Abbasso la Ricchezza, an Italian movie of 1946, with Magnani and De Sica

Reema has tagged me for a post that should present a few melodious and soulful songs in Italian and in another language of my choice. So I chose some Italian songs from Rome and Naples (sung often in their respective dialects) and some Italy-related American songs sung in English by Dean Martin, the great charmer of Italian descent. I’m sure Reema, this nice and spunky Indian lady, will vigorously protest saying some of these songs are not soulful or melodious enough. Well they are, but in their own way.

Anna Magnani, the Heart of Rome

Lupa and Vestal (a chaste priestess), aristocratic and tramp, dark and buffoonish: this is how the Italian director Federico Fellini depicted Anna Magnani. Anna was not a perfect beauty but she had more than beauty. Here she sings Quanto sei bella Roma (Rome how beautiful you are) composed in 1934 by Bixio. The film is Abbasso la ricchezza, (Down with Riches), directed by Gennaro Righelli in 1946. I adore Anna’s low pitch rich-textured voice.

I wonder if you noticed Anna’s joyful laughter. In the video next to the one below you might better perceive how mocking, tragic and a bit crass it can also be. It’s the typical (and complex) Roman laughter from a town both noble and vulgar, I know I’m blunt about it. This – please allow me – is possibly due to remnants of ancient mores and to a peculiar history: the base ways in which the Roman populace was entertained (with gladiators etc.) to be kept quiet might have left traces, for example. Sounds a bit like the world of today, with vile Tv and movies ruling, doesn’t it.

Born in the Roman slums in 1908, Anna displays this weird mixture of nobility and crudity, of impudence and extreme moral strength. She is the perfect symbol of Rome. Here she sings Scapricciatiello, a Neapolitan song by Ferdinando Albano (1894 – 1968). The film is The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969) and the guy playing the guitar is Anthony Queen, her husband in the plot.

Now a stornello romano from Mamma Roma (1962), with French subtitles, starring Anna Magnani and Franco Citti. A stornello is a Roman folk song where each strophe often begins with ‘fiore di’ (flower of…), the rest being improvised, which allows the man and the two women in the video to mock one another in ways, well, typical from here.

Anna plays the role of a prostitute during the post-war period, when Italians were struggling for survival. In this scene she is very upset because her pimp (Citti, with a moustache) has married the other woman. Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini the film was judged immoral by critics and the public due to swearing.

Sweet Feelings of a City

Getting closer to the sweetness of the city, the Roman folk singer Gabriella Ferri sings Roma forestiera, (Stranger Rome), 1947, a song lamenting the post-war social transformation of Rome. The original Youtube movie inserted showed scenes from the films Mamma Roma and Roma città aperta, directed by Roberto Rossellini, probably one of the best Italian films ever produced. The movie is no longer available on Youtube for copyright infringement. Here another one with the same song Roma forestiera sung by Gabriella Ferri.

Now Arrivederci Roma, a song composed by Renato Rascel and sung by Claudio Villa, my favourite Roman folk singer. Born in Trastevere Villa has a wonderful voice but languages are not his forte (he pronounces ‘goobye’ instead of ‘goodbye’). Very beautiful pictures of Rome (but much better ones in the video next to this).

Another song by Renato Rascel, Roma nun fa’ la stupida stasera (Rome please behave tonight), sung by a bunch of artists – see credits at the end – and with a set of pictures among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
Here the core meaning of the song: (the man) “oh Roma, be as romantic as possible and help me to make her say yes to me;” (the woman) “oh Roma, be as unromantic as possible and help me to say NO to him!”

Italy in America. Dean Martin

And now our great Dean Martin (Dino Paul Crocetti) who sings a Neapolitan song Torna a Surriento (English title Take Me In Your Arms.) This man and ALL the songs in this post really remind me of my first youth, I’ve got to thank Reema for it. Enjoy also some nice pictures of the Sorrento area, where – allow me again – the Romans first mixed up with the Greeks.

