Straparola, Giovanni Francesco (jōvänˈnē fränchāsˈkō sträpärôˈlä) [key], d. c.1557, Italian writer. His lyric verse was not of lasting merit, but he excelled as a storyteller. He was perhaps the first to use popular folklore as a basis for fiction. His Piacevoli notti (2 vol., 1550–55; tr. Nights of Straparola, 1894) was enormously successful; it mixed such folk stories as Beauty and the Beast with ridiculous tales, supernatural narratives, and topical jokes, all recounted in a pointed and earthy manner. His influence on the fairy-tale genre was great.