Italy is one of the 14 founding participants of the Eurovision Song Contest and arguably the country responsible for the entire Eurovision format! The original Contest was modelled on the popular Festival de Sanremo which began in 1951 and continues to this day.
Italy has won the Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions. In 1964, Gigliola Cinquetti stormed the scoreboard in Copenhagen with Non Ho L'età, receiving nearly 3 times as many votes as the runner-up. Subsequently, the 1965 event was held in Naples.
In 1990, Toto Cutugno won the Contest with European unity anthem Insieme: 1992, taking us to Rome the following year where the 2 Italian winners, Toto and Gigliola, took on presenting duties. Allora!
In 1997, the country withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest but returned with renewed vigour in 2011, securing 7 top ten placings between then and their third victory.
The Italians struck gold in 2021 with alt-rock band Måneskin. Their self-penned track Zitti E Buoni (English translation: ‘Shut Up and Behave’) won the Eurovision Song Contest and became a global streaming hit, along with their follow-up song I Wanna Be Your Slave.
Italy will host its third Eurovision Song Contest in 2022.