Saturday, May 23, 2015


I love Eurovision. I have done ever since I can remember. When I was younger I was fascinated by these people from far away countries, foreign languages (the rule that contestants can sing in English has taken away a big part of the experience for me), and their strange accents when they spoke English. I was always the last person awake in the house watching the votes come in.

When I talk to my Italian friends about Eurovision they always seem to see it like a strange foreign custom, which to a certain extent it is. Nobody outside of the UK can fully appreciate the Brits' relationship with Eurovision, and trying to explain why exactly it's so worth watching to someone who didn't even grow up with it is difficult. Italy has Sanremo, and since it re-joined the competition in 2011 after it had decided to stop playing with the rest of the kids and withdrew for 14 years, and from my experience here the public has a bit of difficulty accepting another song contest. It has been getting more visibility as the last few years have gone on, but the live coverage has left a lot to be desired from my point of view.

Even though it's not very popular here, there have been some big Italian successes in the competition over the years, and for its' 60th anniversary (tanti auguri!) I wanted to look back on some of the Italian entries of the past.

Who doesn't know Nel blu dipinto di blu by Domenico Modugno?? Commonly known as Volare, it came third (!) in 1958.

Italy won the contest in 1964 for the first time, with Non ho l'età by Gigliola Cinquetti. The following year the contest was held in Naples.

In the 80s Italy was in and out of the competition a few times (they didn't participate the year I was born, boo!). When returning again in 1987 they came third with Umberto Tozzi & Raf's Gente di mare.

1990 was a winning year for Italy. Toto Cutugno's Insieme: 1992 scored 17 points more than the 2nd placed song. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, it was a song about bringing Europe together. The contest was held in Rome the following year.

Italy's biggest success since returning to the competition in 2011 has been Raphael Gualazzi who came second that year with Madness of Love.

This year Italy is represented by Il Volo with Grande amore. To quote a Buzzfeed article I read yesterday, could they be any more Italian??

No comments: