Showing posts with label Domenico Modugno. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Domenico Modugno. Show all posts

31 January 2024

Sanremo Music Festival - song contest

Historic annual event that inspired Eurovision 

Nilla Pizzi won the first two editions of the Sanremo Festival
Nilla Pizzi won the first two
editions of the Sanremo Festival
The first annual Sanremo Music Festival reached its conclusion on this day in 1951 with the song Grazie dei fiori - Thank You for the Flowers - announced as the winner, performed by the singer and actress Nilla Pizzi.

The festival is the world’s longest-running televised music contest, having been broadcast live by Italian state broadcaster Rai every year since 1955.  The Eurovision Song Contest, which was staged for the first time in 1956, was modelled on Sanremo.

Compared with the 2024 edition - the 74th - which is due to be staged from February 6 to February 10 and in which the public vote is crucial - the inaugural competition was very different. There were 20 songs to be judged by a committee of experts who determined the result, but only three participants - Pizzi, Achille Togliani and the Duo Fasano, which consisted of twin sisters Dina and Delfina Fasano.

All of the participants had to perform all of the songs over the course of the three nights with the judges having to decide on both the merits of the song and the quality of the three different renditions before settling on their winner. They were so impressed with Pizzi that the following year she not only was their choice to win the competition but took second and third places too.

The first contest had a different venue. From 1951 until 1977 its home was the beautiful Liberty-style Casinò di Sanremo, situated a street or two back from the resort’s waterfront. In 1977, however, the casino was closed for renovations and the festival was switched to the Teatro Ariston, the biggest theatre in the town with an audience capacity much larger than the casino. With the exception of one year, the Ariston has hosted the competition ever since.

The Casinò di Sanremo, a fine example of Stile Liberty architecture, was the Festival's first home
The Casinò di Sanremo, a fine example of Stile
Liberty architecture, was the Festival's first home
Had history unfolded differently, the annual festival might have had not only a different venue but a different location entirely. The original Festival della Canzone Italiana - the Italian Song Festival, which remains the competition’s official name - took place in Viareggio on the Tuscan coast rather than the Ligurian resort with which it is synonymous. 

After successfully staging the competition in 1948 and 1949, however, the Viareggio organisers ran into financial difficulties and the planned 1950 edition was cancelled.

Help was at hand. In Sanremo, which in common with Viareggio and other resorts was looking for ways to revive economies left in tatters by World War Two, Piero Bussetti, administrator of the Casino di Sanremo, met with Giulio Razzi, the conductor of the Rai orchestra, to discuss relaunching the competition in Sanremo, to showcase previously unreleased songs.

It was through their initiative that the 1951 event, the last night of which was broadcast on the Rai radio station Rete Rossa, came to fruition.

Over the years the festival rules have been changed multiple times, allowing more participant singers, involving international artists and some high profile guests.  Different categories were added to the main competition, including a section for newcomers that has been the launching pad for many illustrious careers, with Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini and Andrea Bocelli among the list of past winners.

A youthful Eros Ramazzotti, best newcomer in 1984
A youthful Eros Ramazzotti,
best newcomer in 1984
Zucchero and Vasco Rossi are two other Italian stars who can thank Sanremo for launching their careers, while the roll call of big-name winners - in Italy, at least - includes Claudio Villa, Domenico Modugno, Adriano Celentano, Peppino Di Capri, Toto Cutugno, Gianni Morandi and, more recently, Il Volo.

Villa and Modugno each won the competition four times. Il Volo, winners in 2015 with Grande Amore, are competing again in 2024 among 27 artists bidding for the crown of champions.

At its most prestigious peak, guest performers at the festival have included Queen, Elton John, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Whitney Houston. 

As well as providing the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest, which was launched in 1956 with a similar format, the link between Sanremo and Eurovision has been maintained by the Italian tradition of picking the winner of Sanremo as nation’s entry for Eurovision.  Two of the three Italian successes at Eurovision - Gigliola Cinquetti in 1964 with Non ho l'età and the rock group Maneskin in 2021 with Zitti e buoni were Sanremo victors.

