More Than Måneskin: Italian Music to Listen to Right Now

lighter staircase with railings

When it comes to current Italian music, there’s way more than Måneskin.

Pino Daniele, Soul of Naples

Si ‘mmuore solo quanno ‘o munno nun s’aricorda più di te. Se no, ci si allontana solo fisicamente.

“You die only when the world doesn’t remember you anymore…otherwise you only move away physically.”

This quote — partly in Neapolitan and partly in Italian — appears in a video tribute to Pino Daniele, the legendary singer from Naples who passed away on 4 January 2015.

Pino Daniele was the soul of Naples, featuring the ancient city in his lyrics and singing often with his sweet, distinctive voice in the Neapolitan dialect.

The young man in the beginning of the video above explains that Pino Daniele didn’t die because he will never be forgotten. He became a part of the fabric of Naples, as sure as the sun, sea, Mt. Vesuvius, and the islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida.

Nun è muorto Pino Daniele…E’ comme si dimane me ne esco e dico che a Napoli è muorto ‘o sole, o è muorto ‘o mare, ‘o Vesuvio. Capri. Ischia. Procida. Guagliò…. si ‘mmuore solo quanno ‘o munno nun s’aricorda più di te. Se no, ci si allontana solo fisicamente.


Daniele’s signature song — Napule è —was sung in many tributes to Daniele when he died, including by thousands of fans at Piazza del Plebiscito and in Stadio San Paolo.

This song will always give me chills.

Here is yet another video of Napule è with the original audio and lyrics in Neapolitan and Italian. I can’t think of another song — other than Frank Sinatra’s New York New York — that so connects an artist to a place as firmly.

Italy’s Alpini Corps: The Traditions Beyond the Feathered Cap

Cappello Alpino

The grey felt cap adorned with a black raven feather worn by old northern Italian men and some modern-day camouflaged troops is known as the Cappello Alpino.

This recognizable cap signifies that the wearer is or was a member of the Alpini, an elite corps of the Italian army that is most closely associated with World War I and is the oldest mountain infantry in the world.

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Italy Hit Parade Vol. I

Discovering new or new-to-me music has always been one of my favorite things about traveling and living abroad. So I plan to use this space to bring you some of the songs that I’m listening to in Italy. Some of the music will be bubbly pop, some hip hop, some…I don’t know what. But most, if not all, will come from the radio and MTV (which actually plays videos here).

Note that some of these videos may not play because of region restrictions or on mobile. I really have no way of knowing if every video will work. So consider IHP Vol. I the first test.

Rocco Hunt is one of the more successful (and accessible) hip hop artists in Italy.

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Celebrating a Legend: Farewell to Luciano Pavarotti

Today the world mourns the passing of a titan of music.

Luciano Pavarotti, the man who introduced opera to a wider audience than any other before him, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 6 September 2007. He was 71.

There are many tributes on the web, including a Life in Pictures on, reaction from his Three Tenor partners Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras (also from, a reaction from residents of Modena, Pavarotti’s birthplace, and, at last count, more than 2,000 articles about his passing. Indeed, he will be missed.

So, what’s the best place to celebrate the big man’s work? Go to the opera, of course!

To honor the memory of the legendary tenor, consider taking in some musica lirica at some of Italy’s famous opera houses and arenas. Those include the Sferisterio in Macerata (Le Marche); the Arena in Verona (Veneto); and, of course, La Scala in Milan and La Fenice in Venice.

To get a sense of the power of Pavarotti’s voice and on-stage charisma, watch this 1994 video of him performing “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot:

Jazz in January: Umbria Jazz Inverno and Other Winter Festivals in Italy

Winter means the music season for most of Italy. Opera productions and church-sponsored chamber music events are typical fare from Lecco to Lecce at this time of year. But you’ll also find jazz and blues in the mix. Umbria, which is home to Umbria Jazz, hosts a summer and winter version of its well-regarded festival. Umbria Jazz … Read more