Cimitero di Canolo Canolo, Provincia di Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Pier Vittorio Tondelli (September 14, 1955 – December 16, 1991) was an Italian writer who wrote a small but influential body of work. He was born in Correggio, a small town in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy and died in nearby Reggio Emilia because of AIDS. Tondelli enjoyed modest success as a writer but often encountered trouble with censors for his use of homosexual themes in his works. Tondelli was buried in a small cemetery in the hamlet of Canolo, just outside Correggio.
Tondelli developed an early interest in reading as an adolescent, reading what one might normally expect from a young adult male -- Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and various Westerns. As Tondelli grew older, his reading tastes would develop and in 1974 he began to write his first narratives, saying: "I have always written, starting at 16 years of age with the usual story about adolescent frustrations". These adolescent frustrations are conflicts between Tondelli's religiosity, his desire to express his artistry, and his homosexual desires as well as a change in Tondelli's belief system, in which he writes: "I find it vulgar to pray to God side by side with people for whom God is different from my God." Tondelli developed a jealousy towards God, who he describes as unique to himself, developing a mysticism all of his own but admitted to losing something as his belief system matured.
Tondelli took his high school exams in 1974 and then enrolled at the University of Bologna's DAMS (Discipline Arte Musica e Spettacolo) where he took courses with Umberto Eco and Gianni Celati, two of Italy's most celebrated writers and academics. In 1979, he sent a manuscript to Aldo Tagliaferri. Tondelli credits Tagliaferri with teaching and guiding him in his writing, reinforcing upon the young author the necessity of re-writing one's work. A year later in January 1980, Altri Libertini was published, and, the following month, Tondelli graduated from the University of Bologna.
In April 1980, Tondelli was called up for military service, a requirement for Italian men at the time, stationed at Orvieto and then in Rome. Tondelli's military service provided him with the necessary experience to write two works: Il diario del soldato Acci and Pao Pao.