Guelfo Civinini

Patrizia Poli
1 min readMar 17, 2022

Guelfo Civinini (1873–1954) was born in Livorno only because his parents took refuge there to escape malaria.

He lived mainly in Rome, where he died in 54, but his life was particular, full of activities that make him an interesting character, beyond writing.

Correspondent of Corriere della Sera, he was sent to war in Libya and Greece, followed the action of Fiume by d’Annunzio and joined fascism, becoming one of the signatories of the “Manifesto of fascist intellectuals” but, after racial laws and pact with Germany, he detached himself from Mussolini’s ideology until he became a writer “unwelcome” to the government.

Between the two wars he traveled extensively, especially in East Africa, where he made the documentary Aethiopia on behalf of the Istituto Luce. He even organized an expedition in vain to find a dead explorer.

He bought the Torre di Santa Liberata on the Argentario, carrying out excavations that brought to light a Roman villa.

A daughter died of suicide in 29.

His production starts from the crepuscolar poems of L’Urna and The paths and the clouds — which make him fully fall into Decadentism, with an intimate, melancholic and disheartened vision — passes through theatrical production to flow into the realism of the novels, based on childhood memories and on the Maremma but also African environment.

He remains famous above all for having written the libretto of “La fanciulla del West” set to music by Giacomo Puccini.

Patrizia Poli

Patrizia Poli was born in Livorno in 1961. Writer of fiction and blogger, she published seven novels.