Showing posts with label Eros Ramazzotti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eros Ramazzotti. 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:


11 February 2020

Gianluca Ginoble – singer

Versatile baritone helps make Il Volo’s magical sound

As a small boy, Gianluca Ginoble used to sing in the bar owned by his grandfather
As a small boy, Gianluca Ginoble used to
sing in the bar owned by his grandfather
Gianluca Ginoble, a member of the hugely successful and award-winning Italian pop and opera trio Il Volo, was born on this day in 1995 in Roseto degli Abruzzi, in the Abruzzo region.

He is the youngest of the trio and the only baritone. The other two singers, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto, are both tenors.

Gianluca’s family lives in Montepagano, a hilltop village overlooking Roseto degli Abruzzi. He is the oldest son of Ercole Ginoble and Eleonora Di Vittorio and has a younger brother, Ernesto.

Gianluca started to sing when he was just three years old with his grandfather, Ernesto, in the Bar Centrale, which Ernesto owns, in the main square of the town.

While still young, he took part in music festivals and competitions in his area, winning some and being distinguished in them all because of his beautiful deep voice.

In 2009, he won the talent show Ti Lascio Una Canzone on Rai Uno, singing  Il mare calmo della sera, which had been Andrea Bocelli's winning song at the 1994 Sanremo Music Festival. He was then just 14 years old.

Ginoble won a TV talent show when he was just 14 years old
Ginoble won a TV talent show
when he was just 14 years old
Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto also took part in the show and in one episode the trio performed together for the first time, singing the Neapolitan classic, O sole mio.

Afterwards, the director, Roberto Cenci, came up with the idea of putting them together to create music similar to The Three Tenors - Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti - when they occasionally performed together.

They were initially named I Tre Tenorini - The Three Little Tenors -  but this was later changed to The Tryo. In 2010 their name was changed to Il Volo, meaning The Flight.

After producing several successful albums, singing in Italian, English and Spanish, Il Volo won the Sanremo Festival of 2015. They represented Italy in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, finishing in third place, although they were the overwhelming 'winners' of the televoting element of the contest, with viewers in 14 countries awarding them the maximum 12 points, compared with only four maximums from the national juries.

In 2016, in collaboration with Placido Domingo, the trio released a live album, Notte Magica – A Tribute to the Three Tenors, featuring many of the songs performed by the famous threesome in their first appearance together on the eve of the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Gianluca Ginoble (left), with Ignazio Boschetto and Piero Barone on the cover of Il Volo's latest album
Gianluca Ginoble (left), with Ignazio Boschetto and Piero
Barone on the cover of Il Volo's latest album
Gianluca Ginoble has been described as a ‘lyric baritone with a warm timbre.’ He is able to sing very low notes but also sing at the top of the baritone register with ease.

He has also been labelled a ‘Heldentenor’, a baritone with a strong upper register, suitable for singing roles in operas by Wagner.

Gianluca is known for his impersonations of the pop singer Eros Ramazzotti, but also among his favourite singers are Andrea Bocelli, Frank Sinatra and Mario Lanza.

A football fan, Gianluca used to play for his home town and has been referred to as the 'Maradona of Montepagano'. He supports AS Roma and is a fan of Francesco Totti.

Buy Il Volo's latest album 10 Years: The Best of Il Volo

Roseta degli Abruzzi, notable for its wide, sandy beach, is sometimes known as Lido delle Rose
Roseta degli Abruzzi, notable for its wide, sandy beach, is
sometimes known as Lido delle Rose.
Travel tip:

Roseto degli Abruzzi, where Gianluca Ginoble was born, is a town of the province of Teramo in Abruzzo. It is a beach resort on the Adriatic Sea and with a population of around 24,000 is the largest municipality in the province. A railway line running along the coast connects it with Pescara, about 30km (19 miles) to the south. The city of Teramo is about 30km (19 miles) inland, at the foot of the Gran Sasso mountain range. Roseto is a popular holiday location because of its lovely beach and is sometimes referred to as Lido delle Rose.

