Festival di Sanremo is undoubtedly one of the most awaited events on Italian television. Let's discover together the 2023 edition.
Sanremo, in Liguria, is the city of flowers. Still, above all, it is the city of the "festival of the Italian song" that takes place every year in the prestigious setting of the Ariston Theater. Festival di Sanremo (Sanremo Music Festival) is not only a music competition: it is the most important annual event of music and costume on Italian television, which attracts enormous media interest.
Now in its 73rd edition, it will be held from from Tuesday 7th to Saturday 11th February 2023 on the magical stage of the Ariston Theater in Sanremo and will be broadcast live on RAI 1 (Italian national broadcasting TV), RaiPlay (RAI's video streaming platform) and radio channel Radio2.
In this article, we will find out about the presenters, the competing singers and the guests announced for this edition, and then we will take a step back in time to retrace the highlights of a kermesse that has made the history of Italian music.
Sanremo is the event that every presenter sees as their professional consecration and to which many singers aspire as an incredible opportunity at any point in their musical careers. It has launched into the firmament artists who have become world-famous and songs that all Italians - and not only Italians - have hummed so many times in their lives.
Sanremo is the event that, despite the ups and downs due to a changing world, has always remained a certainty, an opportunity ... a dream. Let's find out everything we need to know together.
Sanremo Music Festival 2023: the presenters and the artists in the competition
The success of such an event depends on so many aspects starting with the choice of presenters. For the fourth year in a row, the Presenter and Artistic Director of the 73rd edition of the Sanremo Festival will be Amadeus, the anchorman of Italian television who is credited with bringing a breath of fresh air to the Festival by introducing musical genres previously excluded.
This year there will be no presence of Fiorello, the brilliant showman of Italian television and a great friend of Amadeus, but some are betting on his surprise arrival.
In this edition Amadeus will be joined in conducting by the unstoppable Gianni Morandi, a piece of Italian song history and author of hits we still hum today. Together with them, four beautiful women will take the stage at the Ariston Theater, one for each night: digital entrepreneur and influencer with 28,5 MLN of followers Chiara Ferragni on the first and last nights, journalist Francesca Fagnani on the second night, volleyball champion Paola Egonu on the third night and actress Chiara Francini on the fourth night.
The key ingredient of the Sanremo Festival is, of course, the 28 artists in the competition: 22 selected from the Big of Italian music and 6 winners of Sanremo Giovani competition.
As every year there is something for everyone: big names, comebacks, artists who are newcomers but already known to the public for their participation in the highly followed talent shows of Italian television, so alongside Giorgia, Marco Mengoni, Elodie there will be the Articolo 31, Paola&Chiara, Gianluca Grignani and the very young LDA and Rosa Chemical, just to name a few.
Here are all 28 competing artists with the titles of the songs they will perform on stage, songs that - as per the rules - must be composed by Italian authors, have lyrics in Italian or a regional Italian language, and be unpublished, that is, never performed in public before the competition under penalty of disqualification.
New this year is that there will be 5 songs that will make it to the finals and not 3, as was the case until the 2022 edition.
- Anna Oxa - "Sali (Canto dell'anima)"
- Ariete - "Mare di guai"
- Articolo 31 - "Un bel viaggio"
- Colapesce Dimartino - "Splash"
- Colla Zio - "Non mi va"
- Coma_Cose - "L'addio"
- Elodie - "Due"
- Gianluca Grignani - "Quando ti manca il fiato"
- Gianmaria - "Mostro"
- Giorgia - "Parole dette male"
- I Cugini di Campagna - "Lettera 22"
- Lazza - "Cenere"
- LDA - "Se poi domani"
- Leo Gassmann - "Terzo cuore"
- Levante - "Vivo"
- Madame - "Il bene nel male"
- Mara Sattei - "Duemilaminuti"
- Marco Mengoni - "Due vite"
- Modà - "Lasciami"
- Mr. Rain - "Supereroi"
- Olly - "Polvere"
- Paola & Chiara - "Furore"
- Rosa Chemical - "Made in Italy"
- Sethu - "Cause perse"
- Shari - "Egoista"
- Tananai - "Tango"
- Ultimo - "Alba"
- Will - "Stupido"
Sanremo Festival 2023: the guests
As tradition, the first evening of the Festival will be opened by the winners of the previous edition, which this year will be Mahmood and Blanco with the song 'Brividi', and Måneskin will also return to the Ariston stage as super hosts of the third evening.
The special feature of this 73rd edition will be the participation of Italian veteran artists of Sanremo who, instead of performing as singers in the competition, will tread the stage of the Ariston as super hosts in homage to great Italian music, the soundtrack of our lives: Al Bano, Massimo Ranieri, Gino Paoli, Peppino di Capri, and Pooh.
And just a few days ago Amadeus announced that Depeche Mode and the Black Eyed Peas will be at Sanremo as international super guests.
New in recent editions is a cruise ship anchored off Sanremo from which famous names in Italian music will perform in connection with the Ariston Theater.
In the meantime, enjoy our playlist
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Casino of Sanremo for an exceptional evening organized by RAI, an evening of songs with Cinico Angelini's orchestra. Among 240 compositions sent by as many Italian authors, we will award the most beautiful song of the year. The 20 chosen pieces will be presented to you in two evenings and will be sung by Nilla Pizzi and Achille Togliani with the Fasano vocal duo.
