Italo Calvino was born on October 15, 1923 in Cuba to academic parents. His father was an agronomist who spent many years working in Latin America and his mother was a botanist. Shortly after Italo’s birth, the family moved back to Italy where they lived for the rest of his life. Italo studied in the agriculture department of the University of Turin until the German occupation of Northern Italy during WWII. He dropped out of school to join the partisans and his first publications were stories that centered primarily on his war experience
After the war, he re-enrolled in University and transferred from Agriculture to Literature. His first novel, The Path to the Nest of Spiders was initially submitted to a contest sponsored by the Mondadori publishing company and later released in 1947 after not placing in the competition.