The Info List - Il Canto Degli Italiani

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"Il Canto degli Italiani" ([il ˈkanto deʎʎ itaˈljaːni],[1] "The Song / Chant of the Italians") is the national anthem of Italy. It is best known among Italians
as "Inno di Mameli" ([ˈinno di maˈmɛːli], "Mameli's Hymn"), after the author of the lyrics, or "Fratelli d'Italia" ([fraˈtɛlli diˈtaːlja], "Brothers of Italy"), from its opening line. The words were written in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli. Two months later, they were set to music in Turin
by another Genoese, Michele Novaro.[2] The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento
and in the following decades. Nevertheless, after the Italian Unification
Italian Unification
in 1861, the adopted national anthem was the "Marcia Reale" (Royal March), the official hymn of the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
composed in 1831 by order of King Charles Albert of Sardinia. After the Second World War, Italy
became a republic, and on 12 October 1946, "Il Canto degli Italiani" was provisionally chosen as the country's new national anthem. It was made official on 4 December 2017 de jure.


1 History 2 Lyrics

2.1 Additional verses

3 Music 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links


Goffredo Mameli, author of the lyrics.

Michele Novaro, composer of the music.

The first manuscript of the poem, preserved at the Istituto Mazziniano in Genoa, appears in a personal copybook of the poet, where he collected notes, thoughts and other writings. Of uncertain dating, the manuscript reveals anxiety and inspiration at the same time. The poet begins with È sorta dal feretro (It's risen from the bier) then seems to change his mind: leaves some room, begins a new paragraph and writes "Evviva l'Italia, l'Italia s'è desta" ("Hurray Italy, Italy has awakened"). The handwriting appears agitated and frenetic, with numerous spelling errors, among which are "Ilia" for "Italia" and "Ballilla" for "Balilla". The second manuscript is the copy that Goffredo Mameli
Goffredo Mameli
sent to Michele Novaro
Michele Novaro
for setting to music. It shows a much steadier handwriting, fixes misspellings, and has a significant modification: the incipit is "Fratelli d'Italia". This copy is in the Museo del Risorgimento
in Turin. The hymn was also printed on leaflets in Genoa, by the printing office Casamara. The Istituto Mazziniano has a copy of these, with hand annotations by Mameli himself. This sheet, subsequent to the two manuscripts, lacks the last strophe ("Son giunchi che piegano...") for fear of censorship. These leaflets were to be distributed on the December 10 demonstration, in Genoa.[3] December 10, 1847 was an historical day for Italy: the demonstration was officially dedicated to the 101st anniversary of the popular rebellion which led to the expulsion of the Austrian powers from the city; in fact it was an excuse to protest against foreign occupations in Italy
and induce Carlo Alberto to embrace the Italian cause of liberty. In this occasion the tricolor flag was shown and Mameli's hymn was publicly sung for the first time. After December 10 the hymn spread all over the Italian peninsula, brought by the same patriots that participated in the Genoa
demonstration. In the 1848, Mameli's hymn was very popular among the Italian people
Italian people
and it was commonly sung during demonstrations, protests and revolts as a symbol of the Italian Unification
Italian Unification
in most parts of Italy. In the Five Days of Milan, the rebels sang the Song of the Italians
during clashes against the Austrian Empire.[4] In the 1860, the corps of volunteers led by Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
used to sing the hymn in the battles against the Bourbons
in Sicily
and Southern Italy.[5] Giuseppe Verdi, in his "Inno delle nazioni" (Hymn of the nations), composed for the London International Exhibition of 1862, chose "Il Canto degli Italiani" to represent Italy, putting it beside "God Save the Queen" and "La Marseillaise". On 20 September 1870, in the last part of the Italian Risorgimento, the Capture of Rome
Capture of Rome
was characterised by the people who sang Mameli's hymn played by the Bersaglieri
marching band although the Kingdom of Italy
had adopted the "Marcia Reale" as national anthem in 1861.[6] During the period of Italian Fascism, the "Song of the Italians" continued to play an important role as patriotic hymn along with several popular fascist songs. After the armistice of Cassibile, Mameli's hymn was curiously sung by both the Italian partisans
Italian partisans
and the people who supported the Italian Social Republic
(fascists).[7] After the Second World War, following the birth of the Italian Republic, the "Song of the Italians" was de facto adopted as national anthem. On 23 November 2012, this choice was made official in law.[8][9] In August 2016, in the wake of this measure, a bill was submitted to the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies to make the Canto degli Italiani an official hymn of the Italian Republic.[10] In July 2017 the committee approved this bill.[11] On 15 December 2017, the publication in the Gazzetta Ufficiale of the law nº 181 of 4 December 2017, which comes into force on 30 December 2017.[12] Lyrics[edit]

