Procacci in his "History of the Italians'" with obvious regret noted the cultural fragmentation of Italy in the sixteenth century as illustrative examples lists of Della Kruscal in Milan during the two Borromeo, historian Paolo Paruta and Jacopo Sansovino. We could continue with Naples and Di Constance's historiography, which also seeks to discover and magnify a tradition of local glory. In all these cases, it is the same phenomenon of provincial and dialectical closure within itself, which will intensify in the next century, and whose most striking feature is the creation of the typical town-specific heroes masks of scenes of comedy del'Arte. In this returning municipalism, born in the closed circle of academies and protected and encouraged by the patronage of the rulers, the power and spontaneity of the Italian municipal and polycentric tradition is lacking. Nothing more foreign to the true Florentine spirit of the philosophy of the bookwriters at the end of the 16th century.
In the context of the Counter-Reformation, in an effort to guard zealously Catholic dogma after conducting of the Council of Trent every day more and more manifestation of anachronistic and nostalgic behavior: now we have to choose between open break with orthodoxy and complete obedience - motivated or apparently - of the same orthodoxy, between a heavy exile and an equally grave stay in the homeland. The spiritual atmosphere that begins in Italy after the Council raises the drama of the generation, which until the last moment has fed hopes for the renewal of the Church. It is the failure of intellectuals as a class, the decline of solder and educational function that they were pursuing and wanted to exercise over the fragmented Italian society: in a word, this is the end of the prestige and the mission of the highly educated person - summarizes Procacci. And undoubtedly this is the deepest crisis that Italian intelligentsia and culture have ever experienced. The Italian historian points out that repressive and police policy is not the only aspect of the cultural policy of counter-reform. She actually seeks not to overcome one already-defeated adversary, but to take his inheritance and to create with him - in his own benefit and under his control - a new intellectual community. Typical in this respect is the activity of the Jesuit Order. He tries to create a new and homogenous intellectual staff who has to learn the lesson and techniques of humanistic philology and pedagogy to succeed in replacing humanists in rulers' homes and schools and to exert on society as a whole that influence and authority, which the humanists have practiced in the past ... Curses the Italian intellectual reality ... the reaction against nationalism and the immanence of the Renaissance culture and lists the following examples: The censorship imposed by the Inquisition on the festive performance of The Last Supper by Paolo Veronese, the ruthless struggle of the Jesuits against the works of their hated Machiavelli, the torture of Giordano Bruno and the detention of Tomazo Campanela.
In 1510, the painter Rafaelo Santiti finished his impressive composition "The School of Athens," and shortly thereafter, in 1516, the first edition of Ariosto's poem "The Wonder Roland" appeared. Vicenza's editor Giant Giorgio Trishino published in 1529 his adaptation of Dante's treatise "On People's Speech," and promoted at a very appropriate moment the Dante's view of the "official" language. Giuliano Procacci claims that Rafael and Ariosto are among the few poets and artists who were immediately and fully understood and loved by their contemporaries. The Italian historian explains that for us, the Raphael frescoes in the Vatican are just a masterpiece, but for the contemporaries who easily discover the abundant connections with the culture and the environment of the era, they are also a momentary panorama of their own world and their aspirations. In Venice, alongside demographic growth, building and monuments are also developing. Many of the most famous Venetian palaces, including the Corner family, are from the 16th century. From the same time is the layout of the square of San Marco in its present form. Sansovino builds the so-called "Sansovino Loggia". The architectural perimeter of the square was completed by the architect Vicenco Scamotsi with the construction of the Procurator's House. Jacobo Sansovino's son - the architect who can be considered the creator of the San Marco square is Francesco Sansovino. He is the author of a treatise called Venice - the most noble city in 1581. For the sake of truth, there is a note of nostalgic and commemorative patriotism in this myth and in this celebration, and this note is in turn a new manifestation of that provincialism, which - in Florence and Venice, Naples and Milan - characterizes in a different grade and shape the cultural atmosphere in all the Italian states at the end of the century.
Procacci claims that during the Age of Counter-Reformation, Venice is the Italian city that during the era of the Counter-Reformation manages to preserve the greatest perimeter of intellectual freedom. In the middle of the century, the city of the lagoon is the second homeland of Palladio and Veronese, these two great decadents. The Venetian aristocracy comes from Cardinal Giuseppe Contarini, who in 1537 wrote the report "Consilium de emendanda Ecclesia" and one of the most prominent representatives of the Catholic reform. It is no coincidence that the first translation of the Bible into Italian was published in the Venetian printing houses in 1532. Among the great minds of the culture of Venice in the 16th century was the controversial figure of Pietro Aretino, who lived in Venice from 1527 to 1556 and in his letters he gave her the title of "Pope of All Cities". We can not fail to mention the rapid development of printing in Venice in the 16th century. At its peak in Venice there are 113 large and small printing houses: some of them - starting with Aldo Manutzio's printing house and reaching Jollito - occupy a prominent place not only in the art of publishing, but also in the culture of this century.