Giacomo Leopardi, most famous italian poet born in Recanati, arrived in Pisa November 9, 1827, and here he composed "A Silvia"
Giacomo Leopardi, poeta nato a Recanati, giunse a Pisa il 9 novembre 1827 e qui compose “A Silvia”

This article is about Pisa, city of the Tuscany region a place to visit even if you live in Rome.


Pisa, the Lungarno and the appetite of the “The fabulous young man “.


There are places that you feel inside, and without realizing it, they change you. So happened to Leopardi. In Pisa he lived a completely new period, a different era, asa a writer and as a man. “I have found here in Pisa a delicious street, which I call Via delle Rimembranze: I go there for walking when I want to dream with open eyes ” wrote the Poet .

Pisa_Toscana-TuscanyThere is a short distance between Pisa and Florence, the city where he lived previously, but it is great the distance between the Florentine Leopardi and the one who lived and worked in Pisa.

So the question is the following: was the city of Pisa to transform the Poet , or simply allowed him to express what he always had inside, an essential component of his way of being and feeling , his alternative or even main nature?

“To the future generations the hard answer”, would have said a distinguished colleague of Leopardi.

The problem is that we, hic et nunc , much later, are still largely uncertain about a possible answer.

As Montale would say, “everything we know is what we have not , what is not” .

Certainly Leopardi was not the deformed and lackluster figure described by many school books in Bignami style.

Leopardi was not the “pessimist” that underlines the fleeting beauty of the Saturday later frustrated by the disillusioning Sunday . It’s not what the teenagers of our time, with a hasty but effective definition, would call a “hunchback loser “

Leopardi was not only the man bent over sweaty papers or imprisoned in the library of his father, already completely wrote at an early age . Leopardi is this , but it is also, and perhaps above all, a man greedy of life, that same life which he watched with a philosophical and rigorous eye, but never stopping to look at her with deep interest and natural curiosity.

He is also the man who while translating Greek and Jewish books writes childish dialogues for easy and light “comics” and humorous jokes. He is the gentleman of noble origins who listens carefully and passionately to the noises of his village, sounds, songs, music, catching the simplicity of their minds and souls. A gift he did not possess, but always searched for and felt fascinated by. The same vital and enigmatic charm he felt in the women that he always looked for their complex and attractive essence.

The Poet from Recanati was a lover of ancient times but he was also focused on his own time. He constantly looked for a change, not only for himself but also for his nation, a country oppressed by injustice, misery and corruption.  

This complicated person and artist arrived in the right time, in the right season, in a city that looked much like him: it was rooted in the territory but it was also a meeting point of travellers, writers, philosophers, full of  “salotti” rich in culture but also open to new, revolutionary ideas. Pisa, a city well known for the studies but far from being a museum, being surrounded by a pulsating beauty, the same that runs within the river and in the boulevards, the Lungarni.

Lungarno a Pisa
Lungarno at Pisa (Tuscany – Italy)

In Pisa Leopardi found a conciliation between his hunger for life and the necessity to give an order to his patrimony of memories and emotions. He found stimuli but also the right place for further reasoning, new projects, new hypothesis of bridges between himself and life. From this starting point, it’s easier for us to think that the dreaming walker of Via delle Rimembranze is the same author that portrayed life as a tragedy and an evil trick. It’s easier to imagine the smile of the poet along the roads full of voices. Pisa for Leopardi was the blooming of Spring in the middle of the Winter. He arrived in Pisa in November 1827 to escape from the freezing Florence Winter, and he stayed in Pisa up to June 1828.

In one of the letter he sent to his sister Paolina he wrote: “I was enchanted by Pisa for his climate: if it will last like this it will be a bliss. I like Pisa much more than Florence. This Lungarno is a beautiful show, wide, magnificent, happy: I never saw anything similar in Florence, nor in Rome, and I really don’t know in the whole Europe you could find such a magnificent landscape. At certain hours of the day this city is full of coaches and walkers; you can hear ten or twenty languages spoken and a bright sun shines on the cafés, on the shops full of precious objects and on the wonderful houses. For the rest, Pisa is a mixture of great and small city, a romantic mixture I have never seen before. Besides, it has a beautiful tongue. And, morevover, here, thanks God, I feel well, with much appetite” (November 12, 1827).

It would not be a paradox to suggest to today’s city administrators to affix a note to the enrollment on the Lungarno dedicated Leopardi in order to remind citizens and visitors that in Pisa he found a new inspirational vein but also the appetite. Cause in this seemingly banal and prosaic note there is a great deal of poetry and the synthesis between greatness and humanity, ethereal nature and carnality.

In this era that tends to make us “virtual” beings by reducing us to smartphones’ icons , we also smile imagining the genuine impulses of a man who had made of the poetic – philosophical speech and thought  its essence .

