The essay focuses first of all on the contrasts that opposed Pietro Custodi, after the fall of the Kingdom of Italy, to the provisional Regency and afterwards to the authorities of the Lombard-Venetian Kingdom. The Milanese censorship repeatedly denied him permission to publish a collection of biographies. In fact, behind his activity as a scholar and bibliophile there was a precise political program: through his work of revaluation of the Italian historical and cultural tradition he intended to lay the roots of national consciousness. The conflict with the Austrian authorities culminated in 1818 in his arbitrary detention in a mental hospital. His opposition to the cultural and political climate of the Restoration explains the evolution of his attitude with respect to Napoleon; in his youth, when he was an ardent Jacobin, he had harshly criticized him but when he heard the news of his death he composed an ode in his memory to exalt his greatness. In the end, however, he repeats his accusation to Napoleon of having betrayed the hopes placed in him by the peoples. The appendix reproduces three poems by Custodi and various documents preserved in his papers at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Keywords: May 5th; Napoleon; Restoration; Lombard-Venetian Kingdom; Custodi; Risorgimento.