One of the ancient medieval gates of Ginoble's home village of Montepagano, in the hills above Roseta degli Abruzzi
One of the ancient medieval gates of Ginoble's home village
of Montepagano, in the hills above Roseta degli Abruzzi
Travel tip:

Montepagano, where the Ginoble family lives, is a medieval hamlet of Roseto degli Abruzzi, on top of a hill overlooking the sea. It is only six kilometres inland from the seaside resort but visitors feel they have stepped back in time when they go through the ancient city gates. There are winding streets with old palazzi and small squares to explore and stunning views of the sea and the mountains at different points. The vineyards below the town produce excellent wines that feature on the menus in the local restaurants. The 15th century Church of Santissima Annunziata, with its 40m (131ft) bell tower, is a major landmark.

More reading:

How grandfather discovered Piero Barone's singing talent

Andrea Bocelli - singer with perfect voice for opera or pop

How Eros Ramazzotti became one of Italy's biggest stars

Also on this day:

1791: The birth of architect Louis Visconti

1881: The birth of Futurist painter Carlo Carrà

1929: The Vatican becomes an independent state

1948: The birth of footballer Carlo Sartori


4 January 2020

Pino Daniele - guitarist and songwriter

Naples mourned star with flags at half-mast

Pino Daniele on stage in 1982 in the early part of his career, when he was already becoming a star
Pino Daniele on stage in 1982 in the early part of his
career, when he was already becoming a star
The Neapolitan singer-songwriter and guitarist Pino Daniele died on this day in 2015 in hospital in Rome.

Daniele, whose gift was to fuse his city’s traditional music with blues and jazz, suffered a heart attack after being admitted with breathing difficulties. Because of a history of heart problems, he had been taken to a specialist hospital in Rome after falling ill at his holiday home in Tuscany.

On learning of his death at only 59, the Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris ordered that flags on municipal buildings in the city be flown at half-mast.

Born in 1955, Daniele grew up in a working class family in the Sanità neighborhood of Naples, once a notorious hotbed of crime. His father worked at the docks.

As a musician, he was self-taught, mastering the guitar with no formal lessons and developing a unique voice, alternately soaring and soft, and gravelly to the point of sounding almost hoarse.  He named the great American jazz musicians Louis Armstrong and George Benson as his major influences but also drew deeply on the life, culture and traditions of his home city, which he loved.

Daniele taught himself how to play  the guitar
Daniele taught himself how to play
the guitar
His songs sometimes combined Italian, English and Naples dialect.  One of his best known songs was Napule E, which he wrote as a tribute to the city and its contradictions.

Daniele coined the term "tarumbò" to define his music, which he described as a blend of tarantella, blues and rumba. His lyrics often railed against what he perceived as the social injustices of Naples and broader Italian society.

He released his first album, Terra mia - "My Land" - in 1977 and his popularity grew quickly.  Only four years later, he staged an outdoor concert in Naples that attracted 200,000 fans.  His reputation was further enhanced when he was asked to be the opening act at a Bob Marley concert in Milan.

Terra mia was the first of 24 studio albums, one of the most successful of which was the 1980 release Nero a metà - "Half-black". He also recorded seven live albums and 23 singles. His last recording - Nero a metà Live - captured his performance on stage in Milan only a couple of weeks before he died. It was released after his death.

Daniele’s total record sales have been conservatively estimated at in excess of five million. He was at his peak in the mid-1990s. His 1995 album Non calpestare i fiori nel deserto - “Don’t Step on the Flowers in the Desert” - sold more than 800,000 copies, while Dimmi cosa succede sulla Terra - “Tell me What Happens on Earth” (1997) - topped one million.

He also wrote the lyrics and music, including the hit Quando - "When", for three films directed by his fellow-Neapolitan, the actor-director and comic Massimo Troisi.

Daniele in 2010, at around the time he was performing in concerts with the legendary Eric Clapton
Daniele in 2010, at around the time he was performing
in concerts with the legendary Eric Clapton
In 2010, Daniele was invited by his friend Eric Clapton to play at the Crossroads Guitar Festival at Toyota Park in Chicago, and the following year reciprocated by performing in a concert with former Cream lead guitarist Clapton at Cava de' Tirreni stadium.

