5 of Italy’s greatest music artists11 May 2022 at 06:00 CEST
With Eurovision landing in Turin, our Official Travel Partner Booking.com is shining the spotlight on Italy’s rich and diverse music scene – ranging from Italo-disco to opera. Here is a guide to the most iconic Italian music artists, and their Italian birthplaces.
Venice, Veneto – birthplace of Patty Pravo
Patty Pravo was born Nicoletta Strambelli in Venice in 1948, going on to become an Italian music legend, as well as the embodiment of reinvention and rebellion against society’s expectations. A classically trained musician, she made history in 1994 as the country’s first artist to perform in China, posed for Playboy, and became Italy’s third most commercially successful singer of all time, selling 110 million records. Visit Venice in Patty’s honour, using her most famous songs – La Bambola (The Doll), Pazza Idea (Crazy Idea), and Pensiero Stupendo(Wonderful Thought) – as a playlist for wandering around the city’s winding alleys and waterways. Must-sees include the Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal, St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. Stay just a few hundred metres from both the Basilica and the Rialto at B&B Beroni a Venezia.
Faenza, Emilia-Romagna – birthplace of Laura Pausini
An 18-year-old Laura Pausini suddenly ascended to the spotlight in 1993, winning first place in Sanremo with her hit debut single La Solitudine. Over the course of her career, she has accrued numerous accolades, from singing for the Pope to becoming the first Italian female artist to win a Grammy Award. Embark on a Pausini fan pilgrimage to her birthplace, Faenza, a city that straddles the Lamone River just 50km southeast of Bologna. Stay at Il portico B&b in the centre of Faenza.
Lajatico, Tuscany – birthplace of Andrea Bocelli
Bocelli – one of the world’s most beloved tenors and an Italian national treasure – was born in 1958 in the ancient Tuscan town of Lajatico. Another artist who rose to fame shortly after a sweeping victory at the prestigious SanremoMusic Festival (but this time in 1994), Bocelli wowed the crowds with a mesmerising performance of Il Mare Calmo Della Sera (the calm evening sea). Since then, he has sold over 75 million records worldwide, brought classical music to the mainstream and pop charts, and become an Italian icon. Head to the Tuscan hills just southeast of Pisa to visit Lajatico, Bocelli’s beautiful birthplace. The town is a charming collection of crumbling 11th-century castles, a few family-run restaurants and cafes, and a church with a bell tower set on the pretty main piazza. And every July, The Teatro del Silenzio (Theatre of Silence) – an outdoor amphitheatre Bocelli was instrumental in establishing – hosts a concert starring the great tenor himself, often alongside other iconic Italian artists like the aforementioned Laura Pausini. Stay at La Casetta Di Borgo in Lajatico.
Modena, Emilia-Romagna – birthplace of Luciano Pavarotti
The late legend Luciano Pavarotti was one of Italy’s most famous exports and an international household name. Celebrated for his larger-than-life performances, he sang on the hallowed stages of La Scala Milan and the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, among others. He also starred in some unforgettable performances, including the Winter Olympics in Italy, and the time he famously serenaded Princess Diana with a Puccini aria at a concert in Hyde Park. Pavarotti was born and grew up in Modena in 1935, a city in the region of Emilia-Romagna just northwest of Bologna, where he also died in 2007. Visit his hometown to pay tribute to Pavarotti, staying at B&B Le Noci di Feo.
Busto Arsizio, Lombardy – birthplace of Mina
Mina Anna Mazzini (known simply as ‘Mina’) is the best-selling Italian singer of all time, having sold an astonishing 150 million records. Now 82 years old, she has produced 79 albums and 71 singles over the course of her illustrious career. And has become a celebrated Italian icon on the strength of her agile soprano voice, her three-octave vocal range and her image as a powerful, liberated, independent woman. Visit her birthplace, Busto Arsizio, a city near Milan that’s known for its architecture, with several significant churches featuring incredible frescoes, such as the Renaissance-style Church of Santa Maria di Piazza. Stay at guesthouse DE PIANTE GUEST.