Not only was Italy 1 of the founding participants of the Eurovision Song Contest, taking part in the first-ever edition in 1956, but the country is also responsible for the entire Eurovision format! The Eurovision Song Contest was modelled on the popular Festival di Sanremo which began in 1951.
Italy has won the Eurovision Song Contest twice. In 1964, Gigliola Cinquetti stormed the scoreboard for Italy, getting almost 3 times as many votes as the runner-up with Non Ho L'età. In 1965, the contest was held in Naples.
In 1990, Toto Cutugno won the Eurovision Song Contest with Insieme: 1992 and the contest headed to Rome the following year. The 2 Italian winners, Toto Cutugno and Gigliola Cinquetti took on the role of presenting.
In 1997, the country withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest but returned in 2011 finishing in second place. Italy's Sanremo Music Festival is often used to select the Italian Eurovision entry although it continues to be a separate competition in its own right.