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Italy 🇮🇹

Our Eurovision Favourites: Italy 🇮🇹

After a long wait, the EBU and Rai have finally confirmed Turin as the host of Eurovision 2022, so the team take the opportunity to dive into the Italian back catalogue, and select their favourites.

Not only one of the founding countries, but the one that gave us the Eurovision format: over the years Italy have given us an array of iconic entries. In the ten competitions that have taken place since their return to the contest in 2011, they have racked up an impressive seven top-ten finishes, so we’ll have our work cut out to narrow it down. Allora…

  1. ‘La Mia Città’– Emma (2014)

AJ – “Italy came in 2014 with one of their biggest artists: Emma Marrone, and a song that felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the 2014 cohort.

‘La Mia Città’ is an excellent bit of pop-rock featuring some infectious guitar riffs that complement Emma’s raspy voice. The track sounds distinctly Italian; I could imagine listening to this whilst trying to navigate the chaotically busy streets of Rome, after downing an espresso to go.

I personally liked the live performance even though many didn’t, as I thought the white and gold staging was pretty, and fitted the theme of the song. Perhaps ‘La Mia Città’’s live performance was a bit too ‘gig-like’ for viewers of the night, hence it receiving Italy’s worst result of the past decade (although Emma deserved better!). Nevertheless, ‘La Mia Città’ is my favourite Italian entry and I still listen to it to this today.”

Honourable mentions:

‘Fiumi Di Parole’ – Jalisse (1997)
‘Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente’ – Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro (2018)

2. ‘Grande Amore’ – Il Volo (2015)

TJ – “For a long time this was my favourite Eurovision song of all time. From the first few notes you can feel the power of both the song and their voices, and when the chorus hits I get chills every single time.

Coming from someone who doesn’t really enjoy opera or ‘popera,’ I completely fell in love with Il Volo, and so did Europe who gave them the televote win. If only the jury had agreed with the public we could have gone to Italy far sooner than 2022.”

Honourable mentions:

‘Soldi’ – Mahmood (2019)
‘Zitti E Buoni’ – Måneskin (2021)

3. ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ – Francesco Gabbini (2017)

Grace – “My favourite Italian entry has to be ‘Occidentali’s Karma’, the song that turned me into an Italy stan, and my mum’s favourite Eurovision entry of all time.

Objectively, I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever come across, but whilst I admit the three-minute cut, and the staging in Kyiv wasn’t the best, the original stage show in Sanremo blew me away. Creative and witty, I could give a good guess to the meaning behind the song without understanding a word. With lyrics like poetry and an incredibly charismatic singer, it’s without a doubt one of the entries Italy can be most proud of. And of course, I can’t go without mentioning one of the catchiest moments of all time…

‘Namaste! ALÉ!’”

Honourable mentions:

‘Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu’ – Domenico Modungo (1958)
‘Non Ho L’étà’ – Gigliola Cinquetti (1964)
‘Sí’ – Gigliola Cinquetti (1974)
‘Insieme: 1992’ – Toto Cutugno (1990)
‘Fiumi Di Parole’ – Jalisse (1997)
‘L’Essenziale’ – Marco Mengoni (2013)
‘Grande Amore’ – Il Volo (2015)
‘Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente’ – Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro (2018)
‘Soldi’ – Mahmood (2019)
‘Fai Rumore’ – Diodato (2020)

4. ‘Soldi’ – Mahmood (2019)

Curtis – ’Soldi’ is instantly gripping, and with such a memorable hook it was sure to get an instant reaction in the arena on the night, and, deservedly, it did. Unfortunately, the staging didn’t serve on the same level, and the personal tale behind the entry was somewhat lost. Still, ’Soldi’ is still one of the best studio cuts in recent Eurovision history, and marked a real turning point for Italy in the journey towards their next win.”

Honourable mentions:

‘Insieme: 1992’ – Toto Cutugno (1990)
‘Zitti E Buoni’ – Måneskin (2021)

Nana Ama – “It was hard for me to choose my favourite Italian song! I was so stressed when Mahmood was contemplating doing Eurovision after he won Sanremo but it was all worth it in the end!

’Soldi’ never ceases to make me happy even though the subject matter is very sad. When Mahmood sings, it feels like you are on an emotional journey – from sadness, to anger and melancholy. The song is sung in such a passionate way that you feel Mahmood’s emotions and ’Soldi’ demonstrates that music does transcend language.

I also really love the way Mahmood bridges the gap between Italy and Egypt – he uses Arabic to convey his father’s words and then uses Italian to discuss his frustration and sadness. The staging is effective too, with Mahmood taking centre stage. For me, the entry is perfection and highlights the modern direction Italy takes with its music (a winning formula!).”

