the novel Cento Anni and the influential aesthetic theories of his essays Le Tre Arti, an anti-conformist and charismatic figure on the fringes of the literary world of Milan, the city where the movement first developed through literary 'cenacles' which met in taverns and cafes. It attracted attention and scandalized the more conservative and Catholic circles of Italy with many pamphlets, journals and magazines like Arrighi's Cronaca Grigia, Antonio Ghislanzoni
Antonio Ghislanzoni
Antonio Ghislanzoni was an Italian journalist, poet, and novelist who wrote librettos for Verdi, among other composers, of which the best known are Aida and the revised version of La forza del destino....

's Rivista Minima, Cesare Tronconi's Lo Scapigliato and Felice Cavallotti and Achille Bizzoni's Gazzettino Rosa, which challenged the status quo artistically, socially and politically. A wing of the movement became politically active, and known as Scapigliatura Democratica was central to the development of both the Socialist and Anarchist movements, with leaders such as the poet Felice Cavallotti
Felice Cavallotti
Felice Cavallotti was an Italian politician, poet and dramatic author.- Early career :Born in Milan, Cavallotti fought with the Garibaldian Corps in their 1860 and 1866 campaigns during the Italian Wars of Independence....

 who entered the Italian parliament on the extreme left, and whose libertarian ideals attracted much popular support for his political group, known as the Radicali.


The brotherhood of the scapigliati attempted to rejuvenate Italian culture through foreign influences, notably from German Romanticism (Heine
Heine is a German family name. The name comes from "Heinrich" or the Hebrew "Chayyim" . When mentioned without a first name it usually refers ti the poet Heinrich Heine...

, Jean Paul
Jean Paul
Jean Paul , born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, was a German Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories.-Life and work:...

 and E.T.A. Hoffmann
E.T.A. Hoffmann
Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann , better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann , was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist...

), French bohemians Théophile Gautier
Théophile Gautier
Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, art critic and literary critic....

 and Gérard de Nerval
Gérard de Nerval
Gérard de Nerval was the nom-de-plume of the French poet, essayist and translator Gérard Labrunie, one of the most essentially Romantic French poets.- Biography :...

 and, above all, the poetry of Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

 and the works of American writer Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

. The group also helped with the introduction of Wagner's music into Italy, with musician Franco Faccio
Franco Faccio
Franco Faccio was an Italian composer and conductor.-Biography:Born in Verona, Faccio became known as a conductor of Verdi's music. He studied music at the Milan Conservatory where he was a pupil of Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti...

 (1840–1891) conducting the first Italian performances of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is an opera in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas still commonly performed today, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater in Munich, on June 21,...


Leading figures

The major figures of the movement were the poet and painter Emilio Praga (1839–1875) and the poet and musician Arrigo Boito
Arrigo Boito
Arrigo Boito , aka Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito, pseudonym Tobia Gorrio, was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist and composer, best known today for his libretti, especially those for Giuseppe Verdi's operas Otello and Falstaff, and his own opera Mefistofele...

 (1842–1918), the author of the opera Mefistofele
Mefistofele is an opera in a prologue, four acts and an epilogue, the only completed opera by the Italian composer-librettist Arrigo Boito.-Composition history:...

, which introduced Wagner's music in Italian opera, memorable also for the fact that Boito wrote both music and the libretto, an instance which had no precedent. Composer and orchestra director Franco Faccio
Franco Faccio
Franco Faccio was an Italian composer and conductor.-Biography:Born in Verona, Faccio became known as a conductor of Verdi's music. He studied music at the Milan Conservatory where he was a pupil of Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti...

 was another important figure for the movement. The three of them volunteered with guerrilla leader Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

's redshirts to fight the Austrian Empire for the annexation of Venice to the newly formed Kingdom of Italy in 1866. Franco Faccio was also responsible for two of the three scapigliatura operas--I profughi fiamminghi (with a libretto by Emilio Praga) and Amleto
Amleto is an opera in four acts by Franco Faccio, with libretto by Arrigo Boito. It premiered on May 30, 1865 at the Teatro Carlo Felice of Genova. It was revised for a La Scala production given on February 12, 1871.- Composition and premiere :...

