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Carlo Collodi

Sfetcu, Nicolae, “Carlo Collodi”, in MultiMedia (April 12, 2023), DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21039.41123, https://www.telework.ro/en/carlo-collodi-2/



Carlo Collodi (his real name Carlo Lorenzini) studied rhetoric and philosophy in Florence, the seminary of Saint John. In 1847 he published his first music critic. He enlisted as a volunteer in Italy’s two wars of independence against the Austrian Empire. In 1881 he wrote the first three chapters of Storia di un burattino, which later became The Adventures of Pinocchio.

Keywords: Carlo Collodi, Carlo Lorenzini, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Pinocchio

Carlo Collodi

Carlo Collodi was born on November 24, 1826, in Florence, Italy. His real name was Carlo Lorenzini. He took the author’s name of Collodi from the town where her mother, Angiolina Orzali Lorenzini, worked as a seamstress, being born near Collodi in Veneri. His father, Domenico Lorenzini, born in 1795 in Cortona, a village in the Apennines, was a cook for the Marquis Ginori Lisci, (Marrone and Puppa 2006, 485) owner of the famous porcelain factory Ginori de Doccia. There were ten children in the family. (Barchers and Pfeffinger 2011, 55)

At the age of three, Carlo was entrusted to his maternal uncle Giuseppe and his aunt Teresa, who lived in Collodi, and in 1831 moved to Florence.

After an unfinished attempt to attend the Colle Val d’Elsa Theological Seminary at the age of eleven, (Barchers and Pfeffinger 2011, 55) Carlo continued his studies at the College of the Scolopi Fathers in Florence. (Zipes 1997, 74)

In the summer of 1842, he studied rhetoric and philosophy in Florence, the seminary of Saint John.

In 1844 he interrupted his studies and was employed by the Libreria Piatti, whose publisher was Jean-Baptiste Niccolini, a patriotic and liberal writer in favor of Italian independence and a secular regime. At the Rinuccini Library he meets Giuseppe Aiazzi, an Italian manuscript specialist and library administrator. (Zipes 1997, 74) In 1845 he became so popular that he obtained an ecclesiastical dispensation, which allowed him to read the books placed on the index of forbidden books, which he introduced in journalistic writing.

In 1847 he published his first music critic, La Harpe, in L’Italia Musicale. He takes over the management of the theater section of La Rivista di Firenze. Collodi conveys to his readers fundamental critical aspects of prose and musical theater, poetry and the novel of his time.

He enlisted as a volunteer in Italy’s two wars of independence against the Austrian Empire in 1848 and 1860. In March 1848, Carlo Lorenzini enlisted in Florence with his brother Paolo in a group of 450 Tuscan students. Their heroic sacrifice in defending the bridge over the Mincio allows General La Marmora’s soldiers to push the Austrians and postpones the counter-offensive by twelve days. After the armistice signed by Salasco, Carlo Lorenzini is employed as a courier in the Senate of the Grand Duchy. On April 12, when a counter-revolution brought Leopold of Hasbourg to the throne of Tuscany, he was dismissed, but was reinstated in June.

He became a critic of traveling music performances for a Milanese magazine, while supporting literary, dramatic or artistic reviews in various other newspapers.

In 1853 he founded the satirical newspaper Il Lampione, later censored, and in 1854 the newspaper Lo scaramuccia (literary reviews dedicated to the theater, one of the great Italian theater magazines). (Zines 2002) (Marcheschi 1995, LXXVIII–XC)

He made his literary debut in 1856 with the play Gli amici di casa and the parody Un romanzo in vapore. In the Florentine newspaper La Lente he signed for the first time under the pseudonym Collodi. (Marcheschi 1995, LXXXIV)

In 1858 he became a correspondent for L’Italia Musicale again. (Lorenzini 1954, 81)

In 1859 the Austrian Empire invaded Piedmont, so Carlo Lorenzini enlisted in Turin as a simple soldier in the Piedmontese army, in the Savoy regiment of Cavalleggeri di Novara, in the war for Italian independence. The armistice in Villafranca, signed on July 12, restores the power of the Austrians. In February 1860, the Marquis de Ginori helped him fill the position of assistant officer in the censorship office. He initiates, together with Alessandro D’Ancona, a campaign for the annexation of Tuscany to the Kingdom of Sardinia; on March 12, 1860, he voted in favor of reunification.