Honourable mentions:

‘Non Ho L’Età’ – Gigliola Cinquetti (1964)
‘Rapsodia’ – Mia Martini (1992)
‘L’essenziale’ – Marco Mengoni (2013)
‘Zitti E Buoni’ – Måneskin (2021)

Sophie – “I just absolutely adore this song. This was the first time I really got the Italian hype if I’m being honest. It still hits to this day and it was so nice to see a rap led song do so well at the contest. For me, this song really helped elevate Eurovision into a much “cooler” mainstream era that we have seen Måneskin develop even further this year. Mahmood walked so Måneskin could run!”

Honourable mentions:

‘Sí’ – Gigliola Cinquetti (1974)
‘Zitti E Buoni’ – Måneskin (2021)

5. ‘Fai Rumore’ – Diodato (2020)

Liv – “This song is beautiful, and I wish we could’ve seen it on the Eurovision stage. The way it builds is fantastic, and the instrumental section is pure magic. If this had gone to Rotterdam, I have no doubt that it would’ve been top three, if not the winner. The performance he delivered from Arena Di Verona felt like a winner’s reprise, and the song was able to take on a whole new meaning in the midst of what the world was dealing with at that point in 2020. It was a poignant reminder of the uncertainty being faced by so many.

You can really feel every word Diodato sings; you don’t need to be able to understand Italian to be able to pick up on the emotion and meaning of the song. I connected with ‘Fai Rumore’ in a way that I hadn’t with any Eurovision song before. The word “masterpiece” is thrown around a lot in music, but I feel like this truly is one; I cannot fault it at all.

Italy had truly picked a great entry to start the new Eurovision decade with, and I hope we get to see Diodato in Eurovision again one day.”

Honourable mentions:

‘L’amore è Un Attimo’ – Massimo Ranieri (1971)
‘L’Amore È Femmina’ – Nina Zilli (2012)
‘L’essenziale’ – Marco Mengoni (2013)

6. ‘Zitti E Buoni’ – Måneskin (2021)

Eleanor – “As you might be able to tell by my extensive list of honourable mentions, this was not an easy choice. I’ve been a huge fan of Italy in the contest since their return in 2011. For me, their 2021 victory has been a long time coming, but despite being frustrated by near misses (see Mahmood in 2019), I feel that Måneskin, and ‘Zitti E Buoni’ were the right entry to finally bring it home for Italy. From the first time I heard that opening riff, I knew that Damiano, Ethan, Thomas, and Victoria lifting that trophy was an inevitability (even if I did mourn for the orchestral version we heard at Sanremo).

‘Zitti E Buoni’, as is the case with many Eurovision winners, is not just a great song. It is indicative of Europe’s mood at the time. After nearly 18 months of lockdowns across Europe, the rebellious nature of the song and performance, the onstage chemistry between the band members, and the gender-fluid fashion, all reflect a continent that are ready to seize an aspect of life that we have been deprived of during the pandemic: sex, drugs (too soon?), and rock ‘n’ roll.

Although it is undeniable that Eurovision has played a huge part in giving Måneskin their new international platform, I also feel we cannot ignore the opportunity that Måneskin has given to the contest in return. In their victory, the band have given the contest credibility to a new audience; increasing its profile outside of Europe.

Måneskin are the first band to win since Lordi in 2006, and, like the Finnish group, I believe we’ll feel the impact of this victory for years to come.

‘Rock ‘n’ roll never dies’ indeed.”

Honourable mentions:

Pretty much the entire back catalogue, but special mentions go to:

‘Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu’ – Domenico Modungo (1958)
‘Insieme: 1992’ – Toto Cutugno (1990)
‘Fiumi Di Parole’ – Jalisse (1997)
‘L’Amore È Femmina’ – Nina Zilli (2012)
‘L’Essenziale’ – Marco Mengoni (2013)
‘Grande Amore’ – Il Volo (2015)
‘Occidentali’s Karma’ – Francesco Gabbini (2017)
‘Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente’ – Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro (2018)
‘Soldi’ – Mahmood (2019)
‘Fai Rumore’ – Diodato (2020)

James – “It’s so difficult to pick a favourite song from Italy when they almost always deliver with quality, but ‘Zitti E Buoni’ just pushes ahead as my favourite.

The first time I heard ‘Zitti E Buoni’ I knew it would become one of my favourite Italian entries, as it was different to what we usually hear from them in Eurovision. Despite rock being a genre that is typically faced with mixed reviews, I was still sure it would do well with the viewers because of their great stage presence. That being said, I wasn’t too confident about it doing too well with the juries. After seeing it being rehearsed on stage, it became clear to me that this was a contender to win it all. Måneskin are born performers, and I can see their success lasting for a very long time. Their win will hopefully encourage more rock singers at Eurovision and I can’t wait to see more of it in the future.”

Honourable mentions:

‘Occidentali’s Karma’ – Francesco Gabbini (2017)
‘Soldi’ – Mahmood (2019)

Needless to say, with the contest taking place in Italy, our expectations are high for their 2022 entry, and we cannot wait to see what gems Sanremo throws our way this year!

Who would you like to see at Sanremo this year? Check out our wish list here – and be sure to let us know your Eurovision favourites from Italy!

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