Italian poet and author known for a prose masterpiece entitled Operette Morali, as well as for starkly beautiful, despair-driven poems. His best-known poems include "Alla sua donna," "Risorgimento," and "A Silvia."
He was a bright child whose knowledge quickly surpassed that of his tutors. By age sixteen, he was fluent in both Greek and Latin.
His pessimistic works reflect a lonely life in which his romantic attachments -- including a secret love for his married cousin -- remained unrequited.
He was born to an Italian count in the papal town of Recanati.
He and Pietro Metastasio were both renowned Italian poets.