Do you know which are the best Italian songs of all time? We need to make a premise: it is not possible to reduce Italian best songs to a 10 points list, moreover, music is a subjective matter and tastes cannot be discussed, however, some beautiful Italian songs became famous all over the world and people recognize them just by hearing the first notes!
10 of the best Italian songs of all times
We have collected the list of top Italian songs that are popular also abroad, I bet you know at least a few of them! Check which are the best Italians songs on the list, in addition, learn about the Italian music scene.
1. Tu Vuo’ Fa l’Americano
Written by Carosone in 1956 “Tu vuo’ fa ’l’americano” is the Neapolitan version of the myth of the USA, in addition, it is the portrait of a young man posing as a Yankee, comical and brilliant, moreover, the song has an overwhelming rhythm, between swing and jazz made in Italy.
The success of the song was immediate and will remain in history. The song became famous all over the world.
“Incontro” (the encounter) is a piece of music written and performed by Francesco Guccini in 1972. It talks about the encounter with an old friend that was once in love with him. On a literary level, the songwriter took inspiration from several authors.
For example: “Sadness then enveloped us like honey” is inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” (“The sun pours down like honey”).
Another famous author of some of the best Italians songs is surely Fabrizio De André who published the song “il pescatore” (the fisherman) in 1970. The first verse introduces us to the character of the fisherman, as well as to the scenario (the beach) in which the whole story takes place. The fisherman, meats a murderer and decides to treat him as a “person” rather than as a “criminal”.
Two guards ask the fisherman if he saw the assassin, however, he does not provide any information to them. The fisherman is maybe an old wise man who knows what it means to live the real “street life” and considers the murderer as a man, moreover, the policemen represent the coercive force in the service of a higher power.
4. Il bandito e il campione
The song “Il bandito e il Campione” was written by Luigi De Gregori, brother of Francesco De Gregori, singer of the song. The song is inspired by a real event, moreover, it is about a murderer who is arrested in Paris, where he was to witness the arrival of his friend Girardengo, a cycling champion. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he will be pardoned in 1959.
5. Grande Amore
“Grande amore” (big love) is a single from the Italian musical group il Volo, which won the Sanremo Festival in 2015. The song was composed in 2003 by the singer Francesco Boccia and by Ciro “Tommy” Esposito of “Il Giardino dei Semplici”, with the idea of having it interpreted by lyrical voices.
6. Best Italian Songs: Azzurro
In 1968 Adriano Celentano sang for the first time: “I look for summer all year round and suddenly there it is!”. For sure “Azzurro” is a piece of the history of Italian music, moreover, it also became one of Celentano’s greatest hits.
The song moves away from the usual summer images of those times, for instance, the singer’s desires seem to go the other way around: he would like to reach them, but he abandoned himself to the boredom and sadness of the city.
7. Io non mi sento italiano
Also called the “ignorant philosopher”, Giorgio Gaber is an important Italian artist, famous for his irony, the themes of his songs (politics, loneliness, and discomfort of living), and for his incredible musical capabilities.
In the text, Gaber lists some factors for which he does not feel proud of being Italian, moreover, as he proceeds to enumerate everything that does not work, we perceive his love for Italy, for instance, he describes it as a country full of poetry, where Italians are “too passionate”.
8. Best Italian Songs: Montagne verdi
Marcella Bella released the famous romantic song in 1972. With “montagne verdi” (Green Mountains) Marcella became the first ambassador of new Sicilian music in the world.
Probably the most famous Italian song abroad. “L’Italiano” has been an unstoppable success since 1983, therefore Toto Cutugno Sings “I am a true Italian”. The text of the song is full of stereotypes and characteristics of Italianness.
The song sold 100 million copies, in addition, there are also covers in many languages, including Finnish and Chinese!
10. Best Italian Songs: Cogli la prima mela
The song is by the singer-songwriter Angelo Branduardi, who published it in 1979. As it can be guessed by the sound, the song “Cogli la prima mela” is the reworking of a medieval Hungarian melody. There is a metaphor for which “picking the first apple” means “dancing one’s life”, however, the apple often evokes an image of femininity. The melody of the song is fresh and lively.
Wrapping up the best Italian songs of all times
We could make many lists of songs: the best Italian opera songs, best classic Italian songs, and best new Italian songs. In this article, we tried to collect a mix of genres however, the choice was very hard! Not everyone shares the same musical tastes, therefore we picked some of the most popular songs in Italy and abroad. Which ones do you think are the best Italian songs? By the way, if you are as in love with Italian songs as we are, take a look at some of the very best Italian songs of the 60s. We’re sure you’ll find some amazing new favorites!