Tune of the Day: Fratelli d'Italia
The Italian national anthem is officially titled “Il Canto degli Italiani” (“The Song of the Italians”), but is best known among Italians as “L'Inno di Mameli” (“Mameli's Hymn”), and often referred to as “Fratelli d'Italia” (“Brothers of Italy”), from its opening line.
The words were written in 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, they were set to music in Turin by another Genoese, Michele Novaro. The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of Italian unification and in the following decades. After unification (1861), however, the adopted national anthem was the “Marcia Reale”, official hymn of the royal house of Savoy. This march remained the Italian national anthem until 1946, when Italy became a republic.