Giovanni Battista Niccolini

Giovanni Battista Niccolini (29 October 1782 – 20 September 1861) was an Italian poet and playwright of the Italian unification movement or Risorgimento.[1]

Giovanni Battista Niccolini
GB Niccolini by Stefano Ussi.jpg
1864 portrait by Stefano Ussi
Born29 October 1782
Died20 September 1861
Occupationpoet and playwright
The grave of Giovanni Battista Niccolini, Santa Croce, Florence


Niccolini was born in Bagni San Giuliano in 1792.[2]

He wrote his first play in Greek in 1810. The play was strongly based on Greek legend and it was called Polissena. This tragedy about the sacrifice of a virgin was so favourably received that his next three plays were also tragedies.[3]

In 1846 his play, Arnold of Brescia: A Tragedy. was translated by the English immigrant Theodosia Trollope into English and published. This work was also taken up by Robert Browning. The work was written in support of the formation of Italy.[4]

Niccolini died in Florence in 1861. He is buried in the Church of Santa Croce, Florence close to Machiavelli.

On popular cultureEdit

Some of his words were used in the book reading by La lettrice sculpture created by Pietro Magni.


There is a Via Giovanni Battista Niccolini in Chinatown in Milan.[5]


  1. ^ Garofalo, Piero (December 2011). "Giovan Battista Niccolini's Literary and Political Role in the Risorgimento". Rivista di Studi Italiani. 29.2: 65–83.
  2. ^ The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
  3. ^ Cochrane, John (1836). "Niccolini Tragedies". The Foreign quarterly review. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  4. ^ The Poems of Browning 1846 - 1861. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. 2014. p. 215. ISBN 1317905423.
  5. ^ Via Giovanni Battista Niccolini, in Milan, OpenStreetMap, retrieved 23 November 2014