(to a text by Boito). It was on the lukewarm premiere of the former in 1863 that Faccio was fêted with a banquet where Boito read his ode All'arte italiana, which famously so offended Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

 that the composer refused to work with him when the publisher Ricordi
Giovanni Ricordi
Giovanni Ricordi was an Italian violinist and the founder of the classical music publishing company Casa Ricordi....

 first suggested a collaboration. The offending lines, "Forse già nacque chi sovra l'altare / Rizzerà l'arte, verecondo e puro, / Su quel'altar bruttato come un muro / Di lupanare" (Perhaps the man is already born who, modest and pure, will restore art to its altar stained like a brothel wall). Boito in later years wrote the librettos for Verdi's operas Simon Boccanegra
Simon Boccanegra
Simon Boccanegra is an opera with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Simón Bocanegra by Antonio García Gutiérrez....

, Otello
Otello is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Othello. It was Verdi's penultimate opera, and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on February 5, 1887....

and Falstaff
Falstaff (opera)
Falstaff is an operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare's plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and scenes from Henry IV. It was Verdi's last opera, written in the composer's ninth decade, and only the second of his 26 operas to be a comedy...

, and is still considered the best librettist with whom Verdi collaborated. The movement did not have formal manifestos, but developed organically, through its members sharing common aesthetic and political ideals. In their early days they were known as "Avveniristi", from a line of a Boito's poem which spoke of "L'arte dell'avvenire" (The art of the future). The term Scapigliatura came in vogue later.

1864 - 1891

Praga and Boito launched the Scapigliatura in earnest when they edited the paper Figaro in 1864. A year later saw the publishing of the first works by poet and novelist Iginio Ugo Tarchetti
Iginio Ugo Tarchetti
Ugo Iginio Tarchetti was an Italian author, poet, and journalist.Born in San Salvatore Monferrato, his military career was cut short by ill health, and in 1865 he settled in Milan. Here he entered literary study, becoming part of the Scapigliatura, a literary movement animated by a spirit of...

 (1839–1869), who today is the best-known author of the Scapigliatura. They rebelled against late Romantic maudlin poets like Aleardo Aleardi
Aleardo Aleardi
Aleardo Aleardi , born Gaetano Maria, was an Italian poet who belonged to the so-called Neo-romanticists....

 and Giovanni Prati
Giovanni Prati
Giovanni Prati was an Italian poet born in what then was part of the Austrian Empire and educated in law at Padua...

, Italian Catholic tradition and clericalism, and the Italian government's betrayal of the revolutionary roots of the Risorgimento period. Praga scandalized Italy with his second poetry collection Penombre (1864), reminiscent of Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal, and Tarchetti with his novel Una Nobile Follia (1867) in which he opposed the militarist culture of Italy under the reigning Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

 royal family and in which he propounded his Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 derived from French philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a French politician, mutualist philosopher and socialist. He was a member of the French Parliament, and he was the first person to call himself an "anarchist". He is considered among the most influential theorists and organisers of anarchism...

. In the barracks of the Italian Army officers had bonfires with Tarchetti's books to give 'the example' to many young soldiers who identified with Tarchetti's protests (Tarchetti had originally volunteered for the army, but changed his mind and was later discharged because of insubordination – and also because of his failing health – after being sent to fight 'Brigandage
Brigandage refers to the life and practice of brigands: highway robbery and plunder, and a brigand is a person who usually lives in a gang and lives by pillage and robbery....

' in the south, which he saw as a cruel colonialist war of Piedmont against the recently annexed south of Italy). Boito produced the poetry collection Il Libro Dei Versi, the musical fable Re Orso and memorable short-stories like L'Alfier Nero. In the late 1860s he detached himself from the movement, moved on to more conservative positions and was even made Senator of The Kingdom of Italy in 1914, while Faccio suffered a nervous breakdown and ended in the same mental institution where his father was an inmate (bizarrely enough they both died on the same day in 1891). The manifestos of these young and rebellious writers were the works themselves: poems like Praga's Preludio (Prelude), which opened Penombre striking against Catholicism and the many mediocre followers of the main Italian novelist of the time, Alessandro Manzoni
Alessandro Manzoni
Alessandro Francesco Tommaso Manzoni was an Italian poet and novelist.He is famous for the novel The Betrothed , generally ranked among the masterpieces of world literature...

, author of the classic historical novel I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed
The Betrothed
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....

). Another such manifesto was Arrigo Boito's poem Dualismo (Dualism), which challenged common values and sense of decency by espousing a Decadent take on art, inspired mainly by Baudelaire and Poe.

