He has been a student at the Florence University and graduate student at the Scuola Normale. Since 1980 he was a researcher there and then (1984-87) at the Florence University. Associate professor at the Pavia University (1987-93) and again at the Scuola Normale (1993-94), since 1994 to 2012 he has been full professor of Latin literature at the Udine University (finally serving as director of the Scuola Superiore from 2010 to 2012). From the beginning of 2013 he teaches Latin Philology at the Scuola Normale.
His main research interests are: Augustan poetry (particularly Ovid and the elegy); Latin narrative prose (Petronius, Apuleius) and early empire literature. Over the last years he has focused on the Flavian age poetry (Statius, Martial), looking especially at the connections between the literary forms and the visual artistic culture. Among his chief publications: Narciso e Pigmalione. Illusione e spettacolo nelle Metamorfosi di Ovidio (Florence 1983); the commented edition of Ovid’s Medicamina (Venice 1985), of the 18th and 19th epistles of the Heroides (Florence 1996) and of the books 4-6 of the Metamorphoses (Milan 2007; 2009). He also translated Ovid’s Heroides and Statius’ Achilleid (Milan 1989, 1994), as well as the 33rd and 37th books of Pliny’s Natural History (Turin 1988).
He is a member of the editorial board of the journals “Materiali e discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici”, “Maia” and “Dictynna. Revue de poétique latine”; from 1998 onwards, he has coordinated research groups for PRIN projects. In 2012 he was appointed member of GEV 10, as responsible for the area “Latin language and literature”, within the framework of the Valutazione della Qualità della Ricerca (VQR) for the years 2004-10 promoted by ANVUR. He was visiting professor and lectured in numerous Italian and foreign universities and contributed to the establishment and the activities of the Réseau international de recherche sur la poésie augustéenne, which groups some key European universities (Cambridge, Dublin Trinity College, Florence, Genève, Heidelberg Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3, London King’s College, Oxford, Rome-Sapienza, Udine). He is a member of the European Academy.