Listen now to On an Evening in Roma (Sott’er Cielo de Roma), one of Dino’s great Italian love songs (1961). The video is full of Rome’s great pictures.

Naples and the Three Tenors

We’ll finish with two beautiful Neapolitan songs. Here is Parlami d’amore Mariu’ (Talk me of Love Mariu’) by the Neapolitan composer Bixio. It is performed by the three tenors Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Placido Domingo in Paris (1998).

Finally, as the cherry on the pie, Non ti scordar di me (Don’t forget me) by the Neapolitan composer Ernesto De Curtis. It is sung by Luciano Pavarotti in Budapest.

Capitoline She-Wolf. Rome, Musei Capitolini. Public domain

I know, I have dedicated so much space to music on Rome, but this is the Man of Roma’s blog, after all.
I’ll though say here aloud what it is already well known: the tradition of the Neapolitan song is much greater than that of Rome.


Related posts:

Experiencing All

Pre-Christian Rome lives

76 thoughts on “Italian Songs. Anna Magnani, Dean Martin, Pavarotti and the Three Tenors

  1. Beautiful pictures of bellissima Roma. I enjoyed the songs, however, I skipped the Three tenors. We hear them ad nauseam and I would rather hear Pavarotti younger and more in voice than he was in the trinity period. As for Magnani, the first time I saw her was in “bitter rice”. She was magnificent in that rice paddy.

    MoR: I know Paul, but for readers from the world the three tenors may be interesting.


  2. I’m getting old, bitter rice starred Silvana Mangano, not Anna Magnani.

    MoR: Silvana Mangano was a greater Italian beauty, no doubt, but Anna Magnani, less beautiful, had more than just beauty.


  3. @Maryann

    When I wrote this post yesterday I had some headache, and I realised today that a few words were not … what I wanted to say. For example, of Anna Magnani, “weird mixture of nobility and abjection …” was a bit overstated. I changed ‘abjection’ with ‘crudity’ and made other little changes.

    On the whole though the view of Italy by Italians from here vs Italian Americans can differ. For you guys beyond the pond Italy (or any place of origin) probably represents a bit like a cherished dream and a symbol of identity. Here we tend to see the light & shadows, if one can say that, like any country, where there is both love and criticism.

    I noticed that even the French – which I consider a bit nationalist though in a simpatico way – criticised France a lot when I lived there for a while.

    Don’t know why I’m saying this. Mal di testa, headache, again?


  4. I dearly love my wife and children and grandchildren. I do see their faults (even mine, but I keep silent about them). So why not one’s country?


  5. Beautiful songs with wonderful music. Thanks for doing the tag. Loved “take me in your arms”. I could almost sway with the music.


  6. @Paul

    I agree Paul. You know, I’m just trying to probe some deep reasons, maybe clumsily, maybe not going in the right directions. It could sounds like masochism, seen from beyond the Atlantic, or God knows what.

    I care for you New World guys: hope you deserve it ah ah ah.

    (I had already sent you an email around this.)


  7. @Reema

    You helped me to relive many things. And I am happy you like Dean Martin. He was my favourite male actor when I was a child. I especially loved the songs and the Westerns together with great John Wayne, like *Rio Bravo* (1959), where Dean plays the role of a drunkard that finds the moral strength to redeem himself and become again the hero he used to be. Stuff good for a male child, maybe, but great stuff. Here two videos from Rio Bravo, the *trailer* and Dean singing the *movie song.*


  8. I have to think and reflect. Will be back. Maybe with my own favorite songs.

    Yes, the French are introspective. They’re more interested in philosophy than Italians are might I add?

    And boy did they mock their soccer – pre-1998 and recent successes of course. I can see why. Although they had produced wonderful players through the years (1950s and 1980s were great decades for France in my opinion) they could never win consistently like Italy and Germany – or Brazil and Argentina for that I suppose this annoyed them a tad.

    It’s ok to criticize; it keeps you on your toes.


