Top 13 most popular Italian songs that everybody sings - The Italian Academy - Learn Italian in Sicily (2023)

In this article you will discover the list ofthemost popular Italian songs ever.

You would agree that throughout the history of music, there are certain songs that convey such emotion that they become well-known songs around the world.

Besides, as you know, music is agreat gateway to understand and learn about the culture of a place and it’s no different from Italian.

They even serve you toimprove your Italian language skillsas they might be more familiar to you to start with, therefore, easier tolearn the lyrics and sing alongwith them.

Italians love singing their hearts out. So, we don’t see a better way to give your Italian cultural and fluency skills a musical boost!

Let’s dive into the music.

#1Funiculì funiculà(Funicular up, funicular down) – 1880

I’m sure you’ll recognise this one from popular Italian songs but just never knew its name!

It’s ahumorous Neapolitan songcomposed by Luigi Denza inspired by the inauguration of a funicular to the summit of Vesuvius.

Since its publication, it has been widely adapted and recorded. It has appeared in films, series, shows, videogames, animes, commercials…

Maybe the most famous version it’s the one sung by Luciano Pavarotti.

#2 O sole mio (My own sunshine) – 1898

It might well be themost popular Neapolitan songin the world.

Being the sun an integral part of Naples.

Has been performed and covered by many artists being Luciano Pavarotti’s the one that won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for his rendition of “’O sole mio”.

And also Elvis got a clear inspiration for hisIt’s now or never.

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It went beyond the boundaries of music as writer Proust quoted it in one of the volumes of hisIn search of lost time.

#3 Tu vuò fa’ l’Americano (You Want to Be American) – 1956

Combining swing and jazz it became a worldwide success.

Nicola “Nisa” Salerno wrote and brought three texts to be set to music to Renato Carosone to entering a radio contest.

It took Carosone just 15 minutes to create one of the most popular Italian songsafter seeing the lyrics of Nicola.

It’s generally considered a satire of the rural and traditional Italian’s Americanization that took place in the first years after World War II.

Talks about a boy who tries to imitate the American lifestyle of the time, drinking whisky and soda, dancing to rock ‘n roll, playing baseball and smoking Camel cigarettes, but he’s still dependent on his parents for money.

#4Volare, nel blu dipinto di blu (To fly, in the blue-painted blue [sky]) – 1958

Who doesn’t know this hit?

It’s estimated thathas been covered at least 100 times. Among others by Barry White, Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong…

Written by singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci when the latter was waiting for Domenico to show up to go to the sea.

Franco started drinking wine and eventually fell asleep and had vivid dreams. He woke up and looked at two paintings on the wall:Le coq rougewith a yellow man suspended in midair andLe peintre et la modellein which the painter’s face was coloured blue.

That’s how he started writing about a man who dreams of painting himself blue and being able to fly.

#5 Quando, quando, quando (When, when, when) – 1962

This song became a massive international hit that year.

It has been translated into Vietnamese, German, Portuguese, Spanish and English.

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It has beenused in a number of filmssuch asThe Blues Brothers,After Hours, andSuperman Returns. Alsoin the episode ofThe SimpsonstitledThe Real Housewives of Fat Tony.

It’s a bossa nova/samba style song with original lyrics written by Alberto Testa and music written by Tony Renis who wrote and produced many memorable songs for artists like Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Julio Iglesias, Andrea Bocelli…

#6 Parole, parole (Words, Words) – 1972

At least onehit interpreted by a couple!

Originally interpreted by Mina and Alberto Lupo, in 1973 the song was translated into French and performed by the duet Alain Delon and Dalida and became a worldwide hit, being even performed by Céline Dion!

This song intertwines the female singer’s lamentation of the end of love and the lies she has to hear from the male singer who compliments her over and over.She scoffs at those compliments he gives her, calling them merely words (parole).

There are versions in English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Croatian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, and even Vietnamese!

#7 Gloria – 1979

In the original lyrics, Umberto Tozzi, tells that he is dreaming about animaginary woman named Gloria.

The cover version by American singer Laura Branigan made it number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The song describes a man living his days in misery, but when dreaming of Gloria, he becomes free.

Gloria is described as a queen of imagination that comes from fascination, not from fantasy. He further elaborates that he has always set Gloria free from him, just as he has been set free from reality.

His friends think he is crazy, but he argues that they have never met Gloria (having no proof of her existence).

