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Ludovico Ariosto, the poet of the Orlando Furioso

Let me introduce myself: Messer Ludovico Ariosto in person, “chivalric poet” and, for many years, functionary of his Lordship Cardinal Ippolito I d’Este and then of Duke Alfonso I d’Este in the early 16th century.

I am also the poet who wrote Orlando Furioso, the epic poem that is one of the most important of chivalric romance and today considered the encoder of romantic literature. I worked on it for over thirty years, with great passion, in this magnificent city - Ferrara - which I consider my home. I was born in Reggio Emilia on September 8, 1474 and aged 9 moved with my family - my father Niccolò, my mother Daria and my nine siblings - to Ferrara, to 29 Via Giuoco del Pallone. I lived there for my entire adolescence and later, between the ages of twenty and twenty-five, I enjoyed what was, undoubtedly, the most carefree period of my life, when I entered the court of Ercole I in 1498.

There I was treated like part of the family and could focus on writing poetry in vernacular, my greatest passion. In 1528, when I was over fifty years old, I became part of the Consiglio dei 12 Savi (Council of 12 Wise Men) and started directing the first repertory theatre in Europe, the Sala Grande di Corte, under the patronage of Alfonso I d’Este. Located inside Palazzo Ducale, the wooden theatre hosted the rich theatrical activity of the Este court until December 31, 1531, when the entire building was destroyed by a terrible fire. Nearing the end of my life, this was a difficult blow for me to overcome. I passed away in Ferrara on July 6, 1533 and now rest in the rooms of Palazzo Paradiso, home to Biblioteca Ariostea, the library named in my honour, in a beautiful funeral monument designed in 1612 by the architect Giovan Battista Aleotti.

last modified May 04, 2022 11:51
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