Giovanni Arpino

Giovanni Arpino (27 January 192710 December 1987) was a Italian writer and journalist.


Born in Pola (in Istria, then part of Italy) to Piedmontese parents, Arpino moved to Bra in the Province of Cuneo. Here he married Caterina Brero before moving to Turin, where he would remain for the rest of his life.

He graduated in 1951 with a thesis on the Russian poet Sergei Yesenin, and the following year made his literary debut with the novel "Sei stato felice, Giovanni", published by Einaudi. He also took up sports journalism, writing for the daily papers "La Stampa" and "Il Giornale"; together with Gianni Brera at the "La Gazzetta dello Sport" he brought a new literary quality to Italian writing on sport. His most important work in this line was the 1977 football novel "Azzurro tenebra". Arpino also wrote plays, short stories, epigrams and stories for children.

In Italy he got to know the Argentinian writer, and fellow sports enthusiast, Osvaldo Soriano and won the Strega Prize of 1964 with "L'ombra delle colline", the Premio Campiello of 1972 with "Randagio è l'eroe" and the SuperCampiello of 1980 with "Il fratello italiano". His novels are characterised by a dry and ironical style.

His story "Il buio e il miele" was made into two films: Dino Risi’s "Profumo di donna", with Vittorio Gassman, and Martin Brest’s "Scent of a woman", which earnt Al Pacino and Academy Award for Best Actor.

Arpino died in Turin in 1987. His links to his childhood town of Bra have been maintained by the establishment of a multi-functional cultural centre and of a prize for children’s literature.


*"Sei stato felice, Giovanni" (1952)
*"Gli anni del giudizio" (1958)
*"La suora giovane" (1959)
*"Un delitto d'onore" (1960)
*"Una nuvola d'ira" (1962)
*"L'ombra delle colline" (1962)
*"Un'anima persa" (1966)
*"La babbuina" (1967)
*"Il buio e il miele" (1969)
*"Randagio è l'eroe" (1972)
*"Racconti di vent’anni" (1974)
*"L'assalto al treno ed altre storie" (1974)
*"Rafé e Micropiede" (1974)
*"Domingo il favoloso" (1975)
*"Il primo quarto di luna" (1976)
*"Azzurro tenebra" (1977)
*"Il fratello italiano" (1980)
*"Le mille e una Italia" (1980)
*"Un gran mare di gente" (1981)
*"Bocce ferme" (1982)
*"La sposa segreta" (1983)
*"Il contadino Genè" (1985)
*"Passo d'addio" (1986)
*"La trappola amorosa" (postumo, 1988)In 2005 Mondadori published a volume of selected works, edited by the literary critic Giorgio Bàrberi Squarotti.


* In "Renzo e Luciana", an episode from "Boccaccio '70" taken from Italo Calvino’s "L'avventura di due sposi" and directed by Mario Monicelli (1962), Arpino worked on the screenplay alongside Calvino, Susi Cecchi D'Amico and Mario Monicelli.
* His "Il buio e il miele" was turned into the well-known and multiple prize-winning film "Profumo di donna" (1974), directed by Dino Risi with Vittorio Gassman as Captain Fausto Consolo and Agostina Belli as Sara. This film in turn was remade in 1992 as "Scent of a Woman" (1992).
* In 1977 Dino Risi’s film "Anima persa", with Vittorio Gassman as Fabio Stolz and Catherine Deneuve as Sofia Stolz, was freely adapted from Arpino’s novel of the same name.
* In a 1991 documentary for the French television series "Un livre un jour" Arpino appeared as himself.


:"This article was based originally on its counterpart in the Italian Wikipedia, "", which is licensed under the GFDL."

Further reading

* [ Parco Letterario: Giovanni Arpino] it
* [ "Giovanni Arpino romanziere delle Langhe", di Giorgio Barberi Squarotti] it

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