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San Remo Festival

Love it or hate it, the Sanremo festival is an Italian TV cult!

During the music competition, usually held between the end of January and the middle of February, the Italian media’s attention is focused on the Ariston theatre (the place where the festival is held since 1977). A few months before the beginning the first gossip on special guests and presenters are already released.

The first edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, was held between 29th and 31st of January 1951. At that time, the festival was broadcasted by radio 1 and had only a few participants. Nilla pizzi won with the song “Grazie dei fiori”.

Now The festival lasts longer and there is a competition for already affirmed artists and one for new talents. All the songs in competition must not be unreleased before the competition begin. 

The festival has launched the careers of many famous singers, for example: Gigliola Cinquetti, Andrea Bocelli, Paola e Chiara, Giorgia, Laura Pausini, Eros Ramazzotti, and many others.

The presenter of this year’s edition was Gianni Morandi, supported by the show girl Belen Rodriguez and a famous top model.

This edition of the Sanremo Festival, the 62d has been marked from the beginning by controversy. Not only the famous singer, Adriano Celentano, one of the most attended guests of the festival, attached the catholic newspapers, the entrepreneur Montezemolo and the Rai establishment but also there have been polemics on the television vote and the side split of Belen Rodriguez’s dress which showed a little too much of the show girl.

On the first night of the festival Adriano Celentano had a one hour sermon against the catholic newspapers (who previously criticized his spectacular announcement of devolving his compensation to the poor) saying that they never talk about God but about things which are none of their business. This comment caused many reactions of the media and the public opinion but when Celentano was back on stage for the last day of the festival he didn’t apologized and kept on philosophizing about life and death and death penalty, despite of the whistles from the public. Everything calmed down when he sang.

Just to make things more complicated, a technical inconvenience raised polemics about the regularity of the votes of the public from home and they had to nullify them and start all over again.

Finally after a long tribulation, the winners were announced.

Emma Marrone, who shared the podium with two women, Arisa and Naomi, won the competition with the song “Non è l'inferno” while in the section “Sanremo social giovani” Alessandro Casillo was awarded for the song “E' vero”.

Emma Marrone’s song, written by the leader of Modal, talks about precarious work and the difficulties of the Italian job market for young people.

Amongst the “big” in competition: Dolcenera, Irene Fornaciari, Nina Zilli, Samuele Bersani  Pierdavide Carone, singing a song written by Lucio Dalla, Noemi,  Matia Bazar, Arisa   Francesco Renga, Gigi D'Alessio e Loredana Bertè.  Chiara Civello, Eugenio Finardi,  Marlene Kuntz.

As always the Sanremo festival is very much criticized, but many of the songs are destined to have success, even in other countries, as was the case of “Volate” sang by Domenico Modugno many years ago and it is still an evergreen

Giulia Lombardo

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