Pisa confirms to Leopardi what he already knows: his hunger for life. Pisa enables him to observe the beauty without being suffocated by the frost of reflection. The mixture of the urban and country, the worldly Pisa and the intimate city, fascinates and involves him. In this climate Leopardi will write two of his most important compositions, apparently so distant ine from the other, but basically sharing the same feeling and theme, the one of love: “A Silvia” and “Risorgimento”.

"A Silvia" la poesia scritta a Pisa da Giacomo Leopardi
“A Silvia” poem written at Pisa city by Giacomo Leopardi

Pisa, therefore, gave him a rare and valuable opportunity for dialogue with the true himself. Perhaps Leopardi would share the words written decades later by Albert Camus: “Loneliness and thirst for love. Pisa, finally, alive and austere, with its green and yellow palaces, its domes and, along the Arno, his grace. A sensitive city. And so close to me at night when walking through the deserted streets, my desire to tears finally unleashed. The scars of my soul begin to heal. “

With the words of another writer, Gianni Rodari, maybe we can get to a conclusion that, despite its simplicity forced us one step closer to this childish and smiling hypothesis: “Mistakes are necessary, useful as bread and often beautiful: for example, the Tower of Pisa”. In Pisa Leopardi discovers that in the error of life, so crooked and asymmetrical, there is the constancy of the beauty and the beauty of a tenacity that has in itself something simple and mysterious, strong and stubborn.

Or maybe it’s our turn to discover or rediscover in our own towns, in our crowded loneliness, that there are errors, people out of any cliché, that have inside all the complexity and richness of humanity, people you cannot define with a simple formula, marked only by the changing and neverending research of a land where beauty and poetry can live and express themselves in freedom and prosperity.

by Ivano Mugnaini

A Silvia – Giacomo Leopardi – Voice: Vittorio Gassman

Avatar photo

By Ivano Mugnaini

IVANO MUGNAINI si è laureato all'Università di Pisa. È autore di narrativa, poesia e saggistica.
Scrive per alcune riviste, tra cui “Nuova Prosa”, “Gradiva”, “Il Grandevetro”, "Samgha", “L’ Immaginazione”. Cura il blog letterario DEDALUS: corsi, testi e contesti di volo letterario,
Ha curato la rubrica “Panorami congeniali” sul sito della Bompiani RCS. Suoi testi sono stati letti e commentati più volte in trasmissioni radiofoniche di Rai – Radiouno. Collabora, come autore e consulente, con alcune case editrici. Cura e dirige i "Quaderni Dedalus", annuari di narrativa contemporanea.
Ha pubblicato le raccolta di racconti LA CASA GIALLA e L'ALGEBRA DELLA VITA , i romanzi IL MIELE DEI SERVI e LIMBO MINORE.
L’algebra della vita (Greco & Greco, 2011), Inadeguato all’eterno (Felici editore, 2008), Il tempo salvato (Blu di Prussia, 2010)
Tra i critici ed autori che si sono occupati della sua attività letteraria ricordiamo: Vincenzo Consolo, Gina Lagorio, Ferdinando Camon, Raffaele Nigro, Giorgio Saviane, Paolo Maurensig ed altri.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rome Central Mag
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Privacy Policy

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you register on our site or place an order. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address or mailing address.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information. We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to?keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be kept on file for more than 60 days.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business. If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders by contacting customer service. Google Analytics We use Google Analytics on our sites for anonymous reporting of site usage and for advertising on the site. If you would like to opt-out of Google Analytics monitoring your behaviour on our sites please use this link (

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


The minimum information we need to register you is your name, email address and a password. We will ask you more questions for different services, including sales promotions. Unless we say otherwise, you have to answer all the registration questions. We may also ask some other, voluntary questions during registration for certain services (for example, professional networks) so we can gain a clearer understanding of who you are. This also allows us to personalise services for you. To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared. You can choose not to have such data shared with the Guardian from these sources by logging into your account and changing the settings in the privacy section. After you have registered, and with your permission, we may send you emails we think may interest you. Newsletters may be personalised based on what you have been reading on At any time you can decide not to receive these emails and will be able to ‘unsubscribe’. Logging in using social networking credentials If you log-in to our sites using a Facebook log-in, you are granting permission to Facebook to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth and location which will then be used to form a Guardian identity. You can also use your picture from Facebook as part of your profile. This will also allow us and Facebook to share your, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings. If you remove the Guardian app from your Facebook settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a Google log-in, you grant permission to Google to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth, sex and location which we will then use to form a Guardian identity. You may use your picture from Google as part of your profile. This also allows us to share your networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Google account settings. If you remove the Guardian from your Google settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a twitter log-in, we receive your avatar (the small picture that appears next to your tweets) and twitter username.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Updating your personal information

We offer a ‘My details’ page (also known as Dashboard), where you can update your personal information at any time, and change your marketing preferences. You can get to this page from most pages on the site – simply click on the ‘My details’ link at the top of the screen when you are signed in.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.
Save settings
Cookies settings