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Antonio Ranieri
(1806 - 1888) Italy

Antonio Ranieri

Writer, historian

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Antonio Ranieri, born in Naples, was a 20 year-old student when met in Florence, for the first time, the poet Giacomo Leopardi, who was then 28 year-old. Antonio was in the prime of his youth, really handsome, and a sturdy young man, with a youthful passion in his eyes.

Antonio RanieriThey met again and in 1830 and became close friends, so that they spent five months together in Rome, in Winter 1831-32. Here the beautiful Antonio could be near a (married) actress he was deply fond of.

In 1932-33 Antonio had to go back to Naples and Leopardi sent him messages full of love. At last, Antonio went back to Florence to take with him Giacomo, proposing him to go and live together in Naples. There, very often, Antonio was spending his nights in Giacomo's bedroom, so that the landlady complained with him.

Were they lovers? From his letters, it seems that Giacomo was madly in love with the beautiful Antonio, but at the same time the young man was known as a womanizer; so what could unite them? Probably the fact that Giacomo had money... and mantained Antonio (and even his sister). In other words the beautiful Antonio possibly was, in his youth, a gigolo.

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