Sanremo Festival and the Eurovision Song Contest

Mahmood came second at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv Photo: EBU / Andres Putting

The Italian Sanremo Festival is a prestigous music competition in Italy, which in recent years has been used again to find the Italian participant for the Eurovision Song Contest. Our beloved contest was shaped and formed in the idea of the Sanremo Festival. Read all about that Italian show in this article!

The Festival della canzone italiana di Sanremo is held annually in the town of Sanremo, Liguria. Just like Eurovision, it is a music competition of previously unreleased songs. All the big Italian music stars took part in Sanremo, many of them even started their career at the festival. Think of names like Nek, Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazotti, Laura Pausini and many more!

History of Sanremo

The first edition of the Sanremo Festival was held between 29 and 31 January 1951. There were only three participants: Nilla Pizzi, Achille Togliani, and Duo Fasano. Starting from 1955, all editions of the festival have been broadcast live by the Italian TV station Rai.

From 1951 to 1976, the Festival took place in the Sanremo Casino, but starting from 1977, all the following editions were held in the Teatro Ariston, except in 1990, which was held at the Nuovo Mercato dei Fiori. From the 80’s the competition got enlarged with a Newcomers section, giving a stage for upcoming talents in the Italian music industry.

Between 1953 and 1971, except in 1956, each song was sung twice by two different artists, each one using an individual orchestral arrangement, to illustrate the meaning of the festival as a composers’ competition, not a singers’ competition. During this era of the festival, it was custom that one version of the song was performed by a native Italian artist while the other version was performed by an international guest artist. This became a way for many international artists to debut their songs on the Italian market, including Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano and Paul Anka.

The festival went on to form the basis for the annual Eurovision Song Contest and is used as a method for choosing the Italian entry for that event each year.

Sanremo and the Eurovision Song Contest

Up to 1966 the winner of Sanremo was also the Italian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest. In that year, Domenica Modugno finished in last place and Italy changed things around. In most of the latter years, the winning artist went to Eurovision with another song.

But after Italy’s comeback – they were absent from Eurovision between 1998 and 2010 – they started to rely on Sanremo again heavily and a lot of the winning acts also succesfully went to Eurovision again. The only exemptions were in 2014 and 2016. In 2014, Emma Marrone was already chosen internally before the contest in Copenhagen, leaving Arisa out of Eurovision. As of 2020, Arisa is still the last female winning Sanremo. But in 2016, Francesca Michielin went to Stockholm, after the group Stadio were the last act to decline going to Eurovision to date.

Check out this overview below of all the winning acts at Sanremo and whether they went to Eurovision or not.

