The contributors to this volume have been brought together not only by Michele Marrapodi’s well-known dynamism but also by our common conviction of a substantial cultural and intellectual bond between the theatre of Renaissance Italy and that of Elizabethan/Jacobean England. In such company it is easy to forget that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, even in the twenty-first, this conviction has not been universally supported by scholarship. While Italian literature has always been recognised as one of Shakespeare’s sources, Italian drama was long dismissed as irrelevant to his formation. In the title of my remarks, first the know and then the how should be considered. We here know, not by interpretation but by recognition of visible intertextual phenomena, that Shakespeare made free with Italian plays, but we do not know exactly how these came to him, only that it was not in a dream but through actual encounters, direct or indirect.