Italy – In order to celebrate Italy’s return to the Eurovision Song Contest, we are having a special “Italy Week” on The Eurovision Times. Each day we will publish information on Italy’s history in Europe’s most popular music competition. Be it statistics, stories or their most successful entries. Your task to round this week off is to eat Italian food and drink Italian wine every single day ;)
In the first part of this series we will look at simple but interesting statistics of the Italian Eurovision History and the very first Italian song in the contest:
Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest:
Participations: Italy was one of the “founding members” of the contest in 1956. Unfortunately RAI, the Italian national broadcaster has withdrawn a number of times since then: The first withdrawal was in 1981, when RAI stated that interest had diminished in the country. This absence continued through the following year, before Italy returned in 1983. They withdrew again in 1986. From 1994 to 1996 they didn’t send an entry either but in 1997 they returned, allegedly because they accidentally submitted their participation. After 1997 Italy has not participated a single time.
That brings the Italian participations to a total of: 36
Best result: Winner (1964, 1990)
Highest points: 149 (1990)
Worst result: Last (1966)
Podium: 2 Wins, 1 second place, 4 third places
Italy has given most points to:
1. France 97
2. Ireland 93
3. United Kingdom 84
4. Spain 81
5. Switzerland 68
It will be interesting to see which countries will profit from diaspora and neighbourhood voting in this new era of the contest.
Italy has received most points from:
1. Portugal 142
2. Spain 122
3. Finland 115
4. Switzerland 81
5. Turkey 76
Italy received an average of 3,85 points per voting country since the introduction of the 12-point-system.
Hosting: 1965 in Naples; Venue: Auditorium Rai; Presenter: Renata Mauro
1991 in Rome; Venue: Teatro 15 di Cinecittà Gigliola; Presenters: Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno
Language: At least half of every Italian entry was performed in Italian.Exceptions are 1976 when Romina Power and Al Bano sang in English and Italian, 1984 as the song “I treni di Tozeur” included 2 sentences in German (taken from Mozart’s Zauberflöte”, 1985 when Romina and Al returned and performed their song almost entirely in Italian except the title line “Magic oh magic”. In 1990 Toto Cotugno’s Insieme: 1992 ended it’s refrain with the words “unite, unite Europe”. In 1991 the Italian entry was performed in a dialect of the Naples region.
First appereance: The first Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest was Franca Raimondi’s “Aprite le finestre” (Open the windows) in 1956. That evening Italy (as all participating countries that year) had a second entry: “Tonina Torielli – Amami se vuoi”. In 1956 only the winner was announced, so we don’t know Italy’s debut result. Unfortunately no recording of Raimondi’s performance survived, but this is the song:
You might also like: Editorial: Why Italy’s return is historic!
UP next in ‘Italy Week’ : Some of the biggest Italian successes in Eurovision history