Praga, Tarchetti and Camerana

Emilio Praga and Igino Ugo Tarchetti are the authors who best represent the Scapigliatura and its aesthetic programme. They were the first in Italy to open up to foreign influences, starting a process of renewal in Italian culture. Synaesthesia, the theory based upon the correspondences among music, poetry and painting, was one of their innovations. They were also the first to promote the literature of Realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

, opening the door for the Italian novelists of Verismo
Verismo was an Italian literary movement which peaked between approximately 1875 and the early 1900s....

 such as Giovanni Verga
Giovanni Verga
Giovanni Carmelo Verga was an Italian realist writer, best known for his depictions of life in Sicily, and especially for the short story "Cavalleria Rusticana" and the novel I Malavoglia .-Life and career:The first son of Giovanni Battista Catalano Verga and Caterina Di Mauro,...

 and Luigi Capuana
Luigi Capuana
Luigi Capuana was an Italian author and journalist and one of the most important members of the Verist movement. He was a contemporary of Giovanni Verga, both having been born in the province of Catania within a year of each other. He was also one of the first authors influenced by the works of...

. The influence of the supernatural stories of Poe and Hoffmann on Praga and Tarchetti was the foundation of Italian writers such as Antonio Fogazzaro
Antonio Fogazzaro
Antonio Fogazzaro was an Italian novelist.-Biography:Fogazzaro was born in Vicenza to a rich family.In 1864 he got a law degree in Turin...

, Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello was an Italian dramatist, novelist, and short story writer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934, for his "bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage." Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of which are written...

 and Dino Buzzati
Dino Buzzati
Dino Buzzati-Traverso was an Italian novelist, short story writer, painter and poet, as well as a journalist for Corriere della Sera. His worldwide fame is mostly due to his novel Il deserto dei Tartari, translated into English as The Tartar Steppe.-Life:Buzzati was born at San Pellegrino,...


The works of Praga, Tarchetti and poet Giovanni Camerana (1845–1905) mark the transition from Romanticism to Decadentism, with their Romantic themes of love and death, Gothic imagery, sexuality and narcotics, and the supernatural. Praga was the first poet to imbue his works with the technics of Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

, and Camerana's poetry is characterized by a dark Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

. The conflict between the lonely artist totally committed to his ideals and the values of bourgeois society was another theme found in the Scapigliati's works.


The Scapigliati are also famous for erasing any difference between art and life, and lived their lives of anti-conformism, anarchist idealism and a desire for transcendence to the full.
Like Baudelaire and Poe, and French Symbolist poets Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet. Born in Charleville, Ardennes, he produced his best known works while still in his late teens—Victor Hugo described him at the time as "an infant Shakespeare"—and he gave up creative writing altogether before the age of 21. As part of the decadent...

 and Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Paul-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.-Early life:...

 after them, they often recurred to the aid of alcohol and drugs. Their lives were also characterized by poverty and financial failure, and they were also the target of a conservative reaction against their movement and its ideals. Praga died an alcoholic aged thirty-five in 1875, Tarchetti died aged twenty-nine in 1869 of T.B. and typhoid fever while completing his novel Fosca, practically destitute, in the house of his friend and follower Salvatore Farina
Salvatore Farina
Salvatore Farina was an Italian novelist whose style of sentimental humor has been compared to that of Charles Dickens....

. Camerana committed suicide in 1905. Precursors Rovani and Arrighi died both through alcohol abuse.

Spread of the movement

The movement developed throughout Italy between the 1860s and the 1880s, starting from Milan. Its main off-shoot was in Turin and Piedmont, with followers such as Roberto Sacchetti, Giovanni Faldella, and playwright Giuseppe Giacosa
Giuseppe Giacosa
Giuseppe Giacosa was an Italian poet, playwright and librettist.He was born in Colleretto Parella, now Colleretto Giacosa, near Turin. His father was a magistrate. Giuseppe went to the University of Turin, studying in the University of Turin, Faculty of Law...

. Giulio Pinchetti (1845–1870) was one of the younger and most promising poets, but committed suicide aged twenty-five after publishing his poetry collection Versi. A similar figure was the poet Giulio Uberti--a friend of Giuseppe Mazzini
Giuseppe Mazzini
Giuseppe Mazzini , nicknamed Soul of Italy, was an Italian politician, journalist and activist for the unification of Italy. His efforts helped bring about the independent and unified Italy in place of the several separate states, many dominated by foreign powers, that existed until the 19th century...

 who wrote a type of civic poetry which spread the Republican ideals of Mazzini, a sort of Italian equivalent of Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

