It is not at all clear to me why you think it impossible that Shakespeare knew someone who had been to Italy, seen the sculpture by Romano, and described it to him. Although the knowledge that Romano was a sculptor may have been lost to history untill recently, at the time, hundreds, possibly thousands of people may have been aware of his sculpture.quddusaliquddus said:It is hardly necessary to add that every effort to find the slightest hint of foreign travel in the life of Shakspere, though made with great persistence, has thus far signally failed.
Likewise any poem you mention which, as far as we know, only existed in Italian, could have been translated for Will by anyone he knew who spoke Italian and thought he might enjoy it. He was a poet. Acquaintances would have constantly been bringing poems from everywhere to his attention. He would get together with people and sit and discuss poets and poetry for hours, no doubt, because all poets do this. We can infer he was an extrememly social person since he was an actor, and from his plays, which demonstrate he was conversant with people from all walks of life, and all professions, high and low. One thing I know: shy people don't act. Shakespeare was not a scholarly hermit. He was, at the very least, always out where there were people who were talking so he could listen to them, even if he wasn't conversing himself.
P.S. To HonestRoseWater: My suggestion that Elizabeth wrote the plays was not to be taken seriously. It was just an excercize to demonstrate that, given our relatively vague knowledge of the times, there are quite a few people you could decide really wrote Shakespeares plays, and start finding all kinds of interesting dots to connect that supported your "suspect". The longer you work at it, and the deeper you dig, the more dots you can find that seem to support nearly anyone. In recent times, the same thing has happened concerning the identity of Jack the Ripper. There are many good cases for quite a number of different people. There are dots everywhere.