Her death was announced Wednesday on Twitter by a former culture minister, Walter Veltroni, who said he had been asked to communicate her death by her husband, the photographer Roberto Russo.
“Goodbye to the queen of Italian cinema,″ the current culture minister, Dario Franceschini, wrote in a statement.
Vitti had been out of the public spotlight for years, living quietly in Rome with her husband. She reportedly suffered from a form of dementia.
In her glamour days in the 1960s, she was best known for her starring roles in “L’Avventura,” “La Notte,” “Eclisse” (“Eclipse”) and “Red Desert,” all films directed by Antonioni, her lover at that time. The two were constant targets of paparazzi.
“L’Avventura” won her international attention and praise for her role as an icy cool woman drifting into a relationship with the lover of her missing girlfriend. In “Red Desert,” the last of the cycle, she plays a woman suffering from a deep, elusive neurosis as she struggled to deal with a transformed industrial world.