Iva Zanicchi returns to Sanremo: «The worst festival? When Luigi Tenco died and I won “

“I’ll be back where I was born”, says Iva Zanicchi speaking of her next Sanremo, the eleventh in the race, record for age (with its 81 springs, just today, best wishes!) And for trophies (the only woman with three victories: 1967, 1969, 1974). Because this is where she feels artistically born. Gianni Ravera brought it to us in 1965 after a lucky Castrocaro, then the gateway to the Riviera.

But the first Sanremo was a disaster.

“They threw me out on the first night. And they were right. I was so terrified that I didn’t sing but bleat. Back in the wings, I asked: Did the orchestra play? Because I didn’t hear anything. The song was “Your Best Years”. It went better the following year with “The goodbye night”, beautiful. Thinking about it I didn’t keep it in my repertoire ».

Of the ten facts, the ugliest Sanremo.

«That of the first victory with“ Don’t think about me ”together with Claudio Villa, 1967, the year of Tenco. I thought they stopped everything after the suicide. I was a provincial girl: if someone died in the village on the day of the patron saint, the party was postponed. Instead nothing. I remember when they announced we were first they almost had to drag me onto the stage. I said: but how ?, that boy is not even buried ».

The most beautiful?

«Two years later, in ’69, with Bobby Solo and“ Zingara ”. I enjoyed that victory ».

It could still be the next, the most beautiful.

“I don’t know, I hope so. What I know for sure is that it will be the last, at least in the race ».

Why the last one?

«Because then that’s enough, if the fruit is too ripe it falls from the tree».

But how, if in his song “I want to love you” he claims the right to fall in love day after day even at his age …

«Well, what could be more beautiful and more natural? Love knows no seasons. If you have the good fortune of having the right person next to you, what could be more extraordinary than being able to like each other every day? ».

Blessed “Pippi” (Fausto Pinna, his companion, ed.).

“Pippi is overjoyed. And if fate keeps you strong … those of my age often either are already dead or have dentures, luckily I still have all my teeth ».

This hymn to life seems a mockery to the annus horribilis of Covid that overwhelmed it.

«With the pain of the death of my brother Antonio above all. He was the true artist of the family, he played and sang like God, he painted very well, a great womanizer. The virus took him away without us sisters being able to watch him, dress him, put a rosary in his coffin. Like so many other families, on the other hand. A pain without comfort ».

Did you hear from Berlusconi on the Via del Quirinale?

«No, but if it happened, I’d say: Silvio, forget it. Even though I know it would take everything, heart and head ».

But how? The man who brought her into politics …

«Not at all, Berlusconi was very against it. He said to me “who makes you do it?”. But since “I am stubborn” as the title of one of my songs also says … A mayor from Brianza who often came to the studio to see “Ok, the price is right” tempted me. One day he says to me: “But who writes the lyrics to you?”. “Nobody, I’m going off the cuff, all the flour from my sack”. And he convinced me that I could try the political card. Despite having lived it as an MEP, politics was a big mistake. In Italy it is suicide for an artist. They don’t forgive you. Returning to the world of entertainment cost me an enormous effort, amidst prejudices and mistrust ».

Well, but there will be a beautiful memory.

“Just in these days, a beautiful but painful memory was that of David Sassoli. He was on the committee of which I was vice president, the one for Development. A great gentleman, handsome, intelligent, cultured. I liked him for his rigor. That every now and then I tried to disassemble. When the president was absent, and I was leading the work, I would say to him: “Hey, Sassoli, look, I’m your boss today.” And he looked at me amused, mocking, with those eyes that I will never forget ».


Last updated: Tuesday 18 January 2022, 11:20

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Iva Zanicchi returns to Sanremo: «The worst festival? When Luigi Tenco died and I won ”

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