The sixteenth century cannot be said to inherit from the previous one the question of the preference to be given to Latin or the vernacular in literary uses. Already in the mid-fifteenth century, the great Italian humanism had, as has been said, also become Italian in English. In the first half of the sixteenth century, some who were able to use Latin remained who, like Poliziano and Pontano, together with the thrill of love for classicism, a more or less brisk sense of new life; operas, such as Giovanni Cotta, Andrea Navagero, Marcantonio Flaminio, exquisite artist of amorous poems suffused with a faint veil of melancholy; epic poets, such as the Sannazzaro of De partu virginis, sincerely religious and pagan, and Marco Girolamo Vida, who composed a Cristiade , less mystical and less paganistic than De partu , rather perfused with archaic humanistic poetry; didactic poets, such as Girolamo Fracastoro, author of the Syphilis sive de morbo gallico ; and delightful descriptors of natural and artistic beauties, such as the Bembo del Benacus and del Sarca, and Iacopo Sadoleto, who in a poem of hexameters described the statuary group of Laocoon unearthed in Rome in 1505. In prose, alongside the philosophers who, without recognizing rights to the linguistic tradition, entrusted their thoughts to the universal language, wrote Latin the few left out of history, faithful to the old debunked dream and advocates of the literary use of Latin only, and many respectful of the peaceful coexistence of the two languages (historians, orators, moralists, etc.); Ciceronian most, because the disputes debated in the century. XV among the proponents of the exclusive imitation of the great Arpinate and the proponents of a broad stylistic eclecticism, ended with the triumph of Ciceroonianism, which was officially sanctioned when Leo X elected Pietro Bembo and Iacopo Sadoleto, two apostles of the Ciceronian religion as his secretaries. But in the middle of the century. In the XVI century Ciceronianism had come under the blows of Erasmus’s satire, so that a great French Latinist, Marcantonio Mureto, asserted in 1556 that not even the echo of the applause touched the Ciceronians at the beginning of the century remained.
According to collegetoppicks, another question arose from the resolution of the first: the question of the national language. From then on and up to the first decades of the new century there had been an aspiration to a language common to all the Italian provinces, a language which he had convinced himself of having to model on that of the three great fourteenth century artists, in short, on Tuscan. Such is the linguistic ideal that the fifteenth-century non-Tuscan writers had sought to implement; but phonetic, morphological and lexical elements of their dialects had naturally inserted themselves into their writings, giving rise to a linguistic hybridism, which only practice or theoretical knowledge of the Tuscan language could stop. Now, they were the Prose of the vulgar language by Pietro Bembo, published in 1525, which in spite of the works of the Tuscan Dugentists and Trecentisti, but especially the works of Petrarch and Boccaccio, stopped the rules of grammar, syntax, metrics and rhythm, and made it easily possible to non-Tuscans educated to avoid their idioticism, and thus to implement the old linguistic ideality, which Bembo elevated to theory, proclaiming the excellence of the Florentine over all the other vulgar Italians and advocating the thesis that it should be valid writers from all over Italy; not, however, of the Florentine alive on the lips of the people, yes of that used by the authors who had best written, the fourteenth century. This was a classicization of the living language, assembling the material in the same way that was used for Latin. Castiglione opposed Bembo, De vulgari eloquentia , advocated the use of a language, participating in all dialects, but different from all. This doctrine, which in its practical implementation did not depart from that of Bembo if not for a broader concept of the literary elaboration of the language and the contribution that the provinces brought to it, and necessarily ended up recognizing the rights of the Tuscan as well. Many discussions continued over the centuries on the ownership of the Italian literary language; but substantially it can be said that even the question to which humanism had given rise by deciding to speak Italian was resolved in the first half of the sixteenth century with the generic Bembesque affirmation of the Florentine nature of the Italian national language.
From this state of affairs the dialectal literatures drew new value and meaning, which if previously had mostly been an expression of an impossibility or ineptitude of the authors to get out of the forms of their vernacular, now assumed an intentional character of comedy or of realism as opposed to the serious or more chosen character of a literature that received the stigma of nationality from the language itself. Then there were the comedies, the dialogues, the arguments of the Paduan Angelo Beolco known as Ruzzante, a wonderful representative of the customs, feelings and language of the peasants of his region, and the comedies and whimsical letters of the Venetian Andrea Calmo; and in Tuscany, where rustic farces were also composed in dialect (the Sienese coven of Rozzi produced them in large numbers), the already noted purely local character of facetious, familiar, bourgeois, burchiellesque poetry gained new prominence. Sonnets, sonnets, chapters, madrigals, madrigalesses, by Francesco Berni, the noblest and most polite of these cheerful verseurs, by Antonfrancesco Grazzini known as Lasca, the most fruitful, and by several others, founders or partners of the jovial Florentine academy of the Humids , continued the not very savory and often even insipid tradition of that poetry, accentuating its dialectal aspect with the abundance of riboboli and idioticisms, which the literary language, despite its fundamental Florentine nature, rejects by itself because it is educated by gravity and from the generic nature of the arguments to more refined forms.