The man sets all his life to search for Gloria to accomplish the goal of realizing his dreams despite everyone else’s protests.

Good heavens!

#8 Felicità (Happiness) – 1982

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Firstly performed by one of the most famous duos in Italian music, Al Bano and Romina Power, on the stage of the San Remo music festival in which the duo took second place.

The song became very popular and ranked high in the charts not only in Italy but in the whole of Europe receiving the Golden Globe music award for its commercial success.

Ittalks about the infinite, happiness, summer, peace around the world, love, dreams, music…

Ecco la felicità!

#9 Senza una donna (Without a woman) – 1987

Asmooth and rhythmic rock balladwritten by Zucchero when he was almost divorcing and living in a small house by himself, trying to save his marriage.

He didn’t want to include it in his album at the moment because he thought it was too simple, but his manager and producer convinced him to do it.

Thank goodness he listened to them!

After re-recording it in English with Paul Young, the song became a massive hit.

#10 La solitudine (The Loneliness) – 1993

Sung by Laura Pausini, the songconveys the emotional pain and lonelinessa girl feels after her boyfriend, Marco, is separated and sent tolive far away from herat the urging of his family.

It reached #1 on the Italian music charts and became a big hit in Italy.

And given the success, it was released in the rest of Europe, reaching top positions in French, Dutch and Belgian music charts.

With the Spanish version, the song charted in top positions in Spain and in the United States in the Billboard Latin Songs Lists.

It has also an English version and covers recorded in Greek, Dutch, Portuguese, English, and Filipino!

#11Con te partirò(With You I Shall Leave) – 1995

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Performed or the first time by Andrea Bocelli at the Sanremo Music Festival, it was not commercially successful in Italy and received little radio airplay there.

Elsewhere, however, it was amassive hit.

In France and Switzerland, the single topped the charts for six weeks, earning a triple Gold sales award. In Belgium, it became the biggest hit of all-time, spending 12 weeks at No. 1.

With a second version, sung partially in English with Sarah Brightman, the song achieved even greater success, topping charts all across Europe.

After making several other versions mixing Italian, Spanish, English and German, it sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

#12 Vivo per lei (I live for her) – 1995

The lyrics of this song were rewritten with the characteristic that in the new lyricslei(her) refers tomusicwhereas in the original songleirefers to agirl.

The new version by Gatto Panceri and Andrea Bocelli clearly represents the importance of music for Bocelli as the pillar and love of his life: “I live for her”.

Thus, this moving song became a tribute to music being translated and interpreted in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek.

#13Piu bella cosa che c’è(The Most Beautiful Thing) – 1996

There’s nothing much to say about this song that hasn’t just said in the lyrics.

Written by Eros Ramazzotti and dedicated to his girlfriend at the time, the Swiss model Michelle Hunziker.

It won the “Best Song” award and the MTV Europe Gold Awards in 1997 and its Spanish version peaked to number two in the United States Latin Songs’ chart.

These popular Italian songs will get you started

Here you have quite a selection of music to get started with Italian musical culture.

But be careful.

After writing the article, we’ve got massive earworms for a whole week!

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Now tell us, how many of them did you already know?

You might be also interested in how to boost your Italian pronunciation, getting to know the most common Italian false friends, or take your Italian to the next level with our Italian Live Courses.


Top 13 most popular Italian songs that everybody sings - The Italian Academy - Learn Italian in Sicily? ›

Let's dive into the music.
  • #1 Funiculì funiculà (Funicular up, funicular down) – 1880. ...
  • #3 Tu vuò fa' l'Americano (You Want to Be American) – 1956. ...
  • #4 Volare, nel blu dipinto di blu (To fly, in the blue-painted blue [sky]) – 1958. ...
  • #7 Gloria – 1979. ...
  • #8 Felicità (Happiness) – 1982. ...
  • #9 Senza una donna (Without a woman) – 1987.

What's that one famous Italian song? ›

The most famous Italian songs in the world
  • Nel blu dipinto di blu by Domenico Modugno. ...
  • Azzurro by Adriano Celentano. ...
  • Quando, quando, quando by Tony Renis. ...
  • L'italiano by Toto Cotugno. ...
  • A far l'amore comincia tu by Raffaella Carrà ...
  • Felicità by Al Bano e Romina Power. ...
  • Musica è by Eros Ramazzotti. ...
  • 'O sole mio.
Feb 27, 2021

What are Italian songs called? ›

Canzone Napoletana, or Neapolitan song, is a distinct tradition that became a part of popular music in the 19th century, and was an iconic image of Italian music abroad by the end of the 20th century.

