The poet Matteo Maria Boiardo was born in 1441 in Scandiano, a feud of Reggio he ruled as heir of the noble Boiardo family.
Taking inspiration from Petrarca he wrote the most beautiful collection of poems of the 15th century: Amorum Libri Tres, three books of poems about the joy of being loved back and the pain of being betrayed by the loved one, probably inspired by the poet’s muse Antonia Caprara, a maid from Reggio Emilia that was described as beautiful as changeable.
His most famous work is Orlando Innamorato (“Orlando in Love”), an unfinished poem recalling characters and themes from chivalric romance but also creating, with unlimited imagination, situations and characters truly unique.
The Orlando Innamorato was printed by Boiardo’s widow in 1495 and from that point on has been admired by many fellow poets – decided to wrote himself a poem on the same topic – and appreciated and studied by many generations of readers.
Ludovico Ariosto is probably the most illustrious son of Reggio Emilia and surely the most important Italian exponent of chivalric romance, having written the famous Orlando Furioso (“The Frenzy of Orlando”).
He took inspiration from the chivalric theme of Orlando by M.M. Boiardo in order to write an epic poem of gigantic proportions, refined and destined to be largely diffused thanks to the use of the language of common people, as he was the first author outside Tuscany to write an epic poem in vulgar Tuscan, and not in Latin!
The plot is very rich: lovers, hatred, war, jealousy, betrayal and heroism, everything told by skillfully mixing tragedy and comedy, supernatural and coherence.
It is an immortal work of art for which we thank our ancient citizen.
He became a cult writer amongst the 80s’ youth thanks to his very original style featuring a rough, brutal honesty in telling the pain and adventures of young people through their own language, forgetting good grammar and conventions but speaking straight to the soul of whom empathizes with his characters.
Unfortunately, Tondelli died when he was only 36, but he was able to leave important novels such as Rimini and Altri Libertini.