The Alps


This is the complete text of the original poem written by Goffredo Mameli. However, the Italian anthem, as commonly performed in official occasions, is composed of the first stanza sung twice, and the chorus, then ends with a loud "Sì!" ("Yes!"). The first stanza presents the personification of Italy
who is ready to go to war to become free, and shall be victorious as Rome
was in ancient times, "wearing" the helmet of Scipio Africanus
Scipio Africanus
who defeated Hannibal
at the final battle of the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
at Zama; there is also a reference to the ancient Roman custom of slaves who used to cut their hair short as a sign of servitude, hence the Goddess of Victory must cut her hair in order to be slave of Rome
(to make Italy victorious).[13] In the second stanza the author complains that Italy has been a divided nation for a long time, and calls for unity; in this stanza Goffredo Mameli
Goffredo Mameli
uses three words taken from the Italian poetic and archaic language: calpesti (modern Italian, calpestati), speme (modern Italian, speranza), raccolgaci (modern Italian, ci raccolga). The third stanza is an invocation to God to protect the loving union of the Italians
struggling to unify their nation once and for all. The fourth stanza recalls popular heroic figures and moments of the Italian fight for independence such as the battle of Legnano, the defence of Florence
led by Ferruccio during the Italian Wars, the riot started in Genoa
by Balilla, and the Sicilian Vespers. The last stanza of the poem refers to the part played by Habsburg Austria and Czarist Russia in the partitions of Poland, linking its quest for independence to the Italian one.[14]

The Continence of Scipio, Giovanni Francesco Romanelli
Giovanni Francesco Romanelli

Battle of Legnano, Amos Cassioli (1832–1891)

The Genoese revolt of 1746 led by Balilla
against the Habsburgs

Sicilian Vespers, Francesco Hayez
Francesco Hayez

The Song of the Italians
was very popular during Italian Unification

Fratelli d'Italia, l'Italia s'è desta, dell'elmo di Scipio s'è cinta la testa. Dov'è la Vittoria? Le porga la chioma, ché schiava di Roma Iddio la creò. (repeat all)

Brothers of Italy, Italy
has woken, Bound Scipio's helmet Upon her head. Where is Victory? Let her bow down,[15] For God created her Slave of Rome. (repeat all)

 CORO Stringiamci a coorte, siam pronti alla morte. Siam pronti alla morte, l'Italia chiamò. Stringiamci a coorte, siam pronti alla morte. Siam pronti alla morte, l'Italia chiamò! Sì!

 CHORUS Let us join in a cohort, We are ready to die.[N 1] We are ready to die, Italy
has called. Let us join in a cohort, We are ready to die. We are ready to die, Italy
has called! Yes![16]

Noi fummo da secoli[N 2] calpesti, derisi, perché non siam popolo, perché siam divisi. Raccolgaci un'unica bandiera, una speme: di fonderci insieme già l'ora suonò.

We were for centuries downtrodden, derided, because we are not one people, because we are divided. Let one flag, one hope gather us all. The hour has struck for us to unite.



Uniamoci, amiamoci, l'unione e l'amore rivelano ai popoli le vie del Signore. Giuriamo far libero il suolo natio: uniti, per Dio, chi vincer ci può?

Let us unite, let us love one another, For union and love Reveal to the people The ways of the Lord. Let us swear to set free The land of our birth: United, for God, Who can overcome us?



Dall'Alpi a Sicilia dovunque è Legnano, ogn'uom di Ferruccio ha il core, ha la mano, i bimbi d'Italia si chiaman Balilla, il suon d'ogni squilla i Vespri suonò.

From the Alps
to Sicily, Legnano is everywhere; Every man has the heart and hand of Ferruccio The children of Italy Are all called Balilla; Every trumpet blast sounds the Vespers.



Son giunchi che piegano le spade vendute: già l'Aquila d'Austria le penne ha perdute. Il sangue d'Italia, il sangue Polacco, bevé, col cosacco, ma il cor le bruciò.

Mercenary swords, they're feeble reeds. The Austrian eagle Has already lost its plumes. The blood of Italy and the Polish blood It drank, along with the Cossack, But it burned its heart.