Sanremo was a holiday destination for the wealthy
Sanremo was a holiday
destination for the wealthy
Travel tip:

The resort of Sanremo in Liguria, which can be found 146km (91 miles) southwest of Genoa as the Italian Riviera extends towards France, enjoyed particular prestige even before the Music Festival put it on the cultural map. The town expanded rapidly in the mid-18th century, when the phenomenon of tourism began to take hold among the wealthy. Several grand hotels were established and the Emperor Nicholas II of Russia was among the European royals who took holidays there. The Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, who bequeathed money in his will to establish the prizes that take his name, was so taken with the elegance of the town after his holiday visits that he made it his permanent home. Known as the City of Flowers, it is characterised by its Stile Liberty architecture (the Italian variant of Art Nouveau), of which the Casinò di Sanremo in Corso degli Inglesi is a beautiful example.

The Viareggio Carnival is famous for its huge and often highly symbolic floats
The Viareggio Carnival is famous for its huge
and often highly symbolic floats
Travel tip:

Viareggio, which might have remained home to the contest now synonymous with Sanremo had the organisers of the first editions of the Italian Song Festival not run into financial difficulty, is a popular seaside resort in Tuscany, about 26km (16 miles) from the city of Lucca and a similar distance north of the port city of Pisa. It has beautiful sandy beaches and, like Sanremo, some fine examples of Liberty-style architecture, which include the Grand Hotel Royal. It may not have a music festival to compare with Sanremo but it does have the Viareggio Carnival, which is the most famous in Italy after the Venice Carnival. Dating back to 1873, the carnival is famous for its enormous papier-mâché floats, which parade along the resort’s promenade. Often sending up well-known figures from politics and entertainment in giant caricatures mounted on the floats, the carnival has a more humorous side than its better-known counterpart, contributing to a lively atmosphere around the town. 

Also on this day:


27 March 2019

Joe Sentieri - singer and actor

Joe Sentieri began his career on ocean liners in the 1950s, soon becoming popular with holiday-makers
Joe Sentieri began his career on ocean liners in the 1950s,
soon becoming popular with holiday-makers

Career remembered for international hit song

The singer, songwriter and actor Joe Sentieri, who released seven albums and around 100 singles over the course of a career spanning more than a quarter of a century, died on this day in 2007 in the Adriatic coastal city of Pescara.

Although he enjoyed considerable success in his own right, he tends to be remembered most for his association with an Italian song that became an international hit after it was translated into English.

Sentieri’s 1961 song Uno dei tanti - One of the Many - was given English lyrics by the American producing partners Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and repackaged as I (Who Have Nothing).

Sentieri enjoyed a number of hits in Italy but is best known for a song that brought success for others
Sentieri enjoyed a number of hits in Italy but is best
known for a song that brought success for others
A hit first for the American soul and R&B star Ben E King, it was covered with considerable success by the British artists Tom Jones and later Shirley Bassey. The Jones version reached No 14 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while Bassey’s climbed to No 6 in the UK singles chart in 1963 and became a staple of her concert repertoire.

Countless other cover versions were released over time, by performers as diverse as Petula Clark and Joe Cocker, Katherine Jenkins and Gladys Knight.  The song has also featured in the hit US television series, The Sopranos.

Sentieri was born Rino Luigi Sentieri in Genoa in March 1925. He grew up in a working-class neighbourhood in the port area and was sent out to work at a young age, going into the mountains above the city where there were opencast coal mines, loading bags of coal on to a truck to be sold by his father.

His musical talent emerged after he was given a mandolin as a present and taught himself to play. He learned the accordion, too, and helped supplement the family income by busking. He also developed a good singing voice, and in the early 1950s began to find work on the cruise ships and transatlantic liners that regularly sailed from Genoa to the Americas.

Sentieri with Wilma De Angelis at the 1960 Festival di San Remo
Sentieri with Wilma De Angelis at the 1960
Festival di San Remo
Modelling himself on Elvis Presley with a touch of Little Richard thrown in, he became a very popular performer, especially in South America and in New York, where he would stay for long periods. He ended each performance with a trademark jump, apparently the legacy of a show he gave during a particularly rough voyage, when right at the end of his closing number the ship rolled suddenly and he instinctively jumped to stop himself falling.

Back in Italy he made his debut on dry land in 1956 as a singer of the orchestra of Corrado Bezzi, with whom he also recorded some 78rpm records for the Italian RCA label, under the name of Rino Sentieri.

