Louis Notari

Louis Notari (Monaco, 1879-1961) was the pioneer of Monégasque literature. He wrote in the French and Monégasque languages.

Principal writings

He wrote the text of the Monaco national anthem and he is considered as the first writer in Monégasque; before him, there was just oral literature. He wrote three books.

Notari's writing in Monégasque has led to a veritable flowering of literature published in the language. A grammar and a dictionary by Louis Frolla and numerous other works, including by Georges Franzi, Louis Barral and Suzanne Simone (dictionary) Louis Canis, Jules Soccal, Lazare Sauvaigo and Robert Buisson, combine to allow this small country's own language to take its visible and permanent place among the other Romance languages.

However, while a substantial proportion of Notari's work was religious in inspiration, Monégasque is probably unique among the Romance languages in that it possesses, as yet, no Bible translation.

Former fascist sympathies

In his researches in Monégasque identity, Notari got in touch in the 1930s with Italian academics sustaining regional languages for a Latin federation pledged to the fascist Italian government.[1] In this way, he wrote a few poems celebrating Benito Mussolini.[2]

In the post-War era, however, any fascist sympathies which Notari may once have held were not stressed.

Personal legacy

The decision by the late Prince Rainier III to sponsor Monégasque teachers in local schools owed much to the groundwork in promoting Monégasque which writers such as Notari and others laid. Louis Notari was also prominent in civil engineering in the Principality, and was noted for his work on Monaco's renowned exotic garden, which annually hosts large numbers of visitors from many countries.

A street in the suburb of La Condamine, Monaco, is named after Louis Notari. A library, the Bibliothèque Louis Notari, which serves as the national copyright library for Monaco, is also named after him.


  1. Un rocher bien occupé, Monaco pendant la guerre 1939-1945, Pierre Abramovici, Seuil, Paris, 2001,
  2. Annales du comté de Nice (1934-1935), FM17-Bibliothèque Notari (Monaco)

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