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Gian Maria Volonté

Gian Maria Volonté, winner of a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival, is unanimously considered as one of the greatest Italian actors. Directed by huge names such as Sergio Leone, Francesco Rosi, Elio Petri and Giuliano Montaldo, the Milanese actor has been leading actor in numerous films that made the history of filmmaking: “A Fistful of Dollars”, “For a Few Dollars More”, “Many Wars Ago”, “Sacco e Vanzetti”, “Slap the Monster on Page One”, “Christ Stopped at Eboli” and many others.

Volonté discovered La Maddalena and its Archipelago by attending the Centro Velico di Caprera (Caprera Sailing Center) where, in 1976, he obtained the sailing instructor degree.

Gian Maria Volonté

He never hid his great love for this land and, with his sailboat called Arzachena, he continued to seek shelter among the rocks of the Archipelago over the years. He retired from acting in the early 90s, but director Theo Angelopoulos managed to bring him back on the screen with a major role in the film “Ulysses’ Gaze” (1994). Gian Maria Volonté lost his life on December 6th during filming this movie.

His remains rest, as he wished, under a pine bent by the Mistral in the small cemetery of La Maddalena. “Le vent se lève, il faunt tenter de vivre” (The wind rising, we must try to live) are the words of French poet Paul Valery that became the epitaph on his tombstone, some granite stones that resemble the shape of a sailboat.


Gian Maria Volonté Sources and Insights

La Maddalena


Gian Maria Volonté