Mellone Vitagliano, Ottavia (1894-1975)

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Ottavia Mellone Vitagliano was born in Milan in 1894 to Igino Mellone and Giulia Piacentini. She was editor of numerous periodicals, manager of her own publishing house, and author of children's books. By 1939 she was married to Nino Vitagliano. She primarily published and edited under the pseudonym Sonia.

In 1926, Vitagliano achieved commercial success as editor and collaborator on the monthly periodical Excelsior, published by Casa Ed. Gloriosa, Ed. Vitagliano. Other periodicals, which were directed at a growing literate female public followed (Zenit in 1929, Le Vostre Novelle, and in 1933 Eva). In 1939, she edited the magazine Casa e Moda, but that publication was suspended the very same year. Periodicals after World War II include Novella 2000, Settimo Giorno and Rossana, which began in 1958 and was named after her daughter, Rossana Granata, who died soon after. Through the 1930s, Vitagliano published Libro e Moschetto, a children's magazine dedicated to Fascist principles and in 1940 she collaborated on the children's novel, Il Capitano Cip, with Mario Mortara. Many women novelist, such as Mara Baldeva, Nerina Majorino Jori, Anna Maria Tedeschi, and Fanny Loffreda Ruggieri, published in her series "Sonia." Vitagliano was president of the "Soroptimist" of Milan and was named Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana. She died in Milan in 1975.


  • Chi è?: dizionario biografico degli italiani d'oggi. 5th ed. Roma: F. Scarano, 1948.
  • Farina, Rachele, ed. Dizionario biografico delle donne lombarde: 568-1968. Milano: Baldini & Castoldi, 1995.
  • Gastaldi, Mario. Donne luce d'Italia: panorama della letteratura femminile contemporanea. 2nd ed. Milano: Quaderni di Poesia, 1936.

Submitted by Leslie Kott Wakeford, The Art Institute of Chicago, 2005.

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