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 83.61, Lucrezia Borgia is the most famous Italian Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 63 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 Catignola; 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 82.79, Juan Carlos I of Spain is the 2nd most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 99 different languages.
Juan Carlos I (Spanish: [xwaŋˈkaɾlos]; Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón, 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, Juan, was the third son of King Alfonso, who had renounced his claims to the throne in January 1941. Juan was seen by Franco to be too liberal and in 1969 was bypassed in favour of Juan Carlos as Franco's 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 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-exile from Spain over allegedly improper ties to business deals in Saudi Arabia.
With an HPI of 79.88, Marie de' Medici is the 3rd most famous Italian Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Marie de' Medici (French: Marie de Médicis, Italian: Maria de' Medici; 26 April 1575 – 3 July 1642), was Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon and Regent of the Kingdom of France officially during 1610–1614 and de facto until 1617. A member of the powerful House of Medici in the branch of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, thanks to the wealth of her family, Marie was chosen by Henry IV to become his second wife following his divorce from his previous wife, Margaret of Valois. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until 1614, when he officially attained his legal majority, although 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 favorites (the most famous are Concino Concini and his wife Leonora Dori Galigaï), she ended up being banished from the country by both her son and his favorite Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes, dying in the city of Cologne in the Holy Roman Empire.
With an HPI of 78.90, Ludovico Sforza is the 4th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 45 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"), was an Italian Renaissance nobleman who ruled as Duke of Milan from 1494, following the death of his nephew Gian Galeazzo Sforza, until 1499. A member of the Sforza family, he was the fourth son of Francesco I Sforza. He was famed as a patron of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists, and presided over the final and most productive stage of the Milanese Renaissance. He is probably best known as the man who commissioned The Last Supper, as well as for his role in precipitating the Italian Wars.
With an HPI of 76.73, Giuliano de' Medici is the 5th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 35 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." The young man's life was cut short in a plot known as the Pazzi conspiracy.
With an HPI of 75.47, Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany is the 6th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 35 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, a member of the House of Medici.
With an HPI of 75.47, Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen is the 7th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 41 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 and Würzburg, and then won a victory at Emmendingen that forced Jean Victor Marie Moreau to withdraw across the Rhine. He also defeated opponents at Zürich, Ostrach, Stockach, and Messkirch 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 75.32, Gaius Caesar is the 8th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.
Gaius Caesar (; 20 BC – 21 February AD 4) was consul in AD 1 and the grandson of Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. 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 afterward, 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.
With an HPI of 74.37, Maria Goretti is the 9th most famous Italian Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 34 different languages.
Maria Teresa Goretti (Italian: [maˈriːa teˈrɛːza ɡoˈretti]; October 16, 1890 – July 6, 1902) is an Italian virgin-martyr of the Catholic Church, and one of the youngest saints to be canonized. She was born to a farming family. Her father died when she was nine, and they had to share a house with another family, the Serenellis. Maria took over household duties while her mother, brothers, and sister worked in the fields. One afternoon, Alessandro, the Serenelli's twenty-year-old son, made sexual advances to her. When she refused to submit to him, he stabbed her fourteen times. She was taken to the hospital but she died forgiving him. He was arrested, convicted, and jailed. During imprisonment, he repented. After 27 years he was released from prison and visited her mother to beg forgiveness, which she granted. He later became a lay brother in a monastery, dying in 1970. She was beatified in 1947, and canonized in 1950. She is especially venerated in the Congregation of the Passion (Passionists).
With an HPI of 74.28, Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany is the 10th most famous Italian Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 39 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.
Pantheon has 75 people classified as noblemen born between 20 BC and 1938. Of these 75, 1 (1.33%) 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 October 2020, 23 new noblemen have been added to Pantheon including Elizabeth of Sicily, Queen of Hungary, Fernando d'Ávalos, and Princess Maria Antonietta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.
1480 - 1519
1575 - 1642
1452 - 1508
1453 - 1478
1541 - 1587
1771 - 1847
20 BC - 4
1890 - 1902
1549 - 1609
1326 - 1382
1474 - 1539
1360 - 1429
1261 - 1303
1489 - 1525
1851 - 1938
1531 - 1591
1847 - 1893
1838 - 1886
1351 - 1381
1814 - 1857
1594 - 1627
1914 - 2001
1635 - 1666
1637 - 1672
Which Noblemen were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Noblemen since 1700.