On May 15, 1860, he relaunched the newspaper Il Lampione, which lasted until 1877. In November he was appointed secretary of a commission for the preparation of the “Italian Pantheon”, which included the greatest Italian authors.

Through his 1860 work, Il signor Alberi ha ragione !, he promotes his political and cultural vision of Italy. His direct style fully contributes to the modernization of the Italian language.

He also publishes in other newspapers, especially sketches and satirical stories, including a social critique in the form of a parody of The Mysteries of Paris with surrealistic tendencies, The Mysteries of Florence.

On March 17, 1861, Florence was declared the capital of Italy, but did not include Rome.

In 1862 he joined the Society for the Encouragement of Theater. In 1864 he was appointed secretary of the administration of the province of Florence, and in 1868 he was appointed an extraordinary member of the Council for the compilation of the vocabulary used in Florentine.

Disappointed with Italian politics, he turned to children’s literature, translating French fairy tales (Barchers and Pfeffinger 2011, 55) including Charles Perrault’s fairy tales, in a collection illustrated by Enrico Mazzanti, published in 1876.

In 1876 he wrote three operas beginning with Giannettino, in which he spoke of the unification of Italy through the main character, Giannettino. (Marrone and Puppa 2006, 485)

In 1881, at the request of Guido Biagi, editor of a children’s newspaper, Giornale per i bambini, he wrote the first three chapters of Storia di un burattino, which later became The Adventures of Pinocchio. (Ronchey 2002, 25) The newspaper continues to publish the other twelve episodes; the last episode, published on October 27, 1881, ends with the hanging of the puppet. Carlo Collodi resumed the story, between February 1882 and January 1883, this time under the current title, then for three years (until 1886) he was editor of this newspaper. (Marcheschi 1995, CXVI–CXXI)

His mother’s death in 1863 greatly affected him. Carlo Lorenzini lives in seclusion, dedicating himself exclusively to writing. (Cecchini 1890) He died on October 26, 1890, and was buried in the Cimitero delle Porte Sante near the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte in Florence.

The Carlo Collodi National Foundation was established in 1962 to disseminate Collod’s work, especially The Adventures of Pinocchio.


  • Barchers, Suzanne I., and Charla R. Pfeffinger. 2011. Multi-Grade Readers Theatre: Stories about Short Story and Book Authors. 1st edition. Santa Barbara, Calif: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Cecchini, E. 1890. “Il Fanfulla.” Il Fanfulla, 1890.
  • Lorenzini, Paolo. 1954. Collodi e Pinocchio. A. Salani.
  • Marcheschi, Daniela. 1995. “Cronologia.” In C. Collodi, Opere. Milano: Mondadori.
  • Marrone, Gaetana, and Paolo Puppa, eds. 2006. Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies. 1st edition. New York: Routledge.
  • Ronchey, Silvia. 2002. “Il Burattino Framassone – Intervista a Silvia Ronchey (La Stampa).” 2002. http://www.gianfrancobertagni.it/materiali/zolla/pinocchio.htm.
  • Zines, Jack. 2002. “Introduction.” In Carlo Collordi. Pinnochio. Penguin Books.
  • Zipes, Jack. 1997. “Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children, and the Culture Industry.” Routledge & CRC Press. 1997. https://www.routledge.com/Happily-Ever-After-Fairy-Tales-Children-and-the-Culture-Industry/Zipes/p/book/9780415918510.


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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