Biography Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli

Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli

photo of Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli
  • Time Period1791 - 1863
  • Place
  • CountryItaly

Poet Biography

Belli grew up during the turbulant years of napolean's ocupation of Rome. although much of his earlier work was to convention by form and diction, by 1816, he began a series of over 2000 sonnets, using the freely expressive language of the Roman dialect.
His vivid and often ribald verse provides a rich picture of the Rome of his day, from compassionate portraits of lower-class figures to unbridled lampoons of corrupt officials of the church.

Belli wrote: "Our common people have no art: no art of speaking, nor poetical, just as any common people never had. Everything springs spontaneously from their own nature, always alive and strong, because left free to develop non-artificial qualities...".

Because of his outraged reaction to the revolutionary violence of 1848, on his death bed he asked that his anticlerical works all be burned, his confessor, however saw to it they there were all published.
The first major English translations of his work were compiled in 1981.

A monument to Belli now stands in the popular Trastevere district

An Intelectual Moralist, his works steeped with satirical portrayals of the Italian society of his day.