By- Claudia Quesito
Italy boasts 7,914 municipalities, and Italians tend to be very attached to their hometowns. Unlike many Americans, Italians usually end up establishing their life close to where they are born. Many are the songs dedicated to cities: from North to South, here’s an ideal tour of Italy through a few famous melodies.
Il cielo di Torino sembra ridere al tuo fianco, sings the rock band Subsonica in the song Il cielo di Torino. Torino was long considered a not particularly lively city, but in the last decades it has seen a true renaissance and it’s now culturally energetic and diverse, with a great movie and music scene.
Numerous songs have been dedicated to Milano, for better or worse. Before the current boom, the city has seen some not-so-happy times, and so Milano non è la verità, shouts Manuel Agnelli, leader of Afterhours, in Milano circonvallazione esterna. Let’s move to Venezia. Several songs dedicated to this unique place are bittersweet, given the complicated relationship between the city and tourists.
La dolce ossessione dei suoi ultimi giorni tristi, Venezia, la vende ai turisti, che cercano in mezzo alla gente l’Europa o l’Oriente. These words are from Francesco Guccini and underscore the historic role of Venezia as intersection between East and West. Bologna adesso voltati, mi fai commuovere, lo sai che esagero con le parole, sings Samuele Bersani, one of Bologna’s most famous children, after having lovingly scolded his city in A Bologna.
Coming to Roma, no Italian is unfamiliar with these lyrics: Quanto sei bella Roma quand’è sera, quando la luna se specchia dentro ar fontanone. It’s Roma capoccia from Antonello Venditti. Napule è from Pino Daniele is the choice when thinking about contemporary songs about Napoli.
It’s a touching declaration of love to the city and it goes, Napule è mille culure, Napule è mille paure …. Traveling south, in Vieni a ballare in Puglia, rapper Caparezza mixes love for his land with some bitter irony about its many issues. Finally, we travel to another place with a complicated past and present: Palermo. In Esercito silente, Carmen Consoli declares her love to the city, questa città baciata da sole e mare, and expresses her faith in its strength to overcome difficulties.
Listen to these songs, savor their lyrics, music, and vibe … the only side effect is that you will almost certainly want to visit all the mentioned cities!