--who committed suicide in 1876 after falling in love with an English teenage girl. Another author who scandalized the country was Lorenzo Stecchetti with his poetry collection Postuma (1876), which in reality was the work of poet Olindo Guerrini
Olindo Guerrini
Olindo Guerrini was an Italian poet who also published under the pseudonyms Lorenzo Stecchetti and Argia Sbolenfi....

 who created the character of the young and doomed poet Stecchetti (based upon Tarchetti) for this specific purpose. The main Scapigliati painters are Tranquillo Cremona, Daniele Ranzoni and Arnoldo Bocklin, and the best-known sculptor is Giuseppe Grandi
Giuseppe Grandi
Giuseppe Grandi was an Italian sculptor, painter and engraver.-Life:Taught by Vela at the Accademia di Brera, in 1866 he won the Canonica competition with a sculpture called Ulisse and began to work on a verist sculpture of Tabacchi at Turin. After his Turin period, he returned to Milan, where he...

. Their style would influence later painters such as Medardo Rosso
Medardo Rosso
Medardo Rosso was an Italian sculptor. He is thought to have developed the Post Impressionism style in sculpture along with Auguste Rodin....

 and Mose' Bianchi. The movement was later immortalized by Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire...

, a protege' of Arrigo Boito, in his opera La bohème
La bohème
La bohème is an opera in four acts,Puccini called the divisions quadro, a tableau or "image", rather than atto . by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger...

in 1896, with a libretto written by Giuseppe Giacosa. Orchestra director Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

 was another famous figure who shared the ideals of the Scapigliatura. Other exponents of the movement were the writers Carlo Dossi
Carlo Dossi
Carlo Alberto Pisani Dossi was an Italian writer and diplomat. He belonged to the Scapigliati.In 1892 he became a diplomat in Colombia, where he married Carlotta Borsani, with whom he had three children...

 (1849–1910) and Camillo Boito
Camillo Boito
Camillo Boito was an Italian architect and engineer, and a noted art critic, art historian and novelist.-Biography:...

 (1836–1914), older brother of Arrigo and a well-known art critic, who wrote the short story Senso, which later inspired Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti di Modrone, Count of Lonate Pozzolo was an Italian theatre, opera and cinema director, as well as a screenwriter. He is best known for his films The Leopard and Death in Venice .-Life:...

's film by the same title in 1954 and Tinto Brass
Tinto Brass
Giovanni Brass , better known as Tinto Brass, is an Italian filmmaker. He is noted especially for his work in the erotic genre, with films such as Così fan tutte , Paprika, Monella and Trasgredire...

' film of 2002. Il Corriere della Sera, to this day the major Italian newspaper, was founded by the Scapigliato Eugenio Torelli-Violler, a friend of Tarchetti.


The Scapigliati are now considered an important chapter in Italian cultural history, creating the archetype of the artistic avant-garde and are considered the forerunners of literary movements like Decadentism
Decadentism was an Italian artistic style based mainly on the Decadent movement in the arts in France and England around the end of the 19th century. The main authors associated with decadentism were Antonio Fogazzaro, Italo Svevo, Giovanni Pascoli and Gabriele D'Annunzio...

, Symbolism
Symbolism (arts)
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style had its beginnings with the publication Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire...

, and the Italian Poeti Crepuscolari of the 1920s and 30s. Praga's poetry collection Trasparenze, published posthumously in 1878, and his novel Memorie Del Presbiterio (left unfinished, completed by Roberto Sacchetti in 1881) are perhaps some of the best examples for illustrating how the Scapigliati were somewhat ahead of their times and prophetic in terms of their vision. In Italian literature, fine arts and music, they are the equivalent of the German Idealists, the French Symbolists, the English Romantics and the American Transcendendalists.

Controversy in Opera and the Scapigliatura's Ambiguous Language for Reform

Reasons why the Scapigliatura has not been allotted as much attention in the musical arts point to several controversial issues. Only three operas have been identified as belonging to this movement, which was thought of as a pseudo-Wagnerian attempt in Italian opera. This has proven to be a fallacy by the operatic scholar, Dr. Mary-Lou Vetere, who has "identified that the Scapigliatura was actually an independent movement between Verdi and Verismo, born to counteract Wagner's growing presence and to protect Italian operatic supremacy. She has defined the movement with its own set of aesthetic principles and revealed that the Scapigliatura's fundamental purpose was to remain ambiguous in order to achieve its goals; that is—to promote a new and modern Italian aesthetic that might compete more readily with growing international styles." Since ambiguousness was a requisite feature of its policy, the language used by the "scapigliati" was intentionally obscure, therefore obscuring the authentic meaning of their works. Verdi's connection to the Scapigliatura, via his collaboration with Arrigo Boito (the most prominent 'scapigliato') has recently inspired the need for deeper scrutiny."


