May 28, 2023

Italy at ESC

Italy made their Eurovision debut at the very first contest in Lugano in 1956 and it would take just a couple of years for them to come up with an all-time classic.  Third in 1958 but arguably the most famous ESC song ever.

1958 “Nel blu, dipinto di blu” by Domenico Modugno

The next few years saw more Italian entries that whilst not taking the crown, still became international chart hits and were also widely covered.  It was not until 1964 that Italy won the first Grand Prix with a landslide win in Copenhagen.

1964 “Non ho l’età (per amarti)” by Gigliola Cinquetti

The next decade was rather fallow for Italy as tastes changed and it took the return of Gigliola in 1974 to restore Italy the top three.  It took Abba to beat this.

1974 “Si” by Gigliola Cinquetti

The early Eighties saw Italy skip three contests in a sign of things to come, however in 1987 the legendary Umberto Tozzi graced the contest and was rewarded with a top three result.

1987 “Gente di mare” by Umberto Tozzi & Raf 

Three years later Toto Cotugno gave Italy a rather unexpected second Grand Prix in the 1990 contest in Zagreb.  He would go on to co-host the following years event in memorable style.

1990 “Insieme: 1992” by Toto Cotugno

After skipping the contests from 1994 to 1996  Italy quit Eurovision for a full fourteen years after the 1997 contest.  On their return in 2011 to a very different type of contest they effortless glided to a runners-up spot in Dusseldorf.

2011 “Madness Of Love” by Raphael Gualazzi

In the decade since their return Italy have well and truly bossed the other “Big Five” direct finalists,  and their fourth title seemed only a matter of time.  In the 2021 contest Maneskin duly delivered.

2021 “Zitti e buoni” by Maneskin