  9. @The Commentator

    I’m not too sure this time the French are more philosophical than we are, although they seem to have this esprit cartésien …

    As for self-criticism, it is to be noted that this crudity and vulgarity (not deprived of nobleness) is present almost only in Rome in my view, which is a bit of a world of its own.

    I’m sure the great and unusual past of the eternal city has something to do with it.

    @ Ashish, Commentator, Paul, Reema
    And on Rio Bravo I accept no compromise neither. It’s the best Western ever produced.


  10. MOR.. thanks for the post, I enjoyed it very much. In regards to your comment regarding an Italian view on Italy vs. an Italian American view on Italy… I agree with you. There are 3 categories in my opinion.
    1- Italian in Italy 2- Italians born and raised in Italy that no longer reside there and finally 3- Italians not born/raised in Italy (first, second generation.)
    I believe the second category (Italians born and raised and then departed) have a very strong attachment and love for Italy, a cherished dream as you said… possibly due to their fond memories of their youth, simpler times with little responsibility (as most young men and women have.) I’m sure they also have fond memories of friends and family left behind. These Italians (my parents included) mostly speak positively of their country as they are often seen as outsiders where they reside.. so to your second point: identity. I believe that most of these Italians would never have left Italy were it not for the lack of work and the possibility of prosperity in other places. Can you imagine an Italy with jobs and good wages for everyone? who would leave?

    Italians living in Italy on the other hand: love and criticism? YES, as in all countries and as it should be. In my opinion, you must be critical of your country. Those who question and criticize their country when criticism is due can show no greater patriotism or love because they are always trying to make it better and keep it honest. What would have happened if there was no criticism of Mussolini or Bush. If we didn’t criticize the handling of New Orleans or the trash in the streets of Napoli. Silence has no place in love for ones country.

    You scold a child for running towards a busy street… not for lack of love but because you love them dearly.

    Sorry to be long winded.


  11. Jim makes a good point regarding the second category. The third one is more difficult to get a handle on.

    Well, MOR here are my thoughts.

    These videos and songs remind me of my close friend Flavio. Of Tuscan (Lucca) heritage, Flavio is, like me, Canadian born and my age. His Italian is impeccable. Outstanding. Growing up Flavio visited Italy every year. So much was his grasp of Italy, he made the exact same remarks about Romans as you said in your post. He found them to be crude; needless to say, he has a hard time with AS Roma and Totti! His Roman accent is to die for.

    Speaking of Italian/North American heritage, it was interesting to eat at Flavio’s house. His diet was rich in game. I remember one time being at his house and eating rooster (gallo) with rosemary. The way they approached food was different from how my mother did it. Incidentally, his father would make wood-oven pizza. Ah, what times!

    About those films. In the 1990s, I devoured Italian and French films ad nauseam. There was a certain pace, feel, and starkness to some of them. In the case of Italian films two defining characteristics stood out for me: humor. As in using humor to deal with the hard side of Italian life. The other was realism. Italian films are effectively poignant and stunning in their application of mirroring life and art. Think ‘Bicycle Thief’ and De Sica. Of course, Fellini added surrealism to the mix. The list of genius directors from Italy is astounding.

    Italians faced their decadence through film; something the British have only begun to explore?

    And the music. Growing up we’d always dismiss Italian music as being “chessy.” As such stupidity in youth! Today, my sisters, brother and I, see the beauty and purpose of Italian music. The vast richness and styles (both in Italy and North America) is something Italians should hold dearly.

    Italian-American crooners are a breed apart. It saddens me we’ll never see the likes of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and, yes, Dean Martin again. MOR, may I suggest ‘On an evening in Roma.’


  12. @Joe

    Dear Joe, I love long comments, and your 3 categories are very helpful, thank you:

    1- Italians in Italy. 2- Italians born and raised in Italy but moved to the New world. 3- Italians not born/raised in Italy (first, second generation.)

    You well explain the attitude of the second category: seen as outsiders, Italy to them means an identity, thence they tend not to criticise their country being it such a fond memory of their youth etc.

