He spent his childhood in the house of his maternal grandparents, in Vecchiano (near Pisa). In the time he studied at the University of Pisa, Tabucchi traveled through Europe.
While in Paris, on a bench in the Gare de Lyon, he found the poem Tobacco that was under the signature of Alvaro de Campos, which was one of the heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa. It was because of this that he believes he has found the theme for the next twenty years of his existence.
Once in Lisbon, he would take a good time contemplating that city. He developed a doctoral thesis on surrealism in Portugal. Study advanced training at the École Normale Supérieure de Pisa, and later, in 1973 he was assigned to teach Portuguese Language and Literature in Bologna.
Then he moved to the University of Genoa. He was also director of the Italian Institute of Culture of Lisbon, from 1985 to 1987.
Spellbound by Portugal, he became the best Italian connoisseur, critic and translator of the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. He analyzed his work in the sixties, being in the SorbonneAnd his attachment was such that when he returned to Italy he enrolled in Portuguese classes to understand it better.
Tabucchi’s books have been translated in 18 countries. Jointly with Maria Jose de Lancastre, who was his wife, translated many of Pessoa’s works into Italian. He even wrote an essay book and a stage comedy book about it.
He was awarded the French prize Medici étranger for his novel Indian Night. As well as the Campiello award for Sostiene Pereira.
Among his most famous books are: Notturno Indiano, Piccoli made a mistake of importance, A baule pieno di people, Gli ultimi tre giorni by Fernando Pessoa, Holds Pereira, La testa perduta di Damasceno Monteiro and Si sta facendo always più tardi.
Some of his works have been brought to the big screen, such as Holds Pereira, in what Marcello mastroianni excels in one of the interpretations (1995). Later in 2004 he was awarded the Prize in Spain Francisco Cerecedo of journalism.
He passed away on March 25, 2012, in Lisbon.