Belli, Giuseppe Gioachino

BORN 7 Sep 1791, Roma, Lazio - DIED 21 Dec 1863, Roma, Lazio
BIRTH NAME Belli, Giuseppe Francesco Antonio Maria Gioachino Raimondo
GRAVE LOCATION Roma, Lazio: Cimitero Monumentale del Verano, Piazzale del Verano, 1 (Altapiano Pincetto, section 49)

Giuseppe Belli is best remembered for his poetry in the Roman dialect. He was born in Rome. His father took a job in Civitavecchia but after he died his mother moved back to Rome with her three sons. There he started writing sonnets, suggested by his friend Francesco Spada.

After living in poor circumstances, he married the wealthy Maria Conti in 1816. This enabled him to pursue a literary career. In 1824 he and Maria had a son, Ciro. He travelled to Northern Italy, where me met several literary figures.

In 1837 Maria died and his financial situation grew worse. He started feeling bitter towards the world around him and called himself a 'dead poet'. He wrote his last sonnet in Roman dialect in 1849. Many of his sonnets he kept hidden from the public although he read them to his friends Gogol and Sainte-Beuve.

Alltough his sonnets were satirical, his political views were mostly conservative and during the rebellion of 1849 he supported the pope and later in life he worked a censor for the papal government. In that position he prohibited works by Shakespeare, Verdi and Rossini. Shortly before he died he asked his friend Monsignor Vincenzo Tizzani to burn his work, but Tizzani gave it to his son Ciro, who published a selection of them after editing them carefully.

Related persons
• was a friend of Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin


The grave of Giuseppe Belli at the Cimitero Monumentale al Verano, Rome.
Picture by Androom (24 Jan 2010)


• Zaal, Wim, Rust in Rome, Elmar BV, Rijswijk, 1999
Giuseppe Gioachino Belli - Wikipedia

Bellingrath, Ewald

Published: 04 Jan 2015
Last update: 25 Mar 2023