What is the most streamed Italian song? ›

In detail, the ranking is as follows:
  • Mahmood & Blanco – Brividi – 3,384,192.
  • RKomi – Insuperabile – 954,842.
  • La rappresentante di lista – Ciao Ciao – 922,011.
  • Dargen D'Amico – Dove Si Balla – 714,766.
  • Achille Lauro – Domenica – 672,812.
  • Noemi – Ti amo non lo so dire – 568,019.
  • Michele Bravi – Inverno dei fiori – 520,547.
Feb 3, 2022

What songs are trending in Italy? ›

Top Tracks in Italy
  • Happy DaysGhali.
  • DespacitoLuis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee.
  • Shape of YouEd Sheeran.
  • Senza Pagare VS T-Pain (feat. T-Pain)J-AX, Fedez, T-Pain.
  • Something Just Like ThisThe Chainsmokers, Coldplay.
  • SUBEME LA RADIO (feat. ...
  • Symphony (feat. ...
  • BelieverImagine Dragons.

What music is Italy famous for? ›

Instrumental and vocal classical music is an iconic part of Italian identity, spanning experimental art music and international fusions to symphonic music and opera. Opera is integral to Italian musical culture, and has become a major segment of popular music.

What is the Italian diet song? ›

It's called 'Ma Quale Dieta' and performed by Neapolitan artist Luca Il Sole di Notte. This was brought to the Italy camp by Lorenzo Insigne, who acts as DJ for the group much of the time in training and on long journeys. The lyrics of the song, which are in Neapolitan dialect, go something like this: 'What diet?

What language does Italy speak? ›

Italian language, Italian Italiano, Romance language spoken by some 66,000,000 persons, the vast majority of whom live in Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia). It is the official language of Italy, San Marino, and (together with Latin) Vatican City.

What is Italy's religion? ›

Italy is officially a secular state. However, its religious and social landscape is deeply influenced by the Roman Catholic tradition. Indeed, the epicentre and government of the Catholic Church (the Vatican) and its leader (the Pope) are located in Rome.

What is the most played song in Italy? ›

Top 13 most popular Italian songs that everybody sings
  • #1 Funiculì funiculà (Funicular up, funicular down) – 1880. ...
  • #2 O sole mio (My own sunshine) – 1898. ...
  • #4 Volare, nel blu dipinto di blu (To fly, in the blue-painted blue [sky]) – 1958. ...
  • #7 Gloria – 1979. ...
  • #8 Felicità (Happiness) – 1982.

Is Frank Sinatra Italian? ›

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner.

What is the second most popular sport in Italy? ›

The second most popular sport in Italy is basketball. There are 6 main nations of basketball in Europe: Spain, Serbia, Greece, Lithuania, France… and Italy. The sport has a long and rich tradition in the country, and the national team is one of the most consistent EuroLeague winners.

What do Italian teens listen to? ›

Italian teenagers don't care about sacred arias, romantic operas, and world funk music. Instead, repetitious lyrical shouting about making money, drugs, chasing girls, and rising from struggle, is what excites teenagers in Italy today. This genre is known as Trap Music.

What are Italian nicknames? ›

Other Cute Italian Nicknames for Children
  • cielo – “sky”
  • sole – “sun”
  • angioletto – “little angel”
  • cocco/a – “sweetie”. Cocca di mamma means “Mommy's girl”, cocco di papà is “Daddy's boy”.
  • coccolona – “cuddly”
  • donnina – “little woman”
  • ometto – “little man”
  • mimmo/a – Tuscan spin of bambino.

What is Italy's favorite food? ›

1. Pizza. Though a slab of flat bread served with oil and spices was around long before the unification Italy, there's perhaps no dish that is as common or as representative of the country as the humble pizza.

What is traditional Italian clothing? ›

The women wear colorful embroidered skirts and bodices over light-weight chemises or blouses, with elaborate hats decorated with flowers or fruit. Men's traditional clothing tends to be simpler, but doesn't lack from attention to detail, with embroidery and metal buttons and pins.

What is Italian dance music called? ›

You're likely to hear some Frank Sinatra or Al Martino being played at Italian family gatherings. The most famous Italian dance is the tarantella.