His career accelerated after he took part in the Festival of Musichiere at the Arena di Verona in 1959, with a song written by Domenico Modugno, who also provided him with the winning entry - Piove (ciao ciao bambina) - at the prestigious Canzonissima song contest of the same year, by which time he had decided on Joe as a stage name.

As well as making numerous records, Sentieri was also chosen to sing the theme song for the 1960 Olympic Games of Rome, entitled Welcome To Rome, and gained a number of parts in movies, including a couple for the director Damiano Damiani, one of which - La moglie più bella (The Most Beautiful Wife) - featured the screen debut at 14 of the future star Ornella Muti.

He decided to end his career in the 1980s so that he could devote more time to his love of painting, a hobby he had maintained since childhood. He and his partner, Dora, moved to Pescara, where he would exhibit from time to time. He accepted some invitations to sing or appear on television and actually released a collection of Genovese songs in 1996, although he preferred a quiet life.

He ended his days in considerably reduced circumstances compared with peak of his career, mainly as a result of bad luck with his investments. He spent 40 million lire on some land at Rapallo which was then compulsorily purchased by the government for 16 million, saw his record shop go bust and had his fingers burnt on another property investment, in a country club outside Genoa.

As a result, he was left to live on little more than a €700-a-month state pension, before premier Silvio Berlusconi decided he should benefit to the tune of an extra €1,000 per month as a result of the Becchalli Law, which allows governments to provide special help to “illustrious citizens” who have fallen on hard times.

Sentieri died in a clinic in Pescara a few weeks after suffering a stroke, at the age of 82.

Gabriele D'Annunzio's childhood home in Pescara contains a museum dedicated to his life
Gabriele D'Annunzio's childhood home in
Pescara contains a museum dedicated to his life 
Travel tip:

Pescara, a city of almost 120,000 people on the Adriatic in the Abruzzo region, is known for its 10 miles of clean, sandy beaches, yet is only 50km (31 miles) from the Gran Sasso mountain range, the snow-capped peaks of which are visible even from the coast on a clear winter’s day. The city is the birthplace of the poet, patriot and military leader, Gabriele D’Annunzio. His childhood home, the Casa Natale di Gabriele D’Annunzio, which can be found in the historic centre of the city on the south side of the Fiume Pescara, which bisects the city, houses a museum about his life and works. The Museo delle Genti d'Abruzzo has exhibitions on regional industries like ceramics and olive oil. Pieces by Miró and Picasso are on view at the Vittoria Colonna Museum of Modern Art.

The Piazza de Ferrari in the centre of Genoa is always a hub of lively activity
The Piazza de Ferrari in the centre of Genoa is
always a hub of lively activity
Travel tip:

The port city of Genoa, known in Italy as Genova, is the capital of the Liguria region. It has a rich history as a powerful trading centre with considerable wealth built on its shipyards and steelworks, but also boasts many fine buildings, many of which have been restored to their original splendour.  The Doge's Palace, the 16th century Royal Palace and the Romanesque-Renaissance style San Lorenzo Cathedral are just three examples.  The area around the restored harbour area offers a maze of fascinating alleys and squares, enhanced recently by the work of Genoa architect Renzo Piano, and a landmark aquarium, the largest in Italy.

More reading:

Patty Pravo - the '60s star still performing today

Italy's biggest-selling recording artist of all time

How Domenico Modugno wrote the iconic Italian ballad Volare

Also on this day:

1799: The birth of Alessandro La Marmora, founder of Italy's Bersaglieri corps

1968: The birth of popular politician Luca Zaia

1969: The birth of Gianluigi Lentini, once the world's most expensive footballer

(Picture credit: D'Annunzio house by Rae Bo; Fountain by Roberta de roberto; via Wikimedia Commons) 


15 July 2018

Guido Crepax - cartoonist

Erotic character Valentina captured spirit of 1960s Italy

Erotic imagery was central to the success of Crepax's most famous character, Valentina
Erotic imagery was central to the success of Crepax's
most famous character, Valentina
The cartoonist Guido Crepax, whose character Valentina became a heroine of the 1960s generation in Italy and beyond, was born on this day in 1933 in Milan.

Valentina first appeared in May 1965 as a secondary character in another cartoon, the photographer girlfriend of an art critic and amateur sleuth.

