From our Friends (and Affiliate) at Musical Notes Global…

Musical Notes Global

5 Perfect Cover Versions of Classic Italian Songs

Italy has an incredibly rich musical history that continues to inspire the artists of today. Here are 5 cover versions of Italian favorites that prove it.

To view original versions, click the artist’s name.

“La prima cosa bella”

Original:  Nicola Di Bari/Ricchi e Poveri

Cover: Malika Ayane

In 2010, Malika Ayane revived this simple yet completely wonderful song that ranked at No. 2 in the 20th edition of Sanremo, presented by Di Bari alongside the group Ricchi e Poveri. Although the original is always a beloved favorite, Ayane used a delicate touch to make the song relevant again for a new generation. Her cover was even featured on the soundtrack for the film of the same name.


“Ma il cielo è sempre più blu”

Original: Rino Gaetano

Cover: Giusy Ferreri

2016 marks the 35th anniversary of singer-songwriter Rino Gaetano’s death. Out of all the many covers of this song, Giusy’s version is a top pick, her vocals matching Gaetano’s signature grit. Find it on her 2009 album Fotografie.



Original: Mango

Cover: Pietro Gabriele

Pietro Gabriele is a fantastic young singer-songwriter and musician who comes to us from the small Italian island of Pantelleria. He performed this passionate and moving cover of Mango’s “Mediterraneo” in profound homage to his island–with scenes of its beautiful landscape playing in the background–at his show this past May at the great Teatro Europa di Aprilia. Check out MNGBlog’s interview with Gabriele here and look out for his new single on August 10!



Original: Domenico Modugno

Cover: Il Volo

When many people think of Italy and it’s music, “Volare” is one of the first songs that come to mind. Oh, how we love Il Volo’s version of this definitive Italian song! Featured on their 2015 albums Grande Amore (International Version), L’amore si muove, and Grande Amore (Spanish Version), the award-winning trio remixes the original worldwide hit with a little Latin rhythm.


“‘O Sarracino”

Original: Renato Carosone

Cover: Gigi D’Alessio

As a Neapolitan classic, “‘O Sarracino” has been covered countless times since its release in 1958. For this remake, D’Alessio, a native of Naples himself, is joined by guitarist Michael Thompson, who lends a Santana-like flare to the track. Find it on D’Alessio’s album Malaterra, which features covers of other Neapolitan classics such as “Guaglione” (featuring Briga) and “‘O surdato ‘nnamurato.”

Gigi will play two more concerts in the U.S. this year as part of his Malaterra international tour. For more information, including tickets, visit

12 thoughts on “From our Friends (and Affiliate) at Musical Notes Global…”

  1. Enjoyed all songs and wish that Il Volo would sing more of these songs.
    “La Prima Cosa Bella” and “O’Sarracino” would be perfect for the boys and their band.

  2. Well this post was fun! I liked La Prima Cosa Bella but the video sure did confuse me and I hate scenes men treating women badly. I’m not sure how our guys would do this song but I am sure if they did, they would manage to make it their own.
    The next song? Did not like her voice or the song. Mediterraneo was nice. guy had a good voice. That Volare song, now that one is Terrific as is those hunky guys who sing it. Whoaaaa Mama!!! I was dancing in my chair.. Best of all!
    Last song was very good too, good arrangement , good singer.