Year Sanremo winner Song Artist at Eurovision Eurovision song
1951 Nilla Pizzi Grazie dei fiori
1952 Nilla Pizzi Vola colomba
1953 Carla Boni & Flo Sandon’s Viale d’autunno
1954 Giorgio Consolini & Gino Latilla Tutte le mamme
1955 Buongiorno tristezza Claudio Villa & Tullio Pane
1956 Franca Raimondi Aprite le finestre Franca Raimondi Aprite le finestre
1957 Claudio Villa & Nunzio Gallo Corde della mia chitarra Nunzio Gallo Corde della mia chitarra (6th place)
1958 Domenico Modugno & Johnny Dorelli Nel blu dipinto di blu Domenico Modugno Nel blu dipinto di blu (3rd place)
1959 Domenico Modugno & Johnny Dorelli Piove (ciao ciao bambina) Domenico Modugno Piove (ciao ciao bambina) (6th place)
1960 Tony Dallara & Renato Rascel Romantica Renato Rascel Romantica (8th place)
1961 Betty Curtis & Luciano Tajoli Al di là Betty Curtis Al di là (5th place)
1962 Domenico Modugno & Claudio Villa Addio, addio Claudio Villa Addio, addio (9th place(
1963 Tony Renis & Emilio Pericoli Uno per tutte Emili Pericoli Uno per tutte (3rd place)
1964 Gigliola Cinquetti & Patricia Carli Non ho l’età Gigliola Cinquetti Non ho l’età (1st place)
1965 Bobby Solo & The New Christy Minstrels Se piangi, se ridi Bobby Solo Se piangi, se ridi
1966 Domenico Modugno & Gigliola Cinquetti Dio, come ti amo Domenico Modugno Dio, come ti amo (17th place)
1967 Claudio Villa & Iva Zanicchi Non pensare a me Claudio Villa Non andare più lontano (11th place)
1968 Sergio Endrigo & Roberto Carlos Canzone per te Sergio Endrigo Marianne (10th place)
1969 Bobby Solo & Iva Zanicchi Zingara Iva Zanicchi Due grosse lacrime bianche (13th place)
1970 Adriano Celentano & Claudia Mori Chi non lavora non fa l’amore Gianni Morandi Occhi di ragazza (8th place)
1971 Nada & Nicola Di Bari Il cuore è uno zingaro Massimo Ranieri L’amore è un attimo (5th place)
1972 Nicola Di Bari I giorni dell’arcobaleno Nicola Di Bari I giorni dell’arcobaleno (6th place)
1973 Peppino Di Capri Un grande amore e niente più Massimo Ranieri Chi sarà con te (13th place)
1974 Iva Zanicchi Ciao cara, come stai Gigliola Cinquetti Si (2nd place)
1975 Gilda Ragazza del sud Wess and Dori Ghezzi Era (3rd place)
1976 Peppino Di Capri Non lo faccio più Al Bano & Romina Power We’ll live it all again (7th place)
1977 Homo Sapiens Bella da morire Mia Martini Libera (13th place)
1978 Matia Bazar …E dirsi ciao! Ricchi e Poveri Questo amore (12th place)
1979 Mino Vergnaghi Amare Matia Bazar Raggio di luna (15th place)
1980 Toto Cutugno Solo noi Alen Sorrenti Non so che darei (6th place)
1981 Alice Per Elisa
1982 Riccardo Fogli Storie di tutti i giorni
1983 Tiziana Rivale Sarà quel che sarà Riccardo Fogli Per Lucia (11th place)
1984 Al Bano & Romina Power Ci sarà Alice & Battiato I treni di Tozeur (5th place)
1985 Ricchi e Poveri Se m’innamoro Al Bano & Romina Power Magic Oh Magic (7th place)
1986 Eros Ramazzotti Adesso tu
1987 Gianni Morandi, Enrico Ruggeri & Umberto Tozzi Si può dare di più Umberto Tozzi and Raf Gente di mare (3rd place)
1988 Massimo Ranieri Perdere l’amore Luca Barbarossa Ti scrivo (12th place)
1989 Anna Oxa & Fausto Leali Ti lascerò Anna Oxa & Fausto Leali Avrei voluto (9th place)
1990 Pooh & Dee Dee Bridgewater Uomini soli Toto Cutugno Insieme: 1992 (1st place)
1991 Riccardo Cocciante Se stiamo insieme Peppino Di Capri Comme è ddoce ‘o mare (7th place)
1992 Luca Barbarossa Portami a ballare Mia Martini Rapsodia (4th place)
1993 Enrico Ruggeri Mistero Enrico Ruggeri Sole d’Europa (12th place)
1994 Aleandro Baldi Passerà
1995 Giorgia Come saprei
1996 Ron & Tosca Vorrei incontrarti fra cent’anni
1997 Jalisse Fiumi di parole Jalisse Fiumi di parole (4th place)
1998 Annalisa Minetti Senza te o con te
1999 Anna Oxa Senza Pietà
2000 Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel Sentimento
2001 Elisa Luce
2002 Matia Bazar Messaggio d’amore
2003 Alexia per dire di no
2004 Marco Masini L’uomo volante
2005 Francesco Renga Angelo
2006 Povia Vorrei avere il becco
2007 Simone Cristicchi Ti regalerò una rosa
2008 Giò Di Tonno & Lola Ponce Colpo di fulmine
2009 Marca Carta La forza mia
2010 Valerio Scanu Per tutte le volte che
2011 Roberto Vecchioni Chiamami ancora amore Raphael Gualazzi Madness of love (2nd place)
2012 Emma Marrone Non è l’inferno Nina Zilli Lámore è femmina (9th place)
2013 Marco Mengoni L’essenziale Marco Mengoni L’essenziale (7th place)
2014 Arisa Controvento Emma La mia città (21st place)
2015 Il Volo Grande amore Il Volo Grance amore (3rd place)
2016 Stadio Un giorno mi dirai Francesca Michielin No degree of seperation (16th place)
2017 Francesco Gabbani Occidentali’s Karma Francesco Gabbani Occidentali’s Karma (6th place)
2018 Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro Non mi avete fatto niente Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro Non mi avete fatto niente (5th place)
2019 Mahmood Soldi Mahmood oldi (2nd place)
2020 Diodato Fai Rumore Diadato Fai Rumore
2021 ? ? ? ?

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*