- 1 – Ti amo d’Umberto Tozzi, a hit all around the world
- 2 – Con te partirò d’Andrea Bocelli, An Italian Anthem
- 3 – Sara perche ti amo de Ricchi et Poveri, An Ageless Song
- 4 – L’italiano de Toto Cutugno, The Italian Anthem Put In Music
- 5 – La solitudine de Laura Pausini, An Italian Hit That Crosses Generations
- 6 – Bella Ciao, A Cult Hit
- 7 – Vivo per lei de O.R.O, An Italian Hit In Multiple Languages
- 8 – Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu) de Domenico Modugno, A Classic Italian song
- 9 – Cosa della vita, d’Eros Ramazzotti et Tina Turner, An Explosive Duo
- 10 – O sole mio de Luciano Pavarotti
Of all the world's music, there are some that move us, touch us and upset us more than others. Between violin, tenor, funk and Italian language, Italian song is often part of it, because of its diversity, but also because of its hits, which make everyone want to get as close to music as possible.
Italian music is the most beautiful incarnation of this art, with hits that have toured the world, and are sung at the top of voices whenever the opportunity arises.
But what are the most beautiful songs of Italian heritage? Well, here's our top 10!
1 – Ti amo d’Umberto Tozzi, a hit all around the world
If you live in another world, you probably don't know this song, or rather this hit, known all over the world. Created in 1977, Ti Amo is a hymn that all generations have taken up over the years. Umberto Tozzi gives us a masterful interpretation of a typically Italian song, whose lyrics are an ode to love.
Indeed, while Ti Amo literally means "I love you", there is no doubt about the lyrical nature of these words and music, which makes everyone's heart beat faster. While Dalida even covered it in French, Umberto Tozzi himself did a version mixed with Molière's language in 2002, with the singer Lena Ka. It is the title Ti Amo (just words), which is now used from time to time in the cinema.
And for those that remember the music from the 1980’s and the cheese that dripped from its notes can remember Laura Branigan covering two of Umberto Tozzi’s songs, Gloria and Ti Amo…
2 – Con te partirò d’Andrea Bocelli, An Italian Anthem
The same goes for this monument of a song, created by Francesco Sartoriet and performed by Andrea Bocelli in the 1990s. Originally sung at the San Remo festival, this song will not win the competition, but the global success we know will be worth this little defeat.
Translated into several languages, including English or Spanish, Con te partiro ("With You I'll Go", in English) is the embodiment of an Italian success, which then leads to multiple repetitions. One could mention Donna Summer's, who in 1999 brought her a pop-dance touch with I Will Go with You.
Here too, many films and series take ownership of the message, musicality and rhythm, to match their stories as closely as possible. If this Italian singer is known today, it is thanks to this track, a mixture of slow, vocal power, and Italian culture. So that's nothing to envy to English pop song!
3 – Sara perche ti amo de Ricchi et Poveri, An Ageless Song
Ricchi e Poverti is an Italian popular music group that you may probably have never heard of. And yet, this is the same band that performed the great song Sara perche ti amo in 1981, which chances are you've heard countless times in Italian TV shows and on Italian radios.
Presented at the 31st edition of the Sanremo Festival, this song is nowa hit but then it had only finished fifth in the competition. Today, more than a million copies of this title have been sold in France alone, and various versions (including one in Spanish, or another cover in French by Karen Cheryl) exist. Italian folk songs, that's all there is to it!
4 – L’italiano de Toto Cutugno, The Italian Anthem Put In Music
Does Lasciatemi cantare mean anything to you? These very famous lyrics are the work of Toto Cutugno, who, in Italiano, shows an image of popular and beautiful Italian music at the same time. First presented in 1983 at the San Remi Festival, this song was a resounding success that spread around the world.
And for good reason, a true Italian anthem, this ode to the land of the Vespas is repeated everywhere, all the time, by everyone. Viva Italia!
5 – La solitudine de Laura Pausini, An Italian Hit That Crosses Generations
If there is one mythical song that rocked and punctuated the 1990s, it is this one! Indeed, La Solitudine by Laura Pausini is undoubtedly the song of a generation, but also of a state of mind. This is the story of a separation between two teenagers. Love, the founding theme of music, resonates here with the voice of the beautiful Italian woman so that it is not soon forgotten.
First presented in 1993 at the San Remo Festival, this hit was a huge success, so Laura Pausini decided to adapt it into Spanish a year later, under the title "La Soledad". This gives the song lyrics a completely different perspective, just like his country of origin!
6 – Bella Ciao, A Cult Hit
In recent months, Bella Ciao has become a true symbol, taken up by all generations, and sung by the most current French stars. At the origin of this success, the Spanish series La Casa de Papel, which used it as a theme song, and spread it around the world, in fact. But the genesis of this title is quite different.
Indeed, it was originally an Italian revolt song, which celebrated the commitment of partisans and resistance fighters during the Second World War. Since then, this song has been performed all over the world, and has become a true international anthem, which we all know and recognize, even more so today. Artists like Manu Chao have delivered their version, to our great delight.
The teacher in my Italian classes Ottawa introduced me to this one...
7 – Vivo per lei de O.R.O, An Italian Hit In Multiple Languages
If we had to translate the title of this song into English, it would be "I live for her". This is how Hélène Ségara and Andrea Bocelli interpreted this title in 1997. And yet, even though these are the most famous singers, Vivo per lei was first performed by the Italian group ORO in 1995.
Since then, this monument of an Italian song has toured the world and has seen more than one version, from the English Hayley Westenra to the German Judy Weiss, to the Spanish Marta Sanchez. Among the love songs, this one is in a good position in the Italian ranking, showing the role of the composer as well as that of the conductor, between ballad and committed lyrics
8 – Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu) de Domenico Modugno, A Classic Italian song
Here, it is a song full of emotion that Italian music and heritage delivers to us. Translated as "Flying" in French, this title became a monument from its first performance at the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest, when it ranked third. This version of Domenico Modugno has also been awarded a number of world prizes.
Among them, the Grammy Award for Recording of the Year and the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1959. This timeless tune, which we all know resolutely, places it as an Italian standard, which makes the country shine with this melody recognizable among thousands.
9 – Cosa della vita, d’Eros Ramazzotti et Tina Turner, An Explosive Duo
This song, dated 1993, is also a duet created in 1997 between two musical monuments in the world: Tina Turner and Eros Ramazzotti. Many claim and affirm that he is the best Italian singer of his generation, and this hit cannot prove the contrary. Because who of us has never heard or even hummed the lyrics of this hit? Not many people it seems to me!
10 – O sole mio de Luciano Pavarotti
This Neapolitan song, performed by Luciano Pavarotti, is a superb introduction to Italian culture and its music. This opera singer perfectly interprets the words of a universal title, originally published in 1898. Many other performers have taken over, such as Elvis Presley, Enrico Caruso, or Rachid Taha, in 2013. A piece of traditional music like we don't make any more!
As you will have understood, Italy and the Italian language have more than one trick in their bag, when it comes to making us waver to the sound of their music. Between cult artists and titles with hymn-like accents, a whole section of Italy's culture and identity resonates here, to the sound of voices and texts as powerful as each other. From classical music to pop music, what if the best songs in the world were Italian?
Now is the time to learn Italian Toronto or elsewhere, so you can understand these beautiful tunes by yourself!