But the sinuous, sensual female depicted by Crepax, her hair cut in a glossy bob, soon acquired fans both male and female.

In an era when Italian society was beginning to experience a sense of sexual liberation for the first time, Valentina’s eroticism naturally attracted a legion of male fans. But her assertive individuality struck a chord with many modern Italian women, too, even if her readiness to shed her clothes caused outrage among others.

Soon, Valentina left behind her fictional boyfriend and starred in a series of her own adventures, which Crepax continued to produce for three decades. She was outspoken in her left-wing political views, while her uninhibited fantasies increasingly reflected the world of dreams and psychoanalysis that fascinated her creator.  Her style even influenced the Milan fashion world.

Guido Crepax created his most  famous character in 1965
Guido Crepax created his most
famous character in 1965
Crepax was born Guido Crepas, the son of Gilberto Crepas, a musician from Venice who had moved to Milan to play at Teatro alla Scala, where he eventually became first cellist under the direction of Arturo Toscanini

The family home in Milan was virtually destroyed during a bombing raid in the Second World War but Guido survived to study architecture at Milan University. He graduated in 1958, by which time he had already begun  working as a graphic artist with some success.

His design work included advertising posters, record sleeves - among them Domenico Modugno's hit Nel blu, dipinto di blu (aka Volare) - and magazine and book covers.

His publicity campaign for Shell Oil won him the Palme d'Or for advertising in 1957. The following year he began a long-running collaboration with Tempo Medico, the first Italian medical journal, for which he designed every cover for 22 years.

Then came his first experience of drawing cartoons, with which he had been involved only two years when Valentina appeared for the first time in Linus magazine, in a series in which the main character was her boyfriend Philip Rembrandt, an art critic in his day job who led a double life as the crime fighter Neutron, helped by having the power to freeze people with a penetrating gaze.

Crepax created a back story for Valentina that in many ways reflected his own.

Guido Crepax designed the sleeve for Domenico  Modugno's hit, Nel blu, dipinto di blu
Guido Crepax designed the sleeve for Domenico
 Modugno's hit, Nel blu, dipinto di blu
He named her Valentina Rosselli after the resistance heroes Nello and Carlo Rosselli, whose courage he admired. He gave her an address in Milan's Via De Amicis, where he lived, and filled her apartment with the books that he and his intellectual circle were inspired and informed by.

She was modelled, in part, on the silent movie actress Louise Brooks, who favoured the archetypal ‘flapper’ look with the short bob, and on Crepax's own wife, Luisa.

Valentina was far from Crepax’s only character. He created several other female heroines, such as Belinda, Bianca and Anita, for whom the inspiration was Anita Ekberg, the star of Federico Fellinis La Dolce Vita.

He also drew cartoons based on works of literature, such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the scandalous novels of the Marquis de Sade, the Gothic novels of Edgar Allan Poe and Franz Kafka’s The Trial.

None, however, brought him the acclaim of Valentina, who was published in France, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Japan, the United States, Finland and Greece as well as Italy.

Valentina was twice adapted for the screen: in the 1973 Franco-Italian production Baba Yaga, and as a television series, starring the American actor Demetra Hampton. Both were a disappointment for her author.

A long-time sufferer from multiple sclerosis, Crepax died in Milan in 2003, at the age of 69.

Via Edmondo de Amicis, where Guido Crepax lived
Via Edmondo de Amicis, where Guido Crepax lived
Travel tip:

The Via Edmondo de Amicis, where Crepax lived and where he placed the fictional apartment of his comic book heroine Valentina, is in central Milan, between the Carrobbio and San Vittore neighbourhoods to the southwest of the city centre. A pleasant urban boulevard, it is a short distance from the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, one of the most ancient churches in the city, the original structure of which was built in the 4th century. The Baroque church that stands there today was completed in the 11th century.

The Teatro alla Scala, where Crepax's father was a musician, has become of the world's premier opera houses
The Teatro alla Scala, where Crepax's father was a musician,
has become of the world's premier opera houses
Travel tip:

The Teatro alla Scala - usually referred to by its abbreviated name La Scala - was built in the late 18th century as a replacement for the Teatro Regio Ducale, which was destroyed in a fire in 1776.  The project was financed by some 90 wealthy Milanese and built on the site of the church of Santa Maria alla Scala, from which it takes its name. The theatre has come to be regarded as the premier opera venue in Italy and one of the most important venues for opera and ballet in the world, with ambitious young singers and dancers from every corner of the globe clamouring for places at La Scala Theatre Academy.