    The Commentator is right about the third category being harder to grasp. And probably here I need more light. I’ll reply to his comment.

    Self-criticism …you know, I kind of felt bad towards my readers, since while *Reema* – who tagged me for this post on music – had presented such spiritual and refined songs by Tagore in her post, I instead had presented Rome’s romanticism together with some hard-to-deny crudity. I’ll talk about this ‘crudity’ thing in my comment to Mr. Canada (Commentator).

    Of course I agree about being critical. As you say, silence is no good service to one’s country. Although sometimes we here exaggerate a bit, the national sentiment of Italians from Italy being complex and not as clear as that of the French.

    We discussed this a bit in my blog from *here* on, allow me.

    Thank you very much for your contribution, Joe!


  13. @The Commentator

    MOR, may I suggest ‘On an evening in Roma.’

    Suggestion accepted 🙂 I’ll delete ‘Everybody loves somebody sometimes’ and insert your Dean video instead (which will of course make my post even more Rome-centric.)

    These videos … remind me of my close friend Flavio …of Tuscan heritage, …like me, Canadian born… so much was his grasp of Italy

    So you mean interest, comprehension may still be there even in the Joe’s 3rd category, the New World born.

    he made the exact same remarks about Romans as you said in your post. He found them to be crude

    A Tuscan man did that? Hey, this turns me instantly into a Rome’s advocate. 🙂

    Listen. Rome has been created by the Romans. Look at the pictures in the video *Roma nun fa’ la stupida stasera.* People who have created such beauty (superior to Florence in my view) cannot be defined as just ‘crude’.
    And this crudity itself, isn’t it but a survival of true greatness? A people of pansies wouldn’t have conquered the world.


    And yes, Italians are famous for laughing away their sorrows (and for laughing at themselves).

    we’d always dismiss Italian music as being “chessy.” As such stupidity in youth!

    Chessy? (Cheesy?) I used to hate Claudio Villa when I was a boy. He sounded so old-fashioned and stale. Much later I understood how great was traditional Italian music. No other music now reminds me so much of my childhood.

    Thanks for your contribution Commentator!


  14. Cheesy! Sorry. I should do a little self-editing.

    I do feel the 3rd category can have a very strong comprehension. I feel Flavio and I have a decent understanding of Italian culture. All we need to do is live there. Actually, he spent some time studying law there.

    As for his “crude” remark, well, maybe even got bit by the regional jabbing bug. ;<)


  15. Hello. This is my first time visiting your blog. I think it’s great. I really mean that. It really brightened my day to see a post featuring Dean Martin and Luciano Pavarotti. They both are two of my all time favorite entertainers. Their music is amazing and really touches me. I hope you’re having a great weekend.


    1. Thank you Keith and welcome here! I jumped to your blog, ‘The Dino Lounge’, and of course I loved it, and I especially loved the Rio Bravo set pictures and those with Dean Martin together with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. It seems you can find rare pictures people have seldom seen.


  16. So many interesting comments. As a Canadian of Italian descent, living in Italy I know without a doubt that my view of Italy is very different from my father’s (Italian born, immgrated to Canada) who views it as the motherland and has romanticized it and all of his memories. It is also very different from my husbands, Italian born, raised and has never lived anywhere else. He sees all the faults, but loves it deeply just the same.
    My view? It changes almost daily. Somedays I love it beyond words other days it frustrates me to the point of tears. However, after living here for (gulp) 14 years I have a much more realistic view of the country and the culture than many of my cousins back in Canada have. They only visit in August and think that we live on holiday all year round!! Wonderful post MOR and what a great conversation it inspired!


  17. Hello There, nice blog…I still have got to play some more videos here! So excited to know about the music of a different place! 🙂 Cheers Happy Blogging!


  18. Just would like to add something else about Italians who came to North America. While there’s no doubt many still look fondly back on Italy, there are still others who don’t. I’ve known and met many Italians who wanted to forget everything about the old country and wanted nothing to do with it. Such was their anger towards her.


