The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Italian Noblemen of all time. This list of famous Italian Noblemen is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Italian Noblemen.
With an HPI of 76.62, Lucrezia Borgia is the most famous Italian Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 64 different languages on wikipedia.
Lucrezia Borgia (Italian pronunciation: [luˈkrɛttsja ˈbɔrdʒa]; Valencian: Lucrècia Borja [luˈkrɛsia ˈbɔɾdʒa]; 18 April 1480 – 24 June 1519) was a Spanish-Italian noblewoman of the House of Borgia who was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. She reigned as the Governor of Spoleto, a position usually held by cardinals, in her own right. Her family arranged several marriages for her that advanced their own political position including Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro and Gradara, Count of Cotignola; Alfonso of Aragon, Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno; and Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara. Tradition has it that Alfonso of Aragon was an illegitimate son of the King of Naples and that her brother Cesare Borgia may have had him murdered after his political value waned. Rumors about her and her family cast Lucrezia as a femme fatale, a role in which she has been portrayed in many artworks, novels and films.
With an HPI of 76.46, Juan Carlos I of Spain is the 2nd most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 104 different languages.
Juan Carlos I (Spanish: [xwaŋˈkaɾlos]; Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias, born 5 January 1938) is a member of the Spanish royal family who reigned as King of Spain from 22 November 1975 until his abdication on 19 June 2014. In Spain, since his abdication, Juan Carlos has usually been referred to as the Rey Emérito ('King Emeritus').Juan Carlos is the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the last king of Spain before the abolition of the monarchy in 1931 and the subsequent declaration of the Second Spanish Republic. Juan Carlos was born in Rome during his family's exile. Francisco Franco took over the government of Spain after his victory in the Spanish Civil War in 1939, yet in 1947 Spain's status as a monarchy was affirmed and a law was passed allowing Franco to choose his successor. Juan Carlos's father, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, was the third son of King Alfonso XIII and assumed his claims to the throne after Alfonso died in February 1941. However, Franco saw Juan to be too liberal and in 1969 declared Juan Carlos his successor as head of state.Juan Carlos spent his early years in Italy and came to Spain in 1947 to continue his studies. After completing his secondary education in 1955, he began his military training and entered the General Military Academy at Zaragoza. Later, he attended the Naval Military School and the General Academy of the Air, and finished his tertiary education at the University of Madrid. In 1962, Juan Carlos married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark in Athens. The couple had two daughters and a son together: Elena, Cristina, and Felipe. Due to Franco's declining health, Juan Carlos first began periodically acting as Spain's head of state in the summer of 1974. Franco died in November the following year and Juan Carlos became king on 22 November 1975, two days after Franco's death, the first reigning monarch since 1931, although his exiled father did not formally renounce his claims to the throne in favor of his son until 1977. Juan Carlos was expected to continue Franco's legacy. However, Juan Carlos introduced reforms to dismantle the Francoist regime and to begin the Spanish transition to democracy soon after his accession. This led to the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 in a referendum which re-established a constitutional monarchy. In 1981, Juan Carlos played a major role in preventing a coup that attempted to revert Spain to Francoist government in the King's name. In 2008, he was considered the most popular leader in all Ibero-America. Hailed for his role in Spain's transition to democracy, the King and the monarchy's reputation began to suffer after controversies surrounding his family arose, exacerbated by the public controversy centering on an elephant-hunting trip he undertook during a time of financial crisis in Spain. In June 2014, Juan Carlos, citing personal reasons, abdicated in favour of his son, who acceded to the throne as Felipe VI. Since August 2020, Juan Carlos has lived in self-imposed exile from Spain over allegedly improper ties to business deals in Saudi Arabia.
With an HPI of 73.80, Marie de' Medici is the 3rd most famous Italian Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 57 different languages.
Marie de' Medici (French: Marie de Médicis, Italian: Maria de' Medici; 26 April 1575 – 3 July 1642) was Queen of France and Navarre as the second wife of King Henry IV of France of the House of Bourbon, and Regent of the Kingdom of France officially between 1610 and 1617 during the minority of her son, Louis XIII of France. Her mandate as regent legally expired in 1614, when her son reached the age of majority, but she refused to resign and continued as regent until she was removed by a coup in 1617. A member of the powerful House of Medici in the branch of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, the wealth of her family caused Marie to be chosen by Henry IV to become his second wife after his divorce from his previous wife, Margaret of Valois. The assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, caused her to act as regent for her son, Louis XIII, until 1614, when he officially attained his legal majority, but as the head of the Conseil du Roi, she retained the power.Noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court, her extensive artistic patronage and her favorites (the most famous are Concino Concini and his wife, Leonora Dori Galigaï), she ended up being banished from the country by her son and dying in the city of Cologne, in the Holy Roman Empire.
With an HPI of 73.40, Ludovico Sforza is the 4th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.