Additional verses[edit] The last strophe was deleted by the author, to the point of being barely readable. It was dedicated to Italian women:

Tessete o fanciulle bandiere e coccarde fan l'alme gagliarde l'invito d'amor.

Weave, maidens Flags and cockades Make souls gallant The invitation of love.


The Song of the Italians' score

The music of the anthem was composed by Michele Novaro. Novaro was born on October 23, 1818 in Genoa, where he studied composition and singing. On November 23, 1847, Mameli arrived in Turin
and asked his friend Novaro to set the lyrics of the anthem to music. Novaro completed the composition overnight and Mameli was able to return to Genoa
the very next day with the completed anthem. The tune helped the anthem spread quickly throughout the nation, and was sung in defiance of the Austrian, Bourbon, and Papal police.[17] Novaro was a convinced liberal and offered his compositional talents to the unification cause without deriving any personal benefits. He died poor on October 21, 1885, after a life riddled with financial and health difficulties.[18] The anthem is set in the key of B flat major and at an allegro marziale tempo. The beginning of the anthem is characterized by twelve measures of instrumental eighth notes and sixteenth notes played fortissimo, or “very loud”. The vocals begin in the thirteenth measure, and are sung forte. The rhythms present in the anthem are mostly dotted eighth notes, quarter notes, and sixteenth notes. The rhythm is straight, with little syncopation. Essentially, the beat is on the first note of each measure, and the timing is regular. The rhythm in combination with the tempo gives an especially march-like feel to the composition. Notes[edit]

^ Siam pronti alla morte may be understood both as an indicative ("We are ready to die") and as an imperative ("Let us be ready to die"). ^ A different tense may be found: "Noi siamo da secoli", "We have been for centuries".


^ (in Italian) DOP entry . ^ " Italy
- Il Canto degli Italiani/Fratelli d'Italia". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 2011-11-24.  ^ "Inno di Mameli - Il canto degli Italiani: testo, analisi e storia". labandadeisei.it. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "IL CANTO DEGLI ITALIANI: il significato". Radiomarconi.com. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "Il canto degli italiani - 150 anni di". Progettocentocin.altervista.org. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "La breccia di Porta Pia". 150anni-lanostrastoria.it. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "I canti di Salò". Archiviostorico.info. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "Legge 23 novembre 2012, n. 222: Norme sull'acquisizione di conoscenze e competenze in materia di "Cittadinanza e Costituzione" e sull'insegnamento dell'inno di Mameli nelle scuole. (12G0243)". Comune di Jesi. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "Inno di Mameli, insegnamento obbligatorio nelle scuole italiane. La Camera approva il DDL" [= The Parliament passes the bill that makes mandatory the teaching of Mameli's Hymn in every school of Italy] (in Italian). Clandestinoweb. 2012-06-14. Archived from the original on 2014-11-13. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) ^ "L'inno di Mameli è ancora provvisorio. Proposta di legge per renderlo ufficiale" (in Italian).  ^ "Saranno ufficiali tutte e sei le strofe dell'Inno di Mameli e non solo le prime due" (in Italian). ANSA.it. 24 July 2017.  ^ "LEGGE 4 dicembre 2017, n. 181 - Gazzetta Ufficiale" (in Italian). 15 December 2017.  ^ "Il testo dell'Inno di Mameli. Materiali didattici di Scuola d'Italiano Roma a cura di Roberto Tartaglione" (in Italian). Scudit.net. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "L'Inno nazionale". Quirinale.it. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ "Le porga la chioma literally translates as "Let her offer her locks to [Italy]", a possible reference to the ancient custom of slaves cutting their hair short as a sign of servitude". Penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-17.  ^ Even though the final exclamation "Yes !" is not included in the original text, it is always used in all official occasions. ^ "History Of The Italian Anthem". www.arcaini.com. Retrieved 2017-04-25.  ^ "The Song of the Italians, brief history of a national anthem". Europeana Sounds. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 

External links[edit]

Italian Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Canto nazionale

has original text related to this article: Il Canto degli Italiani

Page on the official site of the Quirinale, residence of the Head of State (in Italian with several recorded performances – click on ascolta l'Inno and choose a file to listen) Free sheet music of Il Canto degli Italiani
Il Canto degli Italiani
from Cantorion.org Streaming audio, lyrics and information about the Italian national anthem Listen to the Italian national anthem(Broken link) Fratelli d'Italia: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) (Version for chorus and piano by Claudio Dall'Albero on a musical proposal of Luciano Berio)

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