Daniele was hailed by the great and good after his death. As well as receiving countless tributes from fellow musicians, including his close friend Eros Ramazzotti, the then-prime minister Matteo Renzi spoke of “an incredible voice...precious guitar-playing…” and “a rare sensitivity that was tinged with passion and melancholy that will continue to tell the story of our country to the whole world."

A service for Daniele took place at Rome's Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love before his remains were taken back to Naples, where the funeral had to be moved from the Basilica di San Francesco Di Paola to the Piazza del Plebiscito to accommodate tens of thousands of fans.

Daniele grew up in the working class  neighbourhood of Rione Sanità, at the foot of Capodimonte hill
Daniele grew up in the working class neighbourhood of
Rione Sanità, at the foot of Capodimonte hill
Travel tip:

The Rione Sanità district of Naples, where Daniele was born and grew up, is situated at the foot of the Capodimonte hill and was once home to some of the richest families in Naples, as the presence of some fine palaces is a reminder. It then fell into disrepair, becoming a notorious slum area, with high unemployment and a dominant Camorra presence.  However, its air of faded grandeur attracted a number of writers and film directors to use it as a backdrop and it has seen something of a revival in recent years, with shops, artistic studios and workshops springing up, and a growing number of bars and restaurants turning into a popular area after dark. Sanità was also the birthplace of the brilliant comic actor Totò.

Porticoes line the historic main street through the centre of Cava
Porticoes line the historic main
street through the centre of Cava
Travel tip:

Cava de’ Tirreni is a fascinating historical town just a few kilometres inland from Vietri sul Mare, the seaside resort at the southern end of the famed Amalfi Coast, occupying the valley between the cities of Salerno and Nocera Inferiore.  It takes its name from its first inhabitants, the Tyrrhenians, who were descendant from the Etruscans. The focal point of the town is the long, porticoed Corso Umberto, which runs from one end of the centre to the other, eventually turning into the narrow, winding Borgo Scacciaventi, which was Cava’s 15th century shopping centre. With its nearby Benedictine Abbey, the Abbazia della Santissima Trinità, Cava de' Tirreni has been an important destination for travellers since the 17th century and was popular with poets and Grand Tourists in the 19th century.

Also on this day:

1710: The birth of ‘opera buffa’ composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

1881: The birth of Gaetano Merola, founder of the San Francisco Opera

1952: The birth of Mafia executioner Giuseppe ‘Pino’ Greco

1975: The death of Carlo Levi, author of Christ Stopped at Eboli


27 September 2017

Jovanotti - musician

Former rapper important figure in Italian pop culture

Jovanotti is now one of Italy's most popular performers, attracting sell-out crowds
Jovanotti is now one of Italy's most popular
performers, attracting sell-out crowds
The singer-songwriter Lorenzo Cherubini – better known as Jovanotti – was born on this day in 1966 in Rome.

Famous in his early days as Italy’s first rap star, Jovanotti has evolved into one of Italian pop music’s most significant figures, his work progressing from hip hop to funk and introducing ska and other strands of world music to Italian audiences, his increasingly sophisticated compositions even showing classical influences.

He has come to match Ligabue in terms of the ability to attract massive audiences, while his international record sales in the mid-90s were on a par with Eros Ramazzotti and Laura Pausini.  Since his recording debut in 1988 he has sold more than seven million albums.

Although born in Rome, Cherubini came from a Tuscan family and spent much of his childhood and adolescence in Cortona in the province of Arezzo, where he now has a home.

He began to work as a DJ at venues in and around Cortona, mainly playing dance music and hip hop, which at the time was scarcely known in Italy. After finishing high school he went back to Rome because he felt he had a better chance of launching a musical career via the capital’s club scene.  

Jovanotti started out as a DJ before turning to hip hop and rap
Jovanotti started out as a DJ before
turning to hip hop and rap
Jovanotti became his stage name not quite by design.  He had intended to call himself Joe Vanotti – the name meant to sound like giovanotti, the Italian word for “young people” – but the promotional poster for one of his early club bookings as a deejay incorrectly billed him as Jovanotti and the name stuck.

His success in Rome earned him bookings further afield, particularly at holiday resorts, and it was on one such gig that he met the entrepreneur record producer Claudio Ceccheto, who would give him national exposure via his radio station, Radio Deejay.

