The paper analyses Giosue Carducci's language (1835-1907) in the context of the literary Italian language of the late XIX century. As Giacomo Devoto pointed out, Carducci shows a remarkable linguistic stability both in his prose and in his poetical works. In prose he uses a wide range of expressive resources, from the aulic traditionalism to the popular Toscan idiom. As for the poetry, the impression of stability comes also from the reference to the literary tradition and from the strong «internal memory» in Carducci's verses and imaginery. Quite isolated from his poetical work is the brief poem called Intermezzo, which overthrows the traditional distinctions among literary genders: here the author seems to deny the poetical values he has been proclaiming in more famous poems - here at stake is his image of official poet in Umberto I of Italy's age.