The Italianist

Things That Happen in Italy

Archive for February 2012

San Remo, or Italy at its best

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There is (at least) one week every year in which everything is put on hold, in Italy, and the entire country focuses on one specific event: the Sanremo Music Festival.

It’s a 5 day-singing competition, where basically people sing songs, a jury gives votes, each day someone is excluded, and eventually one wins. Normally, the songs are cheesy and boring. One of the boring songs wins the festival; there is a separate category for the “Young Promises”, with its own winner. Sometimes good singers have come up from the Festival (one being, for example, Alex Baroni – whom I really liked and who, sadly, died a few years ago). On the downside, the Festival has given to the world Andrea Bocelli.

The weeks before the Festival are characterised by a build-up of national thrilling about what the guests will be, who will present the show, who will do what, who will say what, and sometimes even who will sing what. There is normally a standard structure: the presenter is a man, a popular face from TV or music. Then there are two co-presenters, one at his left and one at his right: these are, by rules, mega-hot women with a (recent) past of being sluts or similar. The Festival has just started and will run until the 18th of February. This year’s and last year’s team was the same: presenter, the man, the famous singer from the 60s, Gianni Morandi; left wing, Elisabetta Canalis, famous for being Goerge Clooney’s date for a while; and Belen Rodriguez, famous for having long legs.

Here’s a group picture:

Morandi is the one in the middle.

Being at its 60th-something edition, there is some concern that the attachment of the Italian population to the festival might decrease. So, the authors have devised a series of cunning strategies to attract a bigger audience.

This was the most successful one, which took place on the first night of the Festival. Enters one of the co-presenters, Belen Rodriguez:

Yes, you may want to zoom in.

The day after this show, the Vatican expressed harsh criticisms.

The target was a man called Adriano Celentano. A guest of the Festival, during the show he publicly called for people to stop reading L’Avvenire, the Vatican’s newspaper. The Bishops commented that Celentano’s comment was inappropriate, and that he should not appear again at the following nights of the Festival.

Immediately after that, an executive of RAI, the Italian national TV channel that hosts the Festival, and who has an interest in getting as big an audience as possible, joined the Vatican’s condemnation, pointing out that Celentano’s language “was unsuitable for public service”.

More songs, and more vaginas, to come in the next two days.


Written by TheItalianist

17/02/2012 at 14:30

Kissing and peeing

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There are people that do things that can even make a long-dormant blog suddenly awake.

One of this is Carlo Giovanardi. He has appeared on this blog in the past, and he still looks the same, that is, like this:


Interviewed today on the Italian radio, Carlo The Straight was asked to express his view on same-sex unions. Here is his fine answer:

“There are organs designed to receive, and others designed to expel. There are also some delicate issues, like bacteria, and so on and so forth, which require great attention when certain activities are performed. This is to avoid diseases. Therefore, when sexual education is taught in schools, providing a model is normal, right and physiological: men’s and women’s organs were created for specific functions, and relations between two men or two women are not equally natural ”

Then he was asked: “What kind of reaction would you have in seeing two women kissing each other?”

He replied:”Well, what kind of reaction would you have in seeing someone peeing? If he does it in the toilet, it’s fine, but if he does it in the street, it can be disturbing”.

Written by TheItalianist

13/02/2012 at 11:25

Posted in Great Italians

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