al battesimo Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (Recanati, 29 giugno 1798 – Napoli, 14 giugno 1837), è ritenuto il maggior poeta dell'Ottocento italiano e una delle più importanti figure della letteratura mondiale, nonché una delle principali del romanticismo letterario. La straordinaria qualità lirica della sua poesia lo ha reso un protagonista centrale nel panorama culturale europeo e internazionale, con ricadute che vanno molto oltre la sua epoca.
Giacomo Leopardi was born at Recanati (Ancona), in 1798. He was of noble parentage, though not rich. His early disposition was joyous, but with the feverish joy of a highly-strung, nervous organization. He was a great student from boyhood; and severe application undermined a system that was never robust, and that soon became hopelessly diseased. Illness, accompanied with sharp pain, clipped the wings of his ambition, obliged him to forego preferment, and deepened the hopelessness that hung over his expectations. His hunger for love could not be satisfied, for his physical infirmity rendered a union undesirable, even if possible, while a craving ideality soon transcended any visible object of affection. He had warm friends of his own sex, one of whom, Antonio Ranieri, stayed by him in all vicissitudes, took him to Naples, and closed his eyes, June 14, 1837.