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Sanremo Story
The songs from the Festival that have left their mark

30 singers (27 “Big” and 3 “Young” artists) are preparing to step onto the stage of the Ariston theatre from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 February. The Sanremo Music Festival is back, with all its lights and colours, to enliven the celebrated City of Flowers for its 73rd edition. For the fifth consecutive time the host is Amadeus, who will be joined by some exceptional co-hosts: Marco Mengoni on the opening night, then Giorgia, Teresa Mannino and Lorella Cuccarini. The grand finale will see the return of a legend, Fiorello.

As we wait to hear the competing songs and guess which will take first prize, let’s press rewind and listen to a few tracks that have made history at the Sanremo Festival.

We’ll start with one that’s not merely a song, but a masterpiece of Italian music, although in 1969 it only took ninth place: Un’avventura by Lucio Battisti. Then we jump back to 1964, when Gigliola Cinquetti triumphed with the wonderful Non ho l’età (per amarti), which also took first place at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Rino Gaetano brought a real breath of fresh air in 1978 with Gianna, appearing onstage in a dinner jacket, top hat, trainers and ukulele.

The 80s featured Vita spericolata by Vasco Rossi, who came second-to-last in the 1983 competition, and the class, experience and wonderful voice of Massimo Ranieri, who won the Golden Lion in 1988 with his timeless Perdere l’amore.

And so we come to the 90s, during which the Ariston saw a series of hits, from Laura Pausini’s La solitudine in 1993 to Giorgia in 1995 with Come Saprei, which not only won the competition, but was also awarded the Critics’ Prize (today the Mia Martini prize). 2001 was the year of Luce by Elisa, who took a fabulous first place with her first song in Italian.

For the songs of more recent editions, it’s too soon to talk about making history, but we’ll get back to you in a few years’ time.

Below, some of the stars of this year’s Festival.

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