Nicolas J. Perella is Professor Emeritus of Italian at the University of California, Berkeley.
Carlo Collodi was born Carlo Lorenzini in Florence. He joined a seminary as a young man, but Collodi found politics more interesting, as the movement for Italian national unification spread. At the age of 22, he became a journalist to work for the Italian independence struggle. In 1848 he founded the satirical journal Il Lampione, which was suppressed in 1849. His next periodical, La Scaramuccia, was more fortunate, and in 1860 he revived Il Lampione again. Collodi also wrote comedies and edited newspapers and reviews. He took the pseudonym 'Collodi' from the name of the town, where his mother was born and where he spent time as a boy. In 1861, when Italy became a united nation, Collodi gave up journalism. After 1870 he settled down as a theatrical censor and magazine editor. He turned soon to children's fantasy, translating Italian versions of the fairy tales of the French writer Charles Perrault's. Collodi also began to write his own children's stories, including a series about a character named Giannettino. The first chapter of Pinocchio appeared in the Giornale dei bambini in 1881, and became an immediate success, Collodi died in Florence on October 26, 1890.