  19. @Joanne at Frutto della Passione

    Thank you, welcome. You are too kind. So yours is the special case of a Canadian of Italian descent who lives here since 14 years, thence some difficulties you can have towards some of our ways, despite your roots.

    Well, here in Italy some habits survive that are puzzling to many foreigners, historical remnants whose disadvantages towards ‘modernity’ are clear. My hope – plus one the themes of this blog – is that these are not only disadvantages, although being fully in tune with them it’s another thing (even for us). Let us console ourselves with ‘the beauty of diversity’ thing. For example, foreigners from America surely don’t come to Rome or to Naples to admire how scientifically organized our traffic is. They come to enjoy other stuff.

    @ deepsm25

    Welcome here dear Deepsm. I also enjoyed many of the Indian videos in the tagged posts (Tamil, Bengali, Hindi): they took me into totally new worlds. Music being universal it doesn’t matter if one doesn’t understand the words. My compliments for your new blog’s success. Go on with it!


  20. @The Commentator

    I’ve known and met many Italians who wanted to forget everything about the old country … such was their anger towards her.

    That’s another good contribution to the debate. As I told Joanne, some survivals are real obstacles to progress. The “patron-client” relationship, for example, is present in disgusting ways here: in universities, in some state institutions and in the civil society of areas of the country. I don’t think it’s by chance that ‘patronatus’, ‘patronus’, ‘clientes’ are Ancient Roman words and concepts. I mean, favouritisms, recommendations etc. are present everywhere, but here they are so ingrained that the best brains fly to countries where there is more meritocracy.


  21. Dear MoR, “favouritism” you say, well it exists everywhere. Here, we call it the “Old boys network” or “le patronage”, in Québec. Merit certainly enters the equation somewhere but «knowing the right person» is of great help.
    What my women friends of all origins were bothered by in Italy was the ogling and buttocks pinching they endured. It seems Italian males have wrestless hands. Maybe that is what frutto della passione is writing about. Fruit of passion…very evocative.


  22. @Paul

    Ah ah ah, Paul, you made me laugh!

    Yes, that’s *another problem* we have… you made me laugh Paul, but then you depressed me.

    (even though I’ll say aloud to my women readers that I don’t go around pinching.)


  23. Cheer up Man, certainly the sun and warm mediterranean climate is responsible for all that. All those provocative sculptures that ornate your squares, fountains and even churches are probably the main culprits. They overstimulate and induce into temptation even the most hardy souls as so many popes attest to. The Medicis popes surely are eloquent examples.


    1. Commentator, it’s not only less overt, it’s also less. Under Maurice Duplessis, from 1936 to 1960 it was rampant and well organised, since then checks have been put in place and, although still possible, bribing is a lot more difficult than it used to be.
      At the municipal level it may be easier especially in small towns but it still is not all that easy. The “scandale des commandites» is one example of how difficult it has become.


        1. Well there was Catania, of course and a bevvy of foreign contractors to deal with. It may have been a bit more vulnerable. But nothing came out except the pyramids.


  24. Sorry MoR, looks like Commentator and I have been digressing big time.
    SVP, pardonnez-moi. Tibi gratias ago.


  25. Here’s yet another thing regarding M. Anna Magnani.

    I was observing her and couldn’t help but notice shares a common trait with how Italian women are generally perceived here. There are more “Anna’s” than, I dunno, “Loren’s.” You don’t see as many women with the sensibilities or accent of a Northerner. Here, it’s all Rome and south.

    I went to school with many tough, joyous “Anna’s.” And you know what? There was indeed a certain way to them. What came off as crude didn’t mean there was a typically Italian panache to them. Shoot, in my family alone we have a gal that pretty much is Anna.


    1. Here, it’s all Rome and south.

      Well, people in fact migrated from the most traditional areas of this country.

      And I too like this crudity: it has verve, dash.

      Wow, so you have an Anna in family. Well, I do also, to a certain extent.