Is Bella Ciao Italian? ›

"Bella Ciao" was an Italian folk song that took on a political meaning. According to Arts and Terror by Vladimir L. Marchenkov, "Bella Ciao"—which translates to "Goodbye Beautiful"—is an Italian folk song that was used as an anthem for the anti-fascist resistance and sung worldwide as a hymn of freedom.

Which language is Italian closest to? ›

According to many sources, Italian is the closest language to Latin in terms of vocabulary. According to the Ethnologue, Lexical similarity is 89% with French, 87% with Catalan, 85% with Sardinian, 82% with Spanish, 80% with Portuguese, 78% with Ladin, 77% with Romanian.

What are some Italian last names? ›

Top 10 Italian Surnames
Most RequestedMost Common in Italy
1. Rossi6. Russo6. Romano
2. Berlusconi7. Colombo7. Colombo
3. Ferrari8. Brambilla8. Ricci
2 more rows
Aug 13, 2018

What language is spoken in Sicily? ›

Sicilian is a Romance language spoken on the island of Sicily, and in southern Calabria and southern Apulia on the Italian peninsula, with an estimated 5 million speakers inside Italy (principally in Sicily) and many others in Germany, Australia, Argentina, the USA, and elsewhere.

Is Bella Ciao Italian? ›

"Bella Ciao" was an Italian folk song that took on a political meaning. According to Arts and Terror by Vladimir L. Marchenkov, "Bella Ciao"—which translates to "Goodbye Beautiful"—is an Italian folk song that was used as an anthem for the anti-fascist resistance and sung worldwide as a hymn of freedom.

Is that's amore an Italian song? ›

"That's Amore" is a 1953 song by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Jack Brooks, and became a major hit and signature song for Dean Martin, who first recorded and released it that year. Amore (pronounced [aˈmoːre]) means "love" in Italian.
That's Amore.
"That's Amore"
Composer(s)Harry Warren
7 more rows

What is the opera song at the end of Step Brothers? ›

And the last scene — in which Ferrell's character, Brennan Huff, sings Andrea Bocelli's “Por ti volare,” while his stepbrother, Dale Doback (Reilly), plays the drums — is definitely memorable. In case you forgot about this very emotional last scene, here is the video to remind you…

What is that song? ›

To identify songs, open Control Center, then tap the Shazam button . Shazam can identify songs playing on your device even when you're using headphones. To find songs you've identified, touch and hold the Shazam button in Control Center to open your History View.

Is Bella Ciao rude? ›

It is for this reason you can't really play that song in Italy. It is not banned, but it would be considered impolite.” Despite its troubled past, Zitti hails Bella Ciao as a classic of the Italian folk music tradition and will always remain a key song in his band's UAE sets.

Is Ciao hello or goodbye? ›

Ciao is described as the Italian version of “aloha,” meaning both “hello” and “goodbye,” so how can that be bad?

What is Ciao Bello mean? ›

Taken together, ciao bella is a colloquial, familiar way of saying “hello” or “goodbye” to one woman (as opposed to a group). The masculine version of the expression is ciao bello. Generally, this greeting or parting expression is used by a woman to address a man.

What is the Italian word amore? ›

Amore is the Italian word for "love". It may come from Amare which is "to love" in Latin.

How do you say amore? ›

How to Pronounce Amore Mio? (ITALIAN) - YouTube

Does amore mean? ›

[aˈmore ] 1. (affetto) love ⧫ affection. (sessuale) love.

Was Will Ferrell really singing in Step Brothers? ›

Will Ferrell does his own singing. John C. Reilly does his own drumming.

What song does Brennan sing at the end? ›

In Step Brothers (2008), in the ending scene when it seems like Brennan is singing 'Con te Partiró' by Andrea Bocelli, he's actually singing 'Por ti Volare' which is the Spanish version of the Italian song.

What is the name of the opera song in Step Brothers? ›

Will Ferrell Sings Por Ti Volare- Step Brothers - YouTube.

What is this song I'm humming? ›

Hum to search for your earworm

On your mobile device, open the latest version of the Google app or find your Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say “what's this song?” or click the “Search a song” button. Then start humming for 10-15 seconds.

How do you find a song you can't remember? ›

Shazam. The song identifying app you're probably most familiar with is Shazam(opens in a new tab). All users have to do is hold up their phone to the source of the music while the song is playing and tap a single button within the Shazam app.

How do I find a song that I don't know the name to? ›

Google says it's improved the company's sound search algorithms so that they can identify a song without hearing the lyrics or even the original beat.


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