More reading:

Hugo Pratt - the Rimini-born artist behind the adventurer Corto Maltese

How Franco Bonvicini's characters mocked the Nazis

The cinematic legacy of Fellini

Also on this day:

1823: Ancient Roman basilica badly damaged by fire

1850: The birth of Frances Xavier Cabrini - America's first saint


20 December 2016

Gigliola Cinquetti - singer and TV presenter

Eurovision win at 16 launched successful career

Gigliola Cinquetti was only 16 when she won Eurovision in 1964
Gigliola Cinquetti was only 16
when she won Eurovision in 1964
Gigliola Cinquetti, who was the first Italian to win the Eurovision Song Contest, was born on this day in 1947 in Verona.

She took the prize in Copenhagen in 1964 with Non ho l'età (I'm Not Old Enough), with music composed by Nicola Salerno and lyrics by Mario Panzeri.

Just 16 years old at the time, she scored an overwhelming victory, gaining 49 points from the judges. The next best song among 16 contenders, which was the United Kingdom entry I Love the Little Things, sung by Matt Monro, polled just 17 points.

Non ho l'età became a big hit, selling more than four million copies and even spending 17 weeks in the UK singles chart, where songs in foreign languages did not traditionally do well. It had already won Italy's prestigious Sanremo Music Festival, which served as the qualifying competition for Eurovision at that time.

Italy had finished third on two occasions previously at Eurovision, which had been launched in 1956. Domenico Modugno, singing Nel blu, dipinto di blu (later renamed Volare) was third in 1958, as was Emilio Pericoli in 1963, singing Uno per tutte.

Watch Gigliola Cinquetti's performance at Eurovision 1964

None of the country's entries went so close until Cinquetti herself finished runner-up 10 years later with Sì, which was a creditable effort given that it was the 1974 contest, staged in Brighton, that introduced the world to ABBA, whose song Waterloo went on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Abba, the Swedish pop phenomenon whose emergence at  Eurovision in 1974 denied Cinquetti a second win
Abba, the Swedish pop phenomenon whose emergence at
Eurovision in 1974 denied Cinquetti a second win
Encouraged by her success in the UK with No ho l'età, Cinquetti released an English version of Sì, entitled Go (Before You Break My Heart).  The move paid off when the single climbed to No 8 in the UK singles chart.

Sales suffered at home in Italy, however, because of the decision by state broadcaster RAI to ban the song from being played on TV and radio for a month out of fears that it would influence the upcoming referendum on the divorce law.  The electorate were being asked to vote 'sì' or 'no' on whether to repeal legislation passed three years earlier that lifted the ban on divorce and RAI were worried that the repetition of the word 'sì' in the song would subliminally influence the vote.

Cinquetti had been born into a wealthy family in Verona.  After attending art school, she began to study architecture and philosophy at university but her success in 1964 led her to concentrate more and more on her music career, in which she enjoyed considerable success.

She won Sanremo again in 1966, accompanied by Domenico Modugno in a duet, Dio come ti Amo - God how I love you - and had a series of hits in Italy before reinforced her fame outside Italy.

In the 1990s, Cinquetti's career took a different direction.  She co-hosted the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest, staged in Rome, alongside Toto Cutugno, who had become Italy's second winner in Zagreb the year before, and performed so impressively she was encouraged to pursue an interest she had already expressed in becoming a television presenter.

Gigliola Cinquetti pictured with her husband, the journalist, writer and director Luciano Teodori
Gigliola Cinquetti pictured with her husband, the
journalist, writer and director Luciano Teodori
She subsequently revealed a talent for TV journalism and presented a number of current affairs programmes for RAI.  She was awarded the Premio Giulietta alla Donna alla Carriera in 2008 in recognition of her diverse career.

More recently, Cinquetti has revived her singing career, embarking on a number of concert tours and recording new material.  One year ago today she released 20:12, her first studio album for 20 years, which included a hit single, Teardrops in an ocean, and a cover of the Rolling Stones 1966 single, Lady Jane.

