The Italian National Anthemhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A cI2IdHhEHE
A brief history of the anthem• Il Canto degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians) is the Italian national anthem. It is best known among Italians as Inno di Mameli (Mamelis Hymn), after the author of the lyrics, or Fratelli dItalia (Brothers of Italy), from its opening line.
• The words were written in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli, in a climate of popular struggle for unification and independence of Italy which foreshadowed the war against Austria.
Two months later, theywere set to music in Turinby another Genoese,Michele Novaro. The hymnenjoyed widespreadpopularity throughout theperiod of the Risorgimentoand in the followingdecades.
• After unification (1861) the official national anthem was the Marcia Reale, the Royal March (or Fanfara Reale), anthem of the royal house of Savoy. “Marcia Reale” remained the Italian national anthem until Italy became a republic in 1946.
• In 1946 Italy became a republic, and on October 12, 1946, Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen as the countrys new national anthem. This choice was made official only on November 17, 2005, almost 60 years later.
Two anthems for one country?• 5 years before Mameli wrote the words to his “Canzone deli Italiani”, Giusepper Verdi’s Nabucco premiered at the Scala theatre in Milano.• Il Nabucco contained a chorus known as “Va’ pensiero”
• In the opera the Jews, prisoners in Babylon, sing the chorus.• The public interpreted it as a metaphor of the condition of the Italian population “prisoner” of the Austrians.
• The chorus became a revolutionary hymn.• The Italians of Istria and Dalmazia which fell under the Austrian control adopted it as their national Anthem.
• Lega Nord an Italian political party wishing to divide Northern Italy from the South creating a federation of states, supported the adoption of the song as the Italian Anthem.• They stated that Temistocle Solera, who wrote the words, did not support the republican solution.• Documents show that Giuseppe Verdi was a republican fighting for a united nation under one state.
• Va pensiero is one the the songs representing the Italian “Risorgimento”.• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1JkhNOc XGo• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bt9RTM DvX4
Il Tricolore• The Italian Tricolor was adopted in Reggio Emilia 7 January 1797 as flag of the Cispadan Republic.• Why these colors?• The flag was clearly inspired by the French flag of 1790.
Red and white were ancient colors of the city ofMilano, and green was the color of its troops.The rebels of Lombardia and of the army knownas “Italian Legion” used the same colors duringtheir military campaigns.Many volunteers from Emilia and Romagnafought in that army against the Austrians.This is probably the reason why the CispadanRepublic chose the same colors for its flag.
1796-1799• Napoleon between 1796 and1799 crushes the old monarchs. Jacobin Republics take their place: la Repubblica Ligure, la Repubblica Romana, la Repubblica Partenopea, la Repubblica Anconitana.
• The republics represented the ideals of independence that where the spirit of the “Risorgimento”.• During the wars for independence the flag becomes the symbol of the people, of freedom, and of the NATION.• 23 March 1848 Carlo Alberto announces the war presenting a new flag with the royal arms on the “tricolore”.
• 17 March 1861 the Reign of Italy is proclaimed. Its flag: the “Tricolore”.• Only in 1925 a new law officially defined the colors and proportions of the Italian flag.
Italian or Italians?• The standard Italian language has a poetic and literary origin starting in the twelfth century, and the modern standard of the language was largely shaped by relatively recent events
• However, Italian as a language used in the Italian Peninsula has a longer history. In fact the earliest surviving texts that can definitely be called Italian (or more accurately, vernacular) is a riddle called “Indovinello Veronese” dating back to IX
Other early written examples ofvernacular include liturgical writingssuch as commentaries, notes andinstructional guides for the Jewishfestivity of Pesach.This is an example of a mediaevalHaggadah coming from the Greekisland of Corfu where a strong Jewishcommunity coming from the southernpart of Apulia had settled.Although the alphabet is clearlyHebrew, the language of the text is asouthern dialect today called Leccese(from the name of the capital of theregion, Lecce). It’s a vernacularlanguage vey similar to Sicilian, stillspoken today.
Italy has always had a distinctive dialect foreach city.Those dialects now have considerablevariety.As Tuscan-derived Italian came to be usedthroughout Italy, features of local speechwere naturally adopted, producing variousversions of Regional Italian.
• The most characteristic differences, for instance, between Roman Italian and Milanese Italian are the gemination of initial consonants and the pronunciation of stressed "e", and of "s" in some cases:• e.g. va bene "all right": is pronounced [va ˈ ɛne] by a Roman (and by any standard- bˈ speaker, like a Florentine), [va ˈbene] by a Milanese (and by any speaker whose native dialect lies to the north of La Spezia-Rimini Line); a casa "at home" is [a ˈ kˈasa for Roman and ] standard, [a ˈ kaza] for Milanese and generally northern.
• Starting with the Renaissance Italian became the language used in the courts of every state in the peninsula. The rediscovery of Dantes De vulgari eloquentia and a renewed interest in linguistics in the sixteenth century, sparked a debate that raged throughout Italy concerning the criteria that should govern the establishment of a modern Italian literary and spoken language
Scholars divided into three factions:1. The purists, headed byVenetian Pietro Bembothought the DivineComedy not dignifiedenough, because it usedelements from non-lyricregisters of the language.
2. Niccolò Machiavelli and other Florentinespreferred the version spoken by ordinary people in their own times
• 3. The courtiers, like Baldassare Castiglione and Gian Giorgio Trissino, insisted that each local vernacular contribute to the new standard
• Bembos ideas prevailed, and the foundation of the Accademia della Crusca in Florence (1582–1583), the official legislative body of the Italian language, led to publication of the first Italian dictionary in 1612
Napoleon’s conquest turned the Italian languageinto a lingua franca used not only among clerks,nobility and functionaries in the Italian courts butalso in the bourgeoisie.
• Italian literatures first modern novel, I Promessi Sposi, by Alessandro Manzoni further defined the standard by "rinsing" his Milanese "in the waters of the Arno”, as he states in the Preface to his 1840 edition.• After unification a huge number of civil servants and soldiers recruited from all over the country introduced many more words and idioms from their home languages .• Only 2.5% of Italy’s population could speak the Italian standardized language properly when the nation unified in 1861
• Many Italian dialects may be considered historical languages in their own right. These include recognized language groups such as, Neapolitan, Sardinian, Sicilian, Ligurian, Piedmontese, Venetian, and others, and regional variants of these languages such as Calabrian.• Some minorities in Italy still speak Albanian, Greek, German, Ladin, and Occitan.