Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Vertically Standing Bird's-winged Flying Machine, fol. 80r from Paris Manuscript B, 1488-90 (image courtesy of Bridgeman Education)
Use reference tools for definitions and brief factual information. Books such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias, directories and yearbooks are useful for definitions of terms and for brief factual information.
A good encyclopaedia is Enciclopedia Italiana.
Italian language dictionaries are held at shelf number 453. Some good dictionaries are:
Dictionaries of Italian literature are held at 850.3, for example: Dictionary of Italian literature
Browse catalogue results of a subject keyword search : Italian language dictionaries
Start with Dizionario biografico degli Italiani. Works of individual biography can also be found in the library collections, search name keywords in the library catalogue.