While official culture in Italy has often forgotten the Scapigliati, the movement has had several revivals: during the counter-cultural climate of the late 1960s many of their works were back in print and there were exhibitions dedicated to them, and again in the 1990s, when Tarchetti's Racconti Fantastici and Fosca were translated and published in the US by Lawrence Venuti
Lawrence Venuti
Lawrence Venuti , American translation theorist, translation historian and translator from Italian, French, and Catalan.-Career:...

 as Fantastic Tales and Passion, respectively. Film director Ettore Scola's adaptation of Tarchetti's Fosca, titled Passione d'Amore, was released in 1982. Christine Donougher translated Camillo Boito's Senso and Other Stories in English in 1993. In 2005 Robert Caruso
Robert Caruso
Robert Caruso is a director of commercials, music video, film, and online content.Caruso grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where he attended the School on Magnolia, an early Cleveland-area alternative high school. He was active as a musician, and was one of the founding members of the band the...

 (Anglo-Italian rock singer and poet, not to be confused with the American film-director of commercials) translated Praga, Camerana and some of Tarchetti's poetry into English for the first time ( American composer Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award...

's musical of Tarchetti's Fosca, Passion
Passion (musical)
Passion is a musical adapted from Ettore Scola's film Passione d'Amore . The book is by James Lapine, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Central subjects include obsession, beauty, power, manipulation, passion, illness, and love...

, was a success on Broadway in 1994.

Other Scapigliatura writers and poets

Ferdinando Fontana
Ferdinando Fontana
Ferdinando Fontana was an Italian journalist, dramatist, and poet. He is best known today for having written the libretti of the first two operas by Giacomo Puccini – Le Villi and Edgar.-Biography:...

, Giuseppe Cesare Molineri, Achille Giovanni Cagna, Ambrogio Bazzero, Cesare Tronconi, Remigio Zena, Edoardo Calandra, Luigi Gualdo, Domenico Milelli, Salvatore Farina
Salvatore Farina
Salvatore Farina was an Italian novelist whose style of sentimental humor has been compared to that of Charles Dickens....

, Mario Rapisardi
Mario Rapisardi
Mario Rapisardi was an Italian poet, supporter of Risorgimento and member of the Scapigliatura.-Life:...

, Gian Pietro Lucini, Paolo Valera, Bernardino Zendrini, Pompeo Bettini, Giuseppe Aurelio Costanzo, Alberto Cantoni, Felice Cavallotti
Felice Cavallotti
Felice Cavallotti was an Italian politician, poet and dramatic author.- Early career :Born in Milan, Cavallotti fought with the Garibaldian Corps in their 1860 and 1866 campaigns during the Italian Wars of Independence....

, Antonio Ghislanzoni
Antonio Ghislanzoni
Antonio Ghislanzoni was an Italian journalist, poet, and novelist who wrote librettos for Verdi, among other composers, of which the best known are Aida and the revised version of La forza del destino....

, Vittorio Imbriani.


  • Mariani, Gaetano, Storia della Scapigliatura, Sciascia, Caltanisetta-Roma, 1967.
  • Nardi, Piero Scapigliatura: da Giuseppe Rovani a Carlo Dossi, Mondadori, Milano, 1968.
  • Finzi, Gilberto (ed.) Lirici della Scapigliatura (Poetry Anthology), Mondadori, Milano, 1997.
  • Finzi, Gilberto (ed.) Racconti Neri della Scapigliatura, (Prose Anthology), Mondadori, Milano, 1999.
  • Ferrini, Alessandro, Invito a Conoscere la Scapigliatura, Mursia, Milano, 1988.
  • Bolzoni, Lina & Tedeschi, Marcella, Dalla Scapigliatura al Verismo, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1978.
  • Mangini, Angelo M., Fantastico e Malinconia nell'Opera di Igino Ugo Tarchetti, Carocci, Roma, 2000.
  • Caruso, Robert, Igino Ugo Tarchetti. A Reassessment: his works, his philosophy (MA diss), University College London, London, 2005.
  • Caruso, Robert, Scapigliatura (History and texts of the Italian bohemian poets and writers (1860-1880) translated into English for the first time), London, 2005. (edited selections can be found on
  • Vetere, Mary-Lou, "From Verdi to Verismo: Boito and La Scapigliatura," (PhD.diss), University at Buffalo, 2010
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