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Italian Quotes

Enjoy this selection of quotes about Italian and Italy, or by important Italian writers and famous Italians.

Marco Polo (c. 1254-1324) - a merchant from the Venetian Republic and introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China

"I have not told half of what I saw."

Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) - poet

"Remember tonight… for it is the beginning of always."

Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) - poet

"There is no greater sorrow than to be mindful of the happy time in misery…"

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) - a Genoese navigator, colonizer and explorer

"Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World."

Torquato Tasso (1544–1595) - poet

"Love is when he gives you a piece of your soul, that you never knew was missing."

Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838) - a Venetian librettist and poet.

"Before long several composers turned to me for libretti. But there were only two in Vienna deserving of my esteem: Martini and Mozart"

Gioacchino Rossini (1792–1868) - composer

"One can't judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don't intend to hear it a second time"

Gioacchino Rossini (1792–1868) - composer

"Every kind of music is good, except the boring kind."

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) - composer

"You may have the universe if I may have Italy"

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) - American writer and journalist

"Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues."

Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863–1938) - an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist

Limit to courage? There is no limit to courage.

Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) - playwright

"Drama is action, sir, action and not confounded philosophy"

Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977) - Italian film director

"Don't get married to an actress because they're also actresses in bed"

Primo Levi (1919-1987) - a Jewish-Italian chemist, Holocaust survivor and author of essays and novels

"The aims of life are the best defense against death."

Federico Fellini (1920–1993) - Italian film director

"All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography"

Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) - Italian poet, intellectual, film director, and writer

"Death does determine life. Once life is finished it acquires a sense; up to that point it has not got a sense; its sense is suspended and therefore ambiguous. However, to be sincere I must add that for me death is important only if it is not justified and rationalized by reason. For me death is the maximum of epicness and death."

Luciano Berio (1925–2003) - composer

"Opera once was an important social instrument - especially in Italy. With Rossini and Verdi people were listening to opera together and having the same catharsis with the same story, the same moral dilemmas. They were holding hands in the darkness. That has gone. Now perhaps they are holding hands watching television."

Dario Fo (born March 24, 1926) - Italian satirist and playwright

"A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance."

Umberto Eco (born 5 January 1932) - an Italian medievalist, semiotician, philosopher, literary critic and novelist.

"Translation is the art of failure."

Umberto Eco (born 5 January 1932) - an Italian medievalist, semiotician, philosopher, literary critic and novelist.

"When men stop believing in God, it isn't that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything."

Bernardo Bertolucci (born March 16, 1940) - Italian film director and screenwriter

"I don't film messages. I let the post office take care of those."

Paul Carvel (born 1964) - Belgian Writer

"Sign language is useful to the deaf but vital to the Italians."