Eurovision in Italy: the international music festival is back
After 31 years, the victory of Måneskin brings Eurovision back to Italy and Cagliari is among the ideal cities to host the event.
The Italian group Måneskin won the podium of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), the singing competition held in the Netherlands, at the Rotterdam Ahoy, from the 18th to the 22nd of May 2021, with the song Zitti e buoni.
The victory of the young Roman band marks the return of Eurovision in Italy after 31 years, and Cagliari could be among the candidate cities to host the international music festival born in 1956 in Lugano and organized annually by the members of the European Union broadcasting. The competition is one of the longest-running music television programs ever and the world’s longest-running nonsports event broadcast live on major television channels throughout most of Europe, in some Asian, Oceanic, African and North American countries, and since 2016 live on the official Youtube channel of the event.
The idea of organizing a singing competition in which the different European countries could take part, was by Sergio Pugliese, an Italian playwright and journalist who imagined a competition inspired by the Sanremo Festival. The proposal pleased Marcel Bezençon, General Director of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) from 1950 to 1970, and after several meetings on October 19th, 1955, in Rome, at the Palazzo Corsini at the Lungara, the date on which the Eurovision Song Contest would start was set.
The first edition of the festival was held on the 24th of May 1956, at the Kursaal Theatre in Lugano, Switzerland, and 7 countries participated with two songs each: Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, West Germany, France and Luxembourg. The hosts won with the song Refrain, played by singer Lys Hesse, and was the only one in which neither the second nor the third place nor their respective scores were announced.
The organization of the competition decided that the event would be hosted in turn by the participating countries and for the second edition, in which 10 countries were selected and which marked the debut of Austria, Denmark, the United Kingdom and West Germany were selected. In the 1957 edition, won by the Netherlands represented by Corry Brokken with Net als toen, each country participated with a single track with a maximum duration of 3:00 minutes and duets were admitted for the first time. Also, the rule which assigned the winning country the task of organizing and hosting the next edition was introduced.
The Italian performance that went down in history is certainly that of Domenico Modugno, who in 1958 brought on stage the famous Nel blu dipinto di blu, winning third place. The following year he performed again on the stage of the ESC with Piove (ciao ciao Bambina) arriving sixth out of eleven participants.
Besides the Italian band Måneskin, Eurovision was won by Gigliola Cinquetti in 1964 with Non ho l’età (Per amarti) and Toto Cotugno in 1990 with Insieme:1992.
Eurovision in Italy: Cagliari is ready to host the ESC
Eurovision returns to Italy for the third time in history after 31 years, and Cagliari is among the cities that could apply to host one of the most loved music festivals by the general public.
Overlooking the Golfo degli Angeli, surrounded by one of the most beautiful seas in the world and caressed by the Mediterranean climate, the Sardinian capital is the gateway to the island as well as being its main urban centre, and keeps pace with the best equipped and visited metropolises.
The ancient city Casteddu, with its Mediterranean heart and cosmopolitan soul, is the ideal setting to celebrate an international event such as the Eurovision Song Contest. The city of the sun and the mistral wind treasures its traditions but looks to the future and has nothing to envy other aspiring candidates such as Milan and Turin.
From the centuries-old history to the vast and important cultural and artistic heritage, from the great variety of handicraft products to the symbolic flavours and scents of the excellence of the island cuisine, from the fascinating monuments to the great sports facilities, Cagliari has all the requirements that a city must have to host the singing festival and is ready to welcome the many and numerous delegations, artists, journalists and spectators from all over the world.
Also, Cagliari is among the candidates for the European Green Capital 2023, the recognition given by the European Commission each year to the city which has committed itself to achieve ambitious objectives in the areas of environmental protection and sustainable economic development. The mayor Paolo Truzzu, who in recent months announced the participation of the Sardinian capital in the European Green Capital 2023 competition through a post on Facebook, explains: “Today our city has many green areas: parks, spaces, public gardens, an average of square meters per citizen that every Italian city envies. There is a good quality of life, an “urban green” philosophy that is now of common culture. I use the words of the architect Kipar: “Green is the clothing, the ground is the body, the water that runs through is your soul”.
Cagliari, therefore, has all the qualifications to win first place in the race to win Eurovision 2022.
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