Wiwibloggs continues our new series in which we are taking a look at all of the countries currently participating in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them. Today we’re popping over to one of the powerhouses of the competition, Italy.

Italy is one of the most beloved Eurovision countries, especially after their long-awaited return in 2011. Most fans are counting the days until Italy is finally crowned a winner — and it’s no wonder, as they constantly wow us with amazing songs that deserve all the best. Here are 10 reasons why we love Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest.

1. The evergreens

Italy is a canon when it comes to music, but they’re particularly good at selecting songs that go on to have a life after Eurovision. Songs like “Non ho l’età”, “Fiumi di parole” and “Gente di mare” are still favourites around the world. But nothing says evergreen like Italy’s 1958 entry, “Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)”, performed by the great Domenico Modugno. That song may not have won Eurovision, but it certainly won over the entire world. It reached No.1 in the United States and became the first Eurovision song to nab itself a Grammy. Even 60 years later, we all know and love “Volare”. Vooooooolareeeee… ooooooh!!!

2. Never has a country been more welcomed back after a hiatus

After the duo Jalisse performed fan favourite “Fiumi di parole” in 1997, Italy decided to step back and take a break from Eurovision. Fans were heartbroken and eagerly awaited Italy’s return, which was probably “just around the corner”. But no, Italy didn’t make a comeback until 14 loooong years later, when Raphael Gualazzi showed up in Düsseldorf with his jazz hit “Madness of Love”. The joy! The love! Italy was back! Europe welcomed them with a solid second placing and Italy decided that the hiatus had been long enough and Eurovision was given another chance. Grazie!

3. Romina Power and Al Bano

Italy’s most successful husband and wife duo had their fair share of Eurovision glory with the songs “We’ll live it all again (Noi lo rivivremo di nuovo)” in 1976 and again in 1985 with “Magic, oh magic”. America may have had Sonny and Cher, but Europe had Romina Power and Al Bano. They enjoyed decades of success performing together, but unfortunately, the couple announced their separation in 1999. Al Bano had one more jab at Eurovision when he accompanied Switzerland’s Jane Bogeart on stage in Stockholm in 2000 with the song “La Vita Cosé”.

4. Toto Cutugno’s epic hair dye fail in Zagreb

Italy won the 1990 contest with a bang, when Toto Cutugno begged for a united Europe, dressed entirely in white. The atmosphere in the green room must have been boiling with excitement, and darling Toto probably was sweating… a lot. When it was time to go on stage and reprise his winning song, it was clear that not only was he trying to beat the aging process with black hair dye, but it wasn’t a quality product. His white outfit started to resemble a Jackson Pollock painting, with black marks scattered across his shoulders and collar. But this didn’t ruin the contest victory for him, and decades on, Toto has ditched the crappy box dye for a natural silver fox look.

5. Their sometimes “too cool for school” approach to the contest

When it comes to Eurovision, everyone is in it to win it, and most countries do not even try to conceal the fact that they dream of hosting Eurovision at some point. But then there is Italy. They’re like the cool kid in class, who sits in the back, dressed in a leather jacket with sunglasses and claims to not be interested in such trivial things as winning one lousy contest — despite acing it time and time again. Unlike the A-student who is dying to be number one (Sweden), the B+ student who is almost there but doesn’t quite live up to the standards (Russia) and the former A+ student, since gone rogue but now wants to redeem themself (Ireland). Pfff, like, whatever dude! But secretly, the cool kid longs to be in the spotlight and embrace the glory that is winning Eurovision. We get you, Italy. We’re on to you. And we love you so much. Your time WILL come and that day will definitely go down in history as the day that Europe cried tears of joy.

6. The iconic Sanremo Music Festival

This Italian song festival was the model that the original Eurovision idea was based on. It has been around since 1951, and has given Italy many of their greatest performers, including Domenico Modugno himself. However, winning Sanremo does not automatically mean that Eurovision is the next step — the winner has the right to refuse. Sanremo has never been considered to be a Eurovision national final in any sense, and most acts enter for the honour of competing at Sanremo, not Eurovision. However, many of Italy’s contestants have come straight from the Sanremo stage, such as Francesco Gabbani and Meta & Moro, and fans eagerly tune in to the festival every year, to see who might represent Italy in Eurovision.

Myndaniðurstaða fyrir sanremo music festival

7. The men they’ve given us through the years

Not even gonna go there full on, people! Just a quick shout out to Luca Barbarossa, Umberto Tozzi, Rav, Francesco, Meta & Moro, just to name a few…

Myndaniðurstaða fyrir wolf whistle gif

8. And the women

Gigliola, Mia Martini, Emma Marone, Nina Zilli, Romina Power… The list of Italian goddesses goes on and on!