      1. If my humble self *cough* makes you laugh then you have made my day LindaP!Ciao Bella!

  3. Ci sono tantissime belle canzoni italiane che possono essere riproposte in modo impeccabile dai nostri ragazzi, di quelle elencate mi piace molto “La prima cosa bella”, quando e’ stata proposta a Sanremo gareggiavano due cantanti per la stessa canzone ed in quel caso era proposta dai Ricchi e Poveri, un quartetto (2 uomini e 2 donne) molto bravi e che io preferivo alla versione di Endrigo.
    Non sapevo che fosse colonna sonora del film “Il Divo” (sicuri?) sapevo che è colonna sonora del film “La prima cosa bella” di cui nel video vediamo tanti spezzoni , è un film dolcissimo, uno spaccato di vita italiana degli anni 60/70 e che è stato anche candidato all’Oscar.
    “Mediterraneo” di Mango mi piace moltissimo ma non so come potrebbe essere interpretata dal Volo.
    “Volare”, che dire è una canzone bellissima e Piero Ignazio e Gianluca ne hanno fatta una interpretazione magnifica che ti fa muovere anche sulla sedia se sei seduto.
    Le altre due canzoni non mi sono mai piaciute in modo particolare anche se mi piacciono come interpreti sia Malika che D’Alessio.
    Nei giovani cantautori italiani sicuramente Francesco Renga (L’amore si muove è Nel nome del Padre) ha delle bellissime canzoni che facilmente possono essere riproposte dai nostri ragazzi poichè anche Renga ha una voce bellissima con dei toni molto alti .
    Buona domenica a tutto l’equipaggio.

    Translation: There are many beautiful Italian songs that can be played flawlessly by our guys, those listed I really like “the first beautiful thing”, when it was proposed in Sanremo two singers vied for the same song and in that case was proposed by rich and poor, a Quartet (2 men and 2 women) very good & that I preferred the version of Endrigo.
    I didn’t know it was the soundtrack of the film “Il Divo” (safe?) I knew it is the soundtrack of the movie “the first beautiful thing” in whose video we see many slugs, is a sweet movie, a slice of Italian life the years 60/70 and that was also nominated for an Oscar.
    “Mediterranean” of Mango I love it but I don’t know how it could be interpreted from the flight.
    “Fly”, which say it is a beautiful song and Piero Ignatius and Laurie have made a magnificent interpretation that makes you move the Chair if you’re sitting.
    The other two songs I have never liked in particular although I like how interpreters is Malika that Davis.
    In the young singer-songwriters definitely Francesco Renga (love moves you in the name of the father) has some beautiful songs that easily can be reproduced by our boys since even Rachael has a beautiful voice with very high tone.
    Good Sunday to all crew members.

  4. July 30/31 in Krakow, Il Volo will perform the anthem of the WYD, Ave Maria (Schubert) and the new song “Ave Maria Mercy”, written by Romano Musumarra. Future plans, Gianluca in interview said: “After the summer we will start a promotional tour, starting from the United States and then go to South America, Europe and arriving in Asia, where we not returned since 2011. We will start on September 30, when the new CD with the DVD of the concert that we did July 1, 2016 in Florence, in Piazza Santa Croce, with Placido Domingo for the tribute to the three tenors will be release” Article :


    Regarding the above post and first interview per Gianluca Il Volo will be starting a promo tour for new cd and dvd of concert in Florence at end of September starting with N and S America, Europe and Asia.

    Per my local public tv station WLRN (Broward co /comcast) they will be airing the Florence concert ont their August pledge drive . No definite time slot selected as yet

  6. Thanks for posting these videos. We should all use these and any other similar examples to gain exposure to other Italian singers, performers, artists etc. Not everyone will like every single link but the important thing is to give them a try because you never know what undiscovered treasure you might find. It wasn’t too long ago that I stumbled upon three teenage boys singing O Sole Mio that caused such a profound change in my life that will probably last me a lifetime.

    1. You are right, John. Through IL VOLO, I have come to appreciate other Italian artists like Bocelli, Massimo Ranieri & Sal da Vinci. I had heard of Bocelli before I knew about IL VOLO, but I had never listened to him sing very much. I first heard Ranieri & da Vinci when I found the TLUC videos of IL VOLO on YouTube, and they were “mentoring” artists. I searched them out on YouTube & found many of their songs that I liked so much, I even bought them from I-Tunes. I like the Neapolitan music very much, even though I can’t understand a word of it.

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