Famous Italian Educators
There have been many famous Italians that have been teachers or professors, and there have been many teachers and professors that grew to be famous Italians for their dedication to learning. In this blog we look at the more famous characters that have graced Italian classrooms and have also found fame in other walks of life.
II Duce created the Fascist Party in Italy in 1919, and went on to be dictator of the country just before WWII. Mussolini’s mother was a teacher and was instrumental in teaching her intelligent son as a youth. However, his father had a passion for politics especially the socialist party and was always raging against authority. Although Mussolini followed in his father’s footsteps his mother guided him into teaching, and he attained a teaching certificate in 1901. His career as a schoolteacher was relatively short lived, and he barely taught for one year before his political career took over.
The star of the Silver Screen, Rudolph Valentino took many hearts of fans of cinema due to his swarthy good looks, and was admired in private as a great lover. Valentino was raised in Castellaneta in Italy and was the son of an Army officer. As a youth he attended military schools but did not graduate into the Services. It was at this time that it was reputed that Valentino helped out in a primary school as a teacher before emigrating to the USA where the rest is documented history.
The celebrated composer and virtuoso was born in Venice, which at the time in 1678 was actually a republic. His main teacher both in music and general education was his father, and it was his father that persuaded Vivaldi to join the priesthood. Soon after his ordination, Vivaldi gave up celebrating mass due to health problems and it was this time of his life he dedicated to learning and teaching others.
Tommaso Toffoli is our first real academic to be mentioned, and he is a professor of computer engineering at the University of Boston. His field of expertise is in Cellular Automata which is the study of artificial life. He has found fame across the world for inventing the Toffoli Gate.
Giovanni Cuomo is probably best known in Italy for his role in politics, but this well-educated and erudite man was also a fully qualified lawyer and in his formative years a teacher. Elected as a member for the Standing Committee for Public Education, Giovanni Cuomo was at the forefront of helping to develop the Italian education system as it is known today. When Mussolini and others brought fascism to his beloved Italy he retired from politics and went back to teaching and reading the law.
After the death of Mussolini and the collapse of fascism he was recalled to politics and took up the post of Minister of National Education for the newly formed Badoglio government. These great men not only led incredible and diverse lives, they also saw the need to teach others a little of what they knew. They imparted valuable information to many, and made Italy a richer place because of it.