      These Annas I call ‘ancient’. If I’m wrong, I’m in good company: Fellini said Anna (Annas) is/are a symbol and a survival. This he also meant by “Lupa and Vestal …” (listen to him *saying it to Anna* in the film “Roma”).

      I’m sure the perception of the artist is sometimes superior to that of the scholar – and, on the other hand, a peasant from the Italian South (or from Greece) is closer to the Greco-Romans than any historian of antiquity.

      Moreover it could be that in the New World – and you seem to confirm it – some primordial traits are preserved, like hibernated, while here they can disappear, at least in cities: take archaisms in language (US ‘gotten’ instead of the more recent UK ‘got’), or cultures like the Amish in Ohio & Pennsylvania.

      Actually I met a stunning Anna from Chicago here in Rome. This *post* tells about her .

      Sofia Loren is from Naples, so she is even more Southern than Anna.


  26. Loren: That’s right! How foolish of me!

    We are caught in an “Italy from a time past.” My friend went to Sicily in the early 1990s and they laughed at his accent. “We don’t speak dialect anymore!”


  27. Man of Roma, The so called New World is a resrvoir of cultures. The USA has strived to homogenize, the others such as Canada have taken pain to recognize, and even preserve, the cultures of their immigrant citizens. Thus our Anglophones speak a victorian English, dans plusieurs régions du Canada les francophones parlent la langue de la province française de leurs ancêtres. The others tend to bunch toghether often by villages or towns they come from and keep the traditions and languages, at least the second, and at times third, generation.
    Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver all have strong ethnic neighbourhoods where you find restaurants, stores, groceries, newspapers all catering to the native tongue of their inhabitants. It’s the Canadian mosaic…and I love it.


    1. Commentator had told me a bit about this USA – Canada difference. I have to get to Canada some day. I think I have a friend living in Toronto. I might love Montreal better though.


      1. Toronto has gained a bit over the years: less stuffy and puritan, more lively culturally speaking and you may even have a good meal washed away with very good Niagara wine. I strongly recommend Inniskillin Pinot Grigio or Noir or Merlot, also Jackson Triggs aren’t bad. But Montreal is still tops for food and recreation. As for wine, you have a choice from all over the world, food also. You may have real pizza, not the American style.


        1. Some students had told me Montreal has become a sort of world-wide francophone hub, thence my interest.

          You seem to have good knowledge of wine. Do you think, like me, that without wine there is no civilization?

          Although I have no objection to a pot of beer, or cervesia, once in a while …


        2. Well, Paul. The best Italian food and pizza I’ve had was in New York BAR NONE. Montreal is ok for good affordable dining but we don’t have what NYC has.

          The overall dining experience is safer here in Montreal though. I feel we’re more accommodating.

          Paul is right about Toronto. It has changed and each time I go I have a great time (Vancouver too but that’s a different cat altogether.) Toronto is a great financial city. Montreal has hipness, Toronto cash.

          As for melting pot versus multiculturalism I think I break with Paul here. Personally, enshrining multiculturalism in the Charter is nonsense.


          1. I agree that in the USA one can find the real thing as well, it’s not like before.

            And perhaps now I grasp your point about the melting pot thing: you care more about a Canadian identity, which I can understand.

            Although, call it selfishness: I like that somewhere things are preserved.


  28. MoR, I totally agree about wine, cervesia I like but because of my diabetes it’s not recommended. However a single malt scotch is not to be snobed.


    1. I like scotch, limoncello and grappa, but I try to limit spirits. Limoncello I only like home-made, since what one finds in shops is too sweet to my taste.


      1. Go to Little Italy around La Madonna della Diffesa and you won’t know you are in Montreal. You may even not hear a word of French or English, but maybe lots of Abruzzi and Calabresi. As for food well you will judge. Caffe Italia may also please you.


  29. I think MOR would want to observe French-Canadian culture in action on rue St. Denis.

    You had a great post about the “best espresso in Italy” or was it Rome? Regardless, while we’ve come a long way in the espresso realm, don’t expect the high quality you have over there.


