He studied at the University of Naples, where he was pupil of Michelangelo Schipa. His educational background was strongly influenced by the close contacts he had with the philosophy of Benedetto Croce, whose ideoloy was predominant amongst the intellectual circles in Naples during those times.
His scientific activity mostly addressing two distinct but occasionally converging historiographic strands: the vicissitues of the Italian “Mezzogiorno” and diplomatic history. An interest, the latter, he nourrished also thanks to the influence of Gioacchino Volpe.
He taught history at the University of Messina from 1950, and, from 1967, modern history at the University of Rome.