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The Sanremo Music Festival continues until Saturday

The Sanremo Music Festival continues until Saturday

Biggest event of the year: Sanremo.Image: Cornerstone

The popular festival will attract millions of Italians to their television screens every evening until Saturday. There is also a cow.

Natasha Haney, Dominique Stroup, Rome/Media

John Travolta, Ercolina the Cow and dozens of musicians were on the same stage this week. They are all part of the most important event in Italy: the Sanremo Music Festival. The event in the city of the same name has drawn Italians to their television screens for a week every year since the 1950s. On Tuesday alone, up to 16.8 million people watched the 74th edition on television. This corresponds to an audience rating of 65 percent.

epa11132355 Sanremo Festival host and artistic director Amadeus (left) on stage with former Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic (right) at the Ariston Theater during the 74th Sanremo Italian Song Festival...

Football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic joked with the broadcaster during the ceremony.Image: Cornerstone

30 musicians will perform in Sanremo this year. Among them are such greats as Loredana Berti, Ricky i Boveri, Ringa i Nick and last year's winner Mahmoud. New songs are presented only in Italian. Whoever wins the competition can represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). Some of the country's most successful artists began their careers in Sanremo, including Laura Pausini, Eros Ramazzotti, Andrea Bocelli and the Maniskin Ensemble.

In addition, foreign star guests are always invited. This year it was Hollywood icons John Travolta and Russell Crowe as well as football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was working as a consultant at Milan again for a few weeks. Travolta caused great ridicule with his duck dance in the traditional song competition. The show lasts about five hours every evening.

In addition to the artists, it is also scheduled to host an animal: Ercolina the cow. It made its first big appearance on Tuesday when it arrived in Sanremo and its owner took it for a walk on the seaside promenade in the festival city in northern Italy. Its owner brought it to Sanremo to raise awareness of his problems with other farmers.

Farmer protests, which have made headlines in Italy and across Europe for weeks, were bound to become an issue in Sanremo this year. The event addresses social trends each year. Sanremo is a snapshot of Italian society and what currently influences it – a “self-portrait of the nation”, so to speak. Farmers benefit from this. For them, there is perhaps no better theater in the entire country to draw attention to their concerns than Italy's most popular musical.

Mahmoud sang “Tota Al-Dhahab” this year

Pictures that are almost perfect


Pictures that are almost perfect

We wouldn't be able to handle it if we saw it that way in action.

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