Italian puppeteer. Born into a family of performers and adopted by Massimo, the “Romanino” that Francis Saverio Quadrio evoked in his Storia e ragione di ogni poesia (History and Reason of All Poetry, 1744), he too took the surname of “Romanino” and had great success in public places such as aristocratic houses, where he performed farces with characters from the commedia dell’ arte: Brighella, Rosanna, the Dottore (Doctor) and Pulcinella. Because of his surname, the puppets in Milan were called “romanitt”.

His work as a puppeteer sometimes accompanied that of the “tooth-pullers” (cavadenti or ceretani, charlatans, quacks) and street acrobats, as was customary since the 16th century, to attract clientele for the former and an audience for the latter. Thus Buonafede Vitali, a famous charlatan of the 18th century, advertised his Alessifarmaco (alexipharmic, resists infection and poisoning) in Romanino’s company in Venice and Florence.

(See Italy.)


  • Codex Morbio 101-47. Manuscript. Biblioteca Braidense, Milano.
  • McCormick, John, with Alfonso Cipolla and Alessandro Napoli. The Italian Puppet Theater – A History. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Co., 2010. (See chapter on puppets and the Commedia dell’Arte.)