She has been married since 1979 to the journalist, writer and director Luciano Teodori.  They have two children, Costantino and Giovanni.

Travel tip:

Verona's famous Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, stages an annual Opera Festival, which came into being in 1913 when a local tenor, Giovanni Zenatello, suggested to Ottone Rovato, a theatre manager in the city, that the 100th anniversary of the birth of the composer Giuseppe Verdi be commemorated with an open-air performance of Aida within the setting of the Arena.  It was such a popular and successful production that the venue soon became an established fixture on the opera calendar with stars queuing up to appear there.

Terracina's Duomo in Piazza del Municipio
Terracina's Duomo in Piazza del Municipio
Travel tip:

Gigliola Cinquetta says she met the man who would become her husband, Luciano Teodori, on the beach at Terracina, on the Tyrrhenian coast between Rome and Naples.  A pleasant resort town notable for a long sweep of sandy beach, it also has an interesting historic centre notable for an 11th Doumo in Piazza del Municipio, built on the site of a Roman temple to Augustus. The cathedral has a broad 18-step staircase leading to an entrance sheltered by a vestibule supported by columns resting on recumbent lions, and a Gothic-Romanesque campanile featuring small columns that echo the design of the vestibule.

More reading:

How Sanremo helped launch the career of Italian superstar Eros Ramazotti

Sixties star Rita Pavone conquered America

How a girl from an intellectual background in Venice became pop sensation Patty Pravo

Also on this day:

1856: Death of Sicilian patriot Francesco Bentivegna

(Photo of Terracina Duomo by MM via Wikimedia Commons)


6 August 2016

Domenico Modugno – singer and song writer

Artist who gave us a song that conjures up Italy

Domenico Modugno, who co-wrote the iconic Italian pop song Volare
Domenico Modugno, who co-wrote the iconic
Italian pop song Volare
Domenico Modugno, who was one of the writers of the iconic Italian song, Volare, died on this day in 1994 in Lampedusa, Sicily.

Modugno wrote Volare with Franco Migliacci and performed it in the San Remo music festival in 1958 with Johnny Dorelli.

Sometimes referred to as 'Nel blu dipinto di blu', the song won San Remo and became a hit all over the world.

It was the Italian entry in the 1958 Eurovision song contest. It came only third, yet received two Grammy Awards and sold more than 22 million copies.

Modugno was born in 1928 at Polignano a Mare near Bari in Apulia. After completing his military service he enrolled in drama school and had a number of parts in films while still studying.

The success of Volare proved to be the turning point in his career. He won the San Remo music festival again in 1959 and came second in 1960.

Watch an historic recording of Modugno's performance at Eurovision 

He also represented Italy in the Eurovision song contest for a second time in 1959.

Modugno at the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest with the conductor Alberto Semprini
Modugno at the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest with the
conductor Alberto Semprini
In 1962 he won San Remo for a third time and represented Italy at Eurovision again in 1966 with his song 'Dio come ti amo'. It was recorded in Italian and also in English as Oh How Much I Love You by other artists.

In 1984, Modugno suffered a severe stroke which left him partially paralysed and from 1986 onwards he worked to promote the rights of disabled people.

In 1987, Modugno was elected to the Italian Parliament as a Radical. He spoke out against the conditions in a psychiatric hospital in Sicily and held a concert to raise money for the patients.

His last song, Delfini, was written in 1993 in collaboration with one of his sons.

Modugno died on 6 August 1994 after a heart attack while he was staying at his seaside home in Lampedusa.

Polignano a Mare, where Modugno was born, is built on rocky promontories overlooking the Adriatic sea
Polignano a Mare, where Modugno was born, is built on rocky
promontories overlooking the Adriatic sea
Travel tip:

Polignano a Mare, where Modugno was born, is in the province of Bari and looks out over the Adriatic sea. The resort benefits from tourism, agriculture and fishing. It is believed to be the site of the ancient Greek city of Neapolis.

Travel tip:

Lampedusa, where Modugno had a seaside home, is a large island in the Mediterranean sea that is part of the Sicilian province of Agrigento. It is the southernmost part of Italy. The nearest land to it is Tunisia, which is about 113 kilometres away.

(Photo of Polignano a Mare by Martin Stiburek CC BY-SA 4.0)