Myndaniðurstaða fyrir so hot gif

9. They are constantly a fan favourite

After their return, Italy has always created a buzz, but never as much as in 2015, when Il Volo almost had it locked down when they won the televote and nabbed a third-place finish. And in 2017, the gorilla-loving guru Francesco Gabbani was the Eurovision sweetheart, and almost every man, woman and child was chanting “Namaste…. ALÉ!” across the globe. That’s how you write a song.

10. Il Volo’s grand amore

There was a time when people claimed that operatic pop did not belong in Eurovision unless it was some sort of novelty act. But then Italy gave us Piero, Gianluca and Ignacio. The Il Volo boys proved to Europe that this genre of music did not only belong in Eurovision, it could also just go ahead and win the whole damn thing! Almost. As soon as they uttered the very first words of  “Grande amore”, we were hooked for life. This song and those guys are the ultimate reason why we love Italy so damn much in Eurovision Song Contest!

What do you love about Italy at Eurovision? Share the love in the comments section below!

Read more Italy Eurovision news here

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Michèle
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Michèle

Francesco’s Occidentali’s Karma has just exceeded 2000,000,000 views on YouTube, more views than any other song in Eurovision. Is this the 11th reason to love Italy in Eurovision? Bravo Francesco from Ireland!

Nikki
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Nikki

Why I love Italy music
*Unrolls 10km roll with reasons*

Michela
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Michela

Ah Italia.. .Si, dolcemente dissi si…..

Stan
Guest
Stan

the best Italian entry and not mentionned… wiwi needs an historian to assist with these articles 🙂

Nuduecrudi
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Nuduecrudi

I don’t think wiwiblogs loves Italy, neither hate it obviously. I’m not talking about wiwiblogs fans but about the team. Most of them are very young, and that’s not to blame, but unprepared and approximate.. The author of this article shows how little do they know about Italy. Most of wiwiblogs main team members come from Anglo Saxon culture so they are hardly keen of Italian way of intending music. In this article you have spent so many words about Toto Cotugno s hair but not a word about Mia Martini. One of the greatest Italian artists who represented Italy… Read more »

Hebbuzz
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Hebbuzz

I think Italy is heavily overrated in eurovision and in taste of handsome men. I love sanremo but I hate the killing of great songs by the three minute rule. That is what really kept Gabbani and Il Volo from winning. The original 3+ versions were sure winners.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

It was the crappy juries that kept Grande amore from winning, we won the televote by a landslide with that.

Chen
Guest
Chen

I hope one day Italy can send some rappers to Eurovision such as Baby K, Fedez, Irama and so on. Because Italian rap is the best in the world.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

God no, only 14 year old tryhards listen to that crap.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Italian rap is great, but those examples you gave are pretty trashy, sorry.

Cesar's salat
Guest
Cesar's salat

Honorable mention: IL Volo has the highest share of available televoting points. Number1 in public choice so far, yet no winner :(((

2. Salvador, 3. Conchita

Cesar's salat
Guest
Cesar's salat

grande top 10. Luv it. The best and totally legit!

I will cry tears of joy if my beloved southern neighbour finally wins, so far I cried only tears of disappointment.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Very good article, Kristin! I always consider 1989 my very first contest as well, although “Magic, Oh Magic” is the first song I am 100% sure i watched live the Big Night.

Ana
Guest
Ana

Italy is love, Italy is life, Italy is music itself and reading this article was like a balm to my heart. Eurovision wouldn’t be the same for me without that country – the language, the style (one and only), Sanremo Festival and the songs: a long list of my favourite evergreens and the new ones, with that year’s stunning performance to begin with. To be honest, I feel like I’m waiting for their victory more than for ours. Cause there is no other country like Italia <3

PS Number 5 is totally on point xD

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

AGREE: Number 5 is totally on point

OrangeVorty
Guest
OrangeVorty

Italy has such a distinctive music scene which they translate so well every year into Eurovision with thoughtful contemporary tunes underscored by consistent quality. One of my favourite nations at Eurovision.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Yes! Agree with everything on here. I am one of the biggest fans of Italy when it comes to Eurovision and I probably await their win more than people in Italy xD They always send in top songs and the artists they send in next year always have amazing music. So much that I’ve pretty much that after only a month I’m going back to Italy to see Ermal Meta in concert again xD I wish Italy would send Ultimo next year. A piano ballad or rap track I’m sure that he could capture the eurofandoms attention. That is if… Read more »

Jo.
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Jo.

Ultimo is also my choice for 2019. The mix of pop and rap with a small pinch of jazz, that’s all I need.