    1. Wow, I would love to savour the French-Canadian culture in action on rue St. Denis!

      As I said, I wouldn’t come to Canada to drink espresso. It is the similar-diverse thing that would delight me there.

      According to a NYT article, the best espresso in Italy is in Rome, at the Sant’Eustachio cafe, but my *post* said Naples is THE place for the best espresso ever. Every Italian knows that – except some Illy-addicted freak from Northern Italy 🙂


      1. I agree with The Commentator, St-Denis and the Latin Quarter aroud UQAM are French Montreal “par excellence”.


          1. Welcome, and let us know, perhaps we could arrange a little informal meeting…however risky that may be…you know the Web and all that.


      1. ah ah ah

        *silly Roman laugh…making a few phone calls*

        Hey, we’ve both passed 60 and we are playing comme des enfants … Ce sont les petites choses de la vie, après tout.

        I promise that whenever I come to Canada we will taste Canadian wines in a traditional French-Canadian wine place. Of course, Commentator or any other here can revel with us.

        On va lui montrer qu’il y a une génération de fer, la tua e la mia, qui ne recule jamais (davanti ai body guards non plus)

        J’arrête parce que j’ai bu du vin, mon cher Paul (le niveau des sottises n’est plus contrôlable.)

        *Phone calls finished….tout arrangé*


        1. J’ai même plus de 70 ans, mais la vieillese se passe surtout entre les 2 oreilles…et puis le bon vin conserve jeune. Tantôt, en soupant, je boirai à ta santé et à celle de ton épouse.
          Buona notte a tutti, perche è piu tardi nel Roma.


  30. @Paul

    Grazie amici canadesi. E’ stato interessante e divertente, come al solito. E’ ora della mia lettura serale, a letto, prima di dormire.


  31. It’s funny how the blogosphere can bounce and connect us like this with an astounding series of coincidences. Man of Roma, I am a Woman of Roma and reading your post via an email notification the first image I see is of my Grandfather Vittorio De Sica with Anna Magnani in the Abbasso la Ricchezza poster, and the second to last is the song which his singing is most famous for and that’s Parlami d’Amore Mariù. Buffo, no?
    Link to this video to see the first appearance of the song in the 1932 feature “Gli Uomini Che Mascalzoni”



    1. Thank you very much for your link and welcome to my blog, Lola, donna romana! It is an honour to receive a comment from a grandchild of Vittorio De Sica. I have profound love and admiration for him. He was a man who conveyed warmth, intelligence and joy to millions of people around the world, and he still does. He was so young in ‘Gli Uomini Che Mascalzoni’, even younger than in ‘Ladri di biciclette.’ Of course Anna Magnani is at the centre of my post as a Roman icon per eccellenza.
      Un saluto e grazie!


  32. Nice songs. My favorites among them are – Roma Nunfala stupida stasera, On an Evening in Roma (Dean Martin), Dean Martin – Take me in your arms.

    Italian songs are so very different from the songs that we listen to in India. They seem to stress more on the depth of the voice than the music….

    Destination Infinity


    1. Yes, there is this difference, Destination Infinity. Italy is called the land of “Bel canto” (good singing) since at least from 1800 on almost all musical activity concentrated mainly on Opera. It is a pity because we had a great instrumental tradition. This had consequences on popular folk songs as well, which are mainly ‘voice’ and good melody.
      Welcome to my blog!


    1. Hey, respect your elders young man 🙂

      You know, I couldn’t say “Wow, the granddaughter of De Sica!”, I was stunned. And if I correct it, it’d sound phoney lol. But I will say, in honour of De Sica and for the sake of both my Western and Eastern readers, that Vittorio De Sica’s ‘Ladri di biciclette’ (*Bicycle Thieves*) is possibly considered (by Americans & Europeans) the best film ever made here in the West.


  33. Hi
    I browsed your page unexpectedly because i was searching for internet solutions to run quizz section for
    my fellow readers who learn french…thanks for that post, i added your site to my favorites and will definetly check it out later


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