Ludovico Maria Sforza (Italian: [ludoˈviːko maˈriːa ˈsfɔrtsa]; 27 July 1452 – 27 May 1508), also known as Ludovico il Moro (Italian: [il ˈmɔːro]; "the Moor"). "Arbiter of Italy", according to the expression used by Guicciardini, was an Italian Renaissance nobleman who ruled as Duke of Milan from 1494 to 1499. Endowed with rare intellect and very ambitious, he managed, although fourth son, to acquire dominion over Milan, first subtracting the regency from his unwary sister-in-law Bona, then taking over from his late nephew Gian Galeazzo who, it is said, he had poisoned. An enlightened, generous and peaceful prince, he became the patron of artists and writers. During his government Milan experienced the full Renaissance and his court became one of the most splendid in Europe. However, he was nervous and inconsistent in nature. To face the threats of King Alfonso of Naples, he called the French to Italy; threatened even by the French, he could not face the danger, and escaped it only thanks to the intervention of his wife Beatrice. When Beatrice died, he went into depression, his court turned "from glad heaven to dark hell", and he finally succumbed to the King of France Louis XII, who took him prisoner to France, where he ended his days miserably.
With an HPI of 71.16, Giuliano de' Medici is the 5th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Giuliano de' Medici (25 October 1453 – 26 April 1478) was the second son of Piero de' Medici (the Gouty) and Lucrezia Tornabuoni. As co-ruler of Florence, with his brother Lorenzo the Magnificent, he complemented his brother's image as the "patron of the arts" with his own image as the handsome, sporting "golden boy." He was killed in a plot known as the Pazzi conspiracy.
With an HPI of 69.71, Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen is the 6th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria, Duke of Teschen (German: Erzherzog Karl Ludwig Johann Josef Lorenz von Österreich, Herzog von Teschen; 5 September 1771 – 30 April 1847) was an Austrian field-marshal, the third son of Emperor Leopold II and his wife, Maria Luisa of Spain. He was also the younger brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being epileptic, Charles achieved respect both as a commander and as a reformer of the Austrian army. He was considered one of Napoleon's more formidable opponents and one of the greatest generals of the French Revolutionary Wars. He began his career fighting the revolutionary armies of France. Early in the wars of the First Coalition, he saw victory at Neerwinden in 1793, before being defeated at Wattignies 1793 and Fleurus 1794. In 1796, as chief of all Austrian forces on the Rhine, Charles defeated Jean-Baptiste Jourdan at Amberg, Würzburg and Limburg, and then won victories at Wetzlar, Emmendingen and Schliengen that forced Jean Victor Marie Moreau to withdraw across the Rhine. He also defeated opponents at Zürich, Ostrach, Stockach, and Mannheim in 1799. He reformed Austria's armies to adopt the nation-at-arms principle. In 1809, he entered the War of the Fifth Coalition and inflicted Napoleon's first major setback at Aspern-Essling, before suffering a defeat at the bloody Battle of Wagram. After Wagram, Charles saw no more significant action in the Napoleonic Wars. As a military strategist, Charles was able to successfully execute complex and risky maneuvers of troops. However, his contemporary Carl von Clausewitz criticized his rigidity and adherence to "geographic" strategy. Austrians nevertheless remember Charles as a hero of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
With an HPI of 68.06, Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany is the 7th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Francesco I (25 March 1541 – 19 October 1587) was the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, ruling from 1574 until his death in 1587. He was a member of the House of Medici.
With an HPI of 67.27, Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany is the 8th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.
Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (30 July 1549 – 3 February 1609) was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609, having succeeded his older brother Francesco I.
With an HPI of 67.03, Piero the Unfortunate is the 9th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.
Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici (15 February 1472 – 28 December 1503), called Piero the Fatuous or Piero the Unfortunate, was the lord of Florence from 1492 until his exile in 1494.
With an HPI of 66.36, Gaius Caesar is the 10th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.
Gaius Caesar (; 20 BC – 21 February 4 AD) was the grandson and heir to the throne of Roman emperor Augustus, alongside his younger brother Lucius Caesar. Although he was born to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia, Augustus' only daughter, Gaius and his younger brother, Lucius Caesar, were raised by their grandfather as his adopted sons and joint-heirs to the empire. He would experience an accelerated political career befitting a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, with the Roman Senate allowing him to advance his career without first holding a quaestorship or praetorship, offices that ordinary senators were required to hold as part of the cursus honorum.In 1 BC, Gaius was given command of the eastern provinces, after which he concluded a peace treaty with King Phraates V of Parthia on an island in the Euphrates. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed to the office of consul for the following year, 1 AD. The year after Gaius' consulship, Lucius died at Massilia in the month of August. Approximately eighteen months later, Gaius died of an illness in Lycia. He was married to his second cousin Livilla but they did not have children. In 4 AD, following the deaths of Gaius and Lucius, Augustus adopted his stepson, Tiberius, as well as his sole-surviving grandson, Agrippa Postumus.
Pantheon has 86 people classified as noblemen born between 20 BC and 1938. Of these 86, 1 (1.16%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living noblemen include Juan Carlos I of Spain. The most famous deceased noblemen include Lucrezia Borgia, Marie de' Medici, and Ludovico Sforza. As of April 2022, 11 new noblemen have been added to Pantheon including John, Duke of Durazzo, Camillo Borghese, 6th Prince of Sulmona, and Guidobaldo II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino.
1480 - 1519
1575 - 1642
1452 - 1508
1453 - 1478
1771 - 1847
1541 - 1587
1549 - 1609
1472 - 1503
20 BC - 4
1469 - 1494
1326 - 1382
1360 - 1429
1294 - 1336
1775 - 1832
1514 - 1574
1390 - 1473
1564 - 1618
880 - 929
1757 - 1824
1870 - 1935
1040 - 1090
1628 - 1699
650 - 651
Which Noblemen were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Noblemen since 1700.