Veronica
Guest
Veronica

I love Ultimo but I think Lorenzo Baglioni should’ve been the winner of the newcomers of this year’s Sanremo. The lyrics of all Lorenzo Baglioni’s songs are really extraodinary!!!

Ana
Guest
Ana

I understand you so much! You’re lucky you can see Ermal live! His music is fantastic. I liked very much Giovanni’s song at Sanremo too 🙂

eliza
Guest
eliza

i went to fabrizio moro s concert in naples last month..

amazing!!i ve alsi been to il voko s concert twuce……….i adore italy in every sense

Marc
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Marc

Ultimo is amazing and he’s very popular in Italy so he will likely win Sanremo at some point.
I’m not sure he’s the best option for 2019 right after Ermal and Fabrizio though

Latvian
Guest
Latvian

Am I the only one who hates Italy in esc? I only like 2017 and 2012…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

“-19” you’re the only one indeed, Latvian.

Latvian
Guest
Latvian

Well, too bad… I guess

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Now I know you didn’t send Esamiba to Lisbon.

Latvian
Guest
Latvian

yep, I voted for funny girl. Madara sang and we couldnt understand even single word.

AngieP
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AngieP

I love Italy to Eurovision because: 1. They always send good songs. Their music is quality. 2. Their entries are modern but they keep the italian flavour, which makes them so unique every time. 3. Giving us some of the most beautiful songs ever in Eurovision. “Non ho l’eta”, “Gente di mare”, “Fiumi di parole”, “Insieme”. 4. The beauty we witness every year. Hnadsome men and gorgeous women. 5. ‘Volare”! 6. “Sanremo” which I follow since 2016. Great quality. 6. Their approach to Eurovision. They don’t care about winning but about sending a good song to represent them in a… Read more »

Eva
Guest
Eva

And Fiumi di Parole <3

Joe
Guest
Joe

My favorite!

Simon H
Guest
Simon H

My favourite Eurovision song of all time

Joe
Guest
Joe

I will also say that the juries justified their existence bigly by putting Madness of Love first in 2011. Stupid televote…

Marc
Guest
Marc

Those juries are no longer in Eurovision. Now they basically go for English generic pop

Denis
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Denis

Why did Italy ever leave ESC? And why did they wait so long to come back?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I guess RAI lost interest in the contest. Besides, Italy always praise simplicity, not quite what the contest was feeling during the 00’s. The return was probably related to Germany’s victory in 2010, and the success of France and the UK in 2009, since that decade was a pretty dark age for the Big 4 in the contest.

Marco
Guest
Marco

They didnt participate interesting in period when Silvio Berlusconi was Prime minister in Italy. He was prime minister in period 1994-95 , 2001-2006 , 2008-2011. (Italy didnt particapte in Eurovision in period 1994-1996 and from 1998 to 2011). Maybe because e was owner of many national private tv channels in Italy, and RAI was concurente for his private tv station in Italy.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

oh yeah, that too. How could I forget that “inspiring personality”…

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

One of the few countries that keep sending songs that don’t follow the typical Eurovision formula. 🙂

Joe
Guest
Joe

Having just returned from Rome, I can definitely say I love Italy for more reasons than just their Eurovision entries…but they don’t hurt either! The “cool kid” metaphor is exactly what I was thinking; just the way they casually drop their biggest names while still claiming they don’t care about winning. Tons of great entries, but for my money, their last song before their hiatus is the best. Fiumi di parole by Jalisse is one of the best songs in all of Eurovision. I’ll also shout out Madness of Love, Non mi avete fatto niente (my favorite of this year),… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Non mi avete fatto niente was my favorite too. Voted for it a few times. 🙂

Eee Pee
Guest
Eee Pee

I love Italy! They break all the ‘perfect Eurovision entry’ rules and just do what they want and it’s always amzaing!!!!

Michèle
Guest
Michèle

Ah, yes Francesco – that is how you write a song!

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Italy is such agreat ESC country, and they are hands- down the best of the Big 5. 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, in their eight participations since their return they have left quite a mark in the contest! Maybe due to the gorgeous Italian language or their spot- on raspy vocals, Italy somehow always sneaks in and takes my heart. I feel like an Italian win could be right around the corner.

