Umberto Eco is an Italian academic and writer. As an academic, his field is semiotics, the study of signs and symbols, in which he is a foundational figure. As a novelist, his works include:
- The Name of the Rose, a mystery story centered on a medieval monastery, which was made into a successful motion picture.
- Foucault's Pendulum, set in the present day, in which the protagonists encounter an international conspiracy not unlike that in The Da Vinci Code, although the style and content are weightier than in the Dan Brown book.