A step back in time: the birth of the Sanremo Music Festival
It was the evening of 29th January 1951. In the hall of the Sanremo Casino set up to host events, host Nunzio Filogamo introduced the rules, the orchestra and the three performers of the first Italian Song Festival to a not particularly interested audience. Yes, there were only three: Achille Togliani, Nilla Pizzi and the Fasano duo. On stage was the orchestra, composed of eight elements and, seated to the side, the singers were each waiting for their turn. The songs in the competition were twenty, all strictly unpublished.
Up to that moment, there was no authentic festival of Italian songs that enjoyed good popularity, but only events dedicated to dialectal songs; so how did the idea of creating this festival come about? After World War II, the municipal administration of the city of Sanremo had appointed a commission to study initiatives to revive the city. Among all the proposals, the idea of a song festival came to the right ears: an event conceived to entertain the Casino's clients and, possibly, to attract new ones.
The three evenings were broadcast on Rete Rossa, one of the two channels of the Italian radio system RAI. The first edition winner was the piece "Grazie dei fiori" sung by Nilla Pizzi, then published in a 78 rpm record that sold 36 thousand copies (a success for the time). Today we know that this was only the first page of a long story.
Penso che un sogno così non ritorni mai più Mi dipingevo le mani e la faccia di blu Poi d'improvviso venivo dal vento rapito E incominciavo a volare nel cielo infinito Volare oh, oh Cantare oh, oh Nel blu dipinto di blu Felice di stare lassù…
The most beautiful Sanremo Music Festival songs ever
Hundreds of artists have performed on the Sanremo Music Festival stage over the years, singing thousands of songs. Some have won; others that the jury had ignored have become very famous. Some tacks disappeared soon after; others made history and never left us. Among all these notes and words, there are some that we Italians still sing today after years, sometimes decades. They are pieces that have remained impressed in our hearts and minds and that, in some cases, have crossed national borders, becoming famous in the world as a symbol of our country. An example? First of all "Nel blu dipinto di blu", interpreted by Domenico Modugno and Johnny Dorelli, known as "Volare". In 1958 it won the eighth edition of the festival and became the most successful Sanremo song ever and the most famous Italian song ever. It is not an easy task to say which ones have been the most beautiful in over 70 years of festivals, but here we have chosen 15 that you cannot miss:
1. Andrea Bocelli - “Con te partirò” - 1995
2. Bobby Solo - “Una lacrima sul viso” - 1964
3. Domenico Modugno - “Nel blu dipinto di blu” - 1958
4. Domenico Modugno - “Piove” - 1959
5. Elisa - “Luce (tramonti a nord est)” - 2001
6. Giorgia - “Come saprei” -1995
7. Il Volo - “Grande amore” - 2015
8. Laura Pausini - “La solitudine” - 1993
9. Lucio Battisti - “Un’avventura” - 1969
10. Lucio Dalla - “4/3/1943” - 1971
11. Marco Masini - “L’uomo volante” - 2004
12. Mia Martini - “Almeno tu nell’universo” - 1989
13. Mina - “Le mille bolle blu” - 1961
14. Vasco Rossi - “Vita spericolata” - 1983
15. Zucchero - “Donne” - 1985
Con te partirò, paesi che non ho mai veduto e vissuto con te Adesso si li vivrò Con te partirò, Su navi per mari che io lo so, no, no, non esistono più Con te io li vivrò
The artists who debuted at Sanremo and became famous in the world
The New Proposals section of the Sanremo Music Festival has many merits: on its stage, there were unknown artists at the time and then became stars of Italian music known worldwide.
Let's start with the most beloved Italian voice of the last 15 years at an international level: Andrea Bocelli. The tenor participated in 1994 in the Sanremo Festival with "Il mare calmo della sera" (which won a record score) and returned the following year with "Con te partirò": this was the first real beginning of his career. "Con te partirò", added to the sales of its bilingual version recorded for the foreign market in duet with Sarah Brightman ("Time to say goodbye"), is the second best selling single in the history of Italian music after "Nel blu dipinto di blu".
In 1984 a very young Eros Ramazzotti participated in the Sanremo Festival in the New Proposals section with "Terra promessa". From here began his success, depopulating in Italy and also in Europe.
In 1993 Laura Pausini started her career taking part in the Newcomers section festival with the song "La solitudine". Subsequently, she reached the record market of many countries in Europe, North America and Latin America. She became the most famous Italian singer from the nineties onwards, also receiving the Europe Award as the best selling Italian artist globally.
Linked to the Sanremo Music Festival is also the beginning of the musical career of another beloved Italian artist: Tiziano Ferro. The young man, after some refusals from record labels, during his second participation in the Accademia della Canzone di Sanremo (Academy of Songs of Sanremo) in 2001, met the producers Alberto Salerno and Mara Maionchi, who convinced EMI to bet on him.
My dear friends near and far, good evening wherever you are
The presenters who have made the history of the Sanremo Music Festival
On the Sanremo Music Festival stage, there have been many presenters over the years. Still, two more than all the others have made the event's history and have entered the hearts of Italians who identify them as an integral part of the festival: Pippo Baudo and Mike Buongiorno. Both are two of the most outstanding Italian anchormen of all time, two true lords of television. The former holds the record of 13 conduction of the event (between 1968 and 2008), the latter of 11 times (between 1963 and 1997). In third place was Nunzio Filogamo, conductor of the first four editions of the festival and the seventh (between 1951 and 1957).
Sanremo Music Festival is a complex and wonderful machine. It is not only a music competition, but it is also a little great Italian magic. What makes it possible is a delicate system based on many balances such as an admirable organizational structure, a fabulous location, presenters able to support such an important event, and music. Let's never forget that music is the absolute protagonist: even if many of life's memories fade away over the years, it will be enough to hear a few notes of a song to bring back to our minds many emotions that we thought we had lost over time.