Jovanotti’s early work was raw and basic. He fashioned himself as a Paninaro – a kind of Italian version of the English mods of the 1960s, who favoured Vespa and Lambretta scooters and had signature clothes, in particular Timberland boots, Levi jeans and American military flying jackets.

Yet he became an icon for Italian youth. Songs such as Sei come la mia moto – roughly translated: “You’re like my Lambretta/Vespa” – and Gimme Five became youth anthems, the first of many that Italian teenagers, who love to memorise the lyrics of their favourite tracks and sing them together, would turn into pop classics. Fans refer to him often as simply Jova.

His 1988 debut album, Jovanotti for President, was panned by the critics, yet sold more than 400,000 copies. His second, La Mia Moto, topped 600,000.  His catalogue now stands at 13 studio albums, four live albums, six compilations, a remix album and four video albums, plus 82 singles.

Jovanotti songs became anthems for Italian youth
Jovanotti songs became anthems
for Italian youth
The last seven of his studio albums have gone to number one in the Italian music charts and songs such as A te, L’Ombelico del Mondo, Bella, Fango, Piove, Penso Positivo and Per Te – which he wrote for his newborn daughter, Teresa, in 1998 – have entered what writers have dubbed The Great Italian Songbook.

Initially loved for the fact that his songs tended not to carry any political or ideological messages, from the 1990s onwards, Jovanotti became much more political. As a committed pacifist, he frequently worked with organizations such as Make Poverty History and Amnesty International, and he has contributed to events dedicated to debt relief, forming a friendship with the similarly minded U2 front man Bono.

He declared his support for the Partito Democratico della Sinistra (the Democratic Party of the Left), which formed from a split in the Italian Communist Party, in the 1992 general election.

In September 2008, 10 years after the birth of their daughter,  Jovanotti married his long-term partner Francesca Valiani at Cortona, in the Church of Santa Maria Nuova.

The Palazzo Comune in Cortona
The Palazzo Comune in Cortona
Travel tip:

Cortona is a charming small city in the Valdichiana, or Chiana Valley, in the province of Arezzo in southern Tuscany, about 120km (75 miles) southeast of Florence. The city, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, sits on the top of a hill about 600m (2000ft) above sea level, offering spectacular views.  It is characterised by steep, narrow streets – indeed the main street, Via Nazionale, is the only street in the city with no gradient. Among the main sights is the domed church of Santa Maria Nuova, designed by Giorgio Vasari.

The Best Company label favoured by Paninari
The Best Company label favoured by Paninari
Travel tip:

The Paninaro youth culture of the 1980s began in Milan among a group of teenagers who fashioned an identity for themselves around certain clothing brands. They tended to meet in particular cafes and fast food outlets in central Milan, in particular Al Panino in Via Agnello, a stone’s throw from the Duomo. As befits the fashion capital of Italy, they favoured expensive labels and it was not unusual to see Paninari dressed in Armani jeans, although the real must-haves in addition to Timberland boots were brightly coloured Best Company sweatshirts and Alpha Industries or Schott flying jackets.

28 October 2016

Eros Ramazzotti - singer-songwriter

Best-selling Italian star is 53 today

Eros Ramazzotti on stage in 2015
Eros Ramazzotti on stage in 2015

The best-selling Italian singer and songwriter Eros Ramazzotti was born on this day in 1963 in Rome.

Ramazzotti, whose style has developed from pure pop to a contemporary soft rock genre with elements of classical crossover, has sold around 65 million records in a career spanning almost 35 years, putting him among the top 12 Italian recording artists of all time.

He is popular throughout Europe and in Spanish-speaking countries in South America, so much so that he records most of his albums in Spanish as well as Italian.

Among his 13 studio albums, three compilations and six live albums, 12 have reached No 1 in the Italian charts and 10 in the Swiss charts.  In addition, Ramazzotti has had No 1s in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.

Twice - with 9 in 2003 and e2 in 2007 – he sold more records in that year in Italy than any other artist.

