Everything you need to know about the Sanremo Music Festival, Italy's answer to Eurovision

Feb 04, 2018 959

BY: Catherine Edwards

Sanremo was the second most searched-for event in Italy on Google last year (outdone only by the football match that saw the country booted out of this year's World Cup), and it's a key date in the country's cultural calendar. In 2018, it takes place between February 6th and 10th. Whether it's entertaining, over-rated, tacky or exciting really depends on who you ask, but here are some facts about the festival that can't be disputed, so you have some trivia to impress all your Italian friends with.

It was created to boost Italy's postwar economy. In the late 1940s, Italy's economy was in tatters, and after the fall of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime, the country was searching for a new cultural identity too. In collaboration with broadcaster Rai, the bosses of Sanremo's casino decided an annual song festival would help achieve both aims, and so the festival - then called Festival della Canzone Italiana (Italian Song Festival) was born. The first edition was held in 1951, in the final weekend of January.

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SOURCE: https://www.thelocal.it

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