• In this essay, I argue that the post-war critical re-interpretation of Boccaccio’s oeuvre was central to the theory and practice of Italian Neorealism. What is more, I maintain that Neorealism significantly influenced Boccaccio studies, shaping critical approaches to Boccaccio for decades after 1945. Reading scholarly and critical studies of Boccaccio alongside the Neorealist debates, I assert that throughout the second half of the twentieth century Boccaccio’s poetics were frequently discussed in a language borrowed from Neorealism, with his corpus evaluated by means of the standards endorsed by Neorealist critics. Just as Boccaccio’s poetics exerted an influence on the proponents of Neorealism, therefore, so too did Neorealism exert a lasting influence on Boccaccio scholarship, whose notions of Boccaccio’s ‘medieval realism’ should be seen as an outgrowth of the Neorealist poetics advocated by post-war Italian artists and intellectuals.