JonnyL
Guest
JonnyL

It wasn’t just Il Volo’s number but because they were last in the Grand Final. That’s how you end the Grand Final with a bang. And Grande Amore was the perfect number to do it!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Originality
Simplicity
Quality
Italy slays.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Sweden would have still won under the current system. Check your facts wiwiteam

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

You’re right! Thanks for pointing that out. We’ve updated the post. 🙂

Marc
Guest
Marc

Sweden had like a 200 pointa lead so it was impossible. Juries made sure Måns won it no matter what

pp77
Guest
pp77

Sweden was overrated in points by juries in 2012,2015 and thanks to juries they took 2 wins. In 2012 Sweden had only 11 points more than Russia in televote , with juries differnce between Sweden and other countries was huge. Difference between Sweden and Russia in juries points was more than 202 points , Sweden had 296 , Russia only 94. Difference between Sweden and 2nr with juries Serbia was 123 points Serbia had 173 points. Sweden in 2015 had 182 points more than Italy with juries. Italy had 87 more than Sweden with televote. Both times thanks to juries… Read more »

Latvian
Guest
Latvian

Lol, Euphoria was obviously the best song at 2012. Russia was way worse…

pp77
Guest
pp77

For me best 5 song from Italy song from 1975 (Era was amazing ), than song from 2015, 2018, 1964, 1984. It s very strange, sometimes juries pushed Italy in points 2011,2012,2015 , sometimes not 2015 (juries stole victory from Italy) , 2018. In 80 ties we had that nordic coutries and wester countries didn t gave many points to Italy , Italy only gets points from Mediterana countries plus Finland (only Nordic countries who vote for Italy ). They deserved to won in 1958, 1964, 1975, 2015 , 2018 . Overrated for me in 1980, 1987,1992, 1990,2011 Underrated for… Read more »

pp77
Guest
pp77

i forgot underrated also in 2013 (song was not my favorite before final, but I change my opinio after live in final 2013).

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Well, great….

KESC
Guest
KESC

Honestly, Italy is one of the, maybe even the strongest country at Eurovision. Since their comeback in 2011, they continue to serve quality entries, and do not hestitate to send songs in their own, beautiful Italian language.
I really hope they’ll win soon, so that we can go to Rome, Milano or Venice.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Venice, please! Although, that won’t happen.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Torino!!!!!!!!!!!!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Give us Florence (Firenze) next time Italy wins!

Either that, or perhaps Verona, provided no one gets lost there . . . >:-)

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Sweden should watch out, Italy’s coming for that Eurovision crown! Italy is (besides Hungary) definitly my favourite country at Eurovision. ,,Madness of love” (2011), ,,Grande Amore” (2015) and ,,Non mi avete fatto niente” (2018) are by far my favourite entries, they were all in my Top 3 in their years. But every song they send is just good! I feel like they’re doing Eurovision with so much passion… I just want them to win already. They deserve it the most after all the quality acts they’ve sent in the past.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Yes, Italy is a great country in ESC due to their passion and really good entries <3 <3 <3

Rose
Guest
Rose

Their song was my fave this year and Hungary was also great. They were my 4th. Also, I’m going to Italy next year. I’m excited!

Love from Canada.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

emma marrone’s gold underpants 😛 they HAVE to win in the next few years

Kyna
Guest
Kyna

Ah yes Italy, my second home country. I’m eager to see Italy winning once again. Now I may be a little bias, but take me as a foreigner… I genuinely have been liking their entries every year since their return. Especially Marco Mengoni, Il Volo, Francesca Michielin, Francesco Gabbani and of course my “grande amore” of MetaMoro. And let’s be real here, they are the strongest among the Big 5 regarding to recent years (now France slowly catching up, which is great and I’m all for it). Since they are constantly doing relatively well, then I hope they will continue… Read more »

MiaM
Guest
MiaM

Rapsodia is the best entry ever<3

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Rapsodia is my alltime favourite Italian entry as well. From the Caligiore era i like “Madness of Love” & “L’essenziale” best.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

La Mia Citta was so great! I adore this song so much <3 Unfortunately, the live version was not the best, but her outfit was great! A real godness <3 Love from Germany!!!

Chen
Guest
Chen

Emma Marrone is my favourite Italian singer. I’ve listened to all her songs and watched all her music videos. Her voice and talent really shock me.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

The song was my #5 before the 2014 contest; unfortunately, she had a hard time managing her breathing during the performance; so, she sang like she was out of breath throughout the song. She moved around the stage a lot, but not so much that she’d be out of breath.

Other than that, since I started watching the show in 2013, Italy has NEVER sent a bad song.

MyName
Guest
MyName

I love Italy in ESC! They always send something really popular- Usually great songs too. Strong singers, good song writers etc. Often I have them as a favoruite, or almost. From 1956 onwards, very few songs from Italy I don’t like. I love 1966, 89, 72, 74, 75, 77, 80, 84, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 11, 12, 14, 17 and 18

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

Italy is my absolute favourite country in Eurovision! They haven’t placed outside the top 15 in my tops since they came back in 2011 and they’ve been my winner 3 times