The article recounts the episode in which relations between the philosophers Piero Martinetti and Giovanni Gentile were broken off. In 1914, when was teaching in Palermo, Gentile sought a new university post with the help of Benedetto Croce. At first, he tried for Rome but met with the insurmountable resistance of Giacomo Barzellotti. He then aimed for the chair of History of Philosophy in Turin. At this university he came up against the opposition of the pedagogist Giovanni Vidari, supported by his friend Martinetti. Up until then, relations between Gentile and Martinetti had been on a footing of mutual cordiality. Martinetti’s backing of Vidari was down to the widespread antagonism of Italian academics towards the idealism that Croce and Gentile had renewed at the start of the 20th century. The political events that followed, in which Gentile joined with fascism while Martinetti opposed Mussolini’s regime, made the break between the two men in 1914 irreversible. The appendix contains three letters from Martinetti found among the papers of Alessandro Casati in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano.
Keywords: Giovanni Gentile, Piero Martinetti, 20th-century Italian philosophy, idealism