Ramazzotti's distinctive voice is part of his appeal
Ramazzotti's distinctive voice is
part of his appeal
Other major selling albums have been In ogni senso, Tutte storie, Dove c'è musica, Stilelibero and Calma apparente.

His appeal is said to stem from his unique voice - a vibrant, slightly nasal tenor – his energetic delivery of catchy pop numbers and the passion he brings to often semi-autobiographical ballads, a genre very popular with Italian audiences who like songs with which they can identify.

Ramazzotti was born in Cinecittà Est, a suburb of Rome that takes its name from the huge film studio complex that was built in the area in the 1930s and subsequently became the hub of the Italian movie industry.

His parents, Rodolfo and Raffaela, named him Eros after the Greek god of love. They were not wealthy but bought him a guitar when he was seven and he began to write songs with his father, who played the piano, in his teens. 

Owing to a lack of musical background, his application to study at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the pre-eminent music conservatory in Rome, was declined and his first serious work was as a bookkeeper.

Occasionally, he appeared as an extra in films at Cinecittà, but his ambition was to be a pop star.

Listen to Eros Ramazzotti perform one of his biggest hits Più Bella Cosa

His talent became clear in 1981 when he took part in a music contest, Voci Nuove di Castrocaro (New Voices of Castrocaro Terme) with the song "Rock 80".  Although the contest was won by Zucchero and the female singer Fiordaliso, Ramazzotti reached the final and earned his first recording contract with a studio in Milan, moving to the northern city soon afterwards. 

His first single was not particularly successful but then his song "Terra promessa" (Promised Land) won the Newcomers' category at the 1984 Sanremo Festival. 

In 1985, Ramazzotti took part in the Sanremo Festival again with the song "Una storia importante" (An Important Story), taken from his debut album Cuori agitati (Troubled Hearts). He finished only sixth but the song was released as a single and became a hit in many European countries. 

Eros Ramazzotti on stage in Alicante, Spain
Eros Ramazzotti on stage in Alicante, Spain
His second album Nuovi eroi (New Heroes), released in 1986, gave him his first No 1 and the single from the album, "Adesso tu" (Now You) won Sanremo outright. 

Since then, his career has been one of almost unremitting success, with other performers eager to share the spotlight. Ramazzotti has filled large venues performing alongside such stars as Cher, Tina Turner, Andrea Bocelli, Patsy Kensit, Anastacia, Joe Cocker, Luciano Pavarotti and Laura Pausini among others. 

Away from the stage and studio, Ramazzotti has led a very public private life.

In 1998 he married the Swiss model and TV presenter, Michelle Hunziker, with whom he had already had a child, Aurora Sophie. His hit song "Più bella cosa"(The best thing) was dedicated to Michelle, the follow-up single "L’aurora" (The aurora) to his daughter. They were considered the perfect couple but their marriage ended in divorce and a custody battle that the tabloids lapped up. 

In June 2014 Ramazzotti married Italian model and actress Marica Pellegrinelli, who is 24 years’ his junior.  They have a daughter, five-year-old Raffaela Maria, and a son, Gabrio Tullio, aged 18 months. 

A football fan, despite his links with Rome and Milan he supports the Turin club, Juventus.

The Cinecittà film studio complex is near Ramazzotti's childhood home in the Rome suburbs
The Cinecittà film studio complex is near Ramazzotti's
childhood home in the Rome suburbs
Travel tip:

Cinecittà in Rome is the largest film studio in Europe, spreading over an area of 100 acres with  22 stages and 300 dressing rooms. Situated six miles south of the city centre, it is the hub of the Italian film industry. Built during the Fascist era under the personal direction of Benito Mussolini and his son, Vittorio, the studios were bombed by the Allies in the Second World War but were rebuilt and used again in the 1950s for large productions, such as Ben Hur. These days a range of productions, from television drama to music videos, are filmed there.

Travel tip:

Eros Ramazzotti’s first record company was based close to the commercial heart of Milan in Via della Spiga, which forms part of the so-called Fashion Quadrilateral, bordered by Via Monte Napoleone, Via Manzoni, Via Sant'Andrea and Corso Venezia.  Via della Spiga is home to many designer stores.

More reading:
(Photo of Cinecitta by JRibaX CC BY-SA 3.0)