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Italian Anthem
Fratelli d'Italia  [official title: Il Canto degli Italiani ]

The music was composed by Michele Novaro in 1847 (born: 12/23/1818 in Genova - died: 10/21/1885 in Genova)

Michele Novaro

The Lyrics to the songe were written by Goffredo Mameli , a very young poet (born: 9/5/1827 in Genova died: 7/6/1849 in Rome) and patriot, who played a major role in the risorgimento.

Goffredo Mameli

The song is also known as “L’Inno di Mameli”. Beginning in 1861, when Italy became a united nation, the song was known as the “March of the House of Savoy” and it became the official Anthem in 1948 when Italy finally was proclaimed a Republic.

“Fratelli d’Italia, l’Italia s’è desta” translates to “Italian Brothers, Italy has Arisen”. The words are meant to remind the battles for freedom waged by the Lombard towns, the Florentine republic, the Genovese, together with the young Balilla, against the Austrians, and the Sicilians against the French in the so-called Sicilian Vespers.

There are different versions of how Mameli actually came to write the anthem. One reports that Mameli took the anthem to the musician Michele Novaro a friend, who lived in Turin.


Novaro composed the music, and Mameli returned to Genoa where he presented words and music to his friends. Shortly thereafter, Fratelli D’Italia was played for the first time, at a popular assembly. The tune began to run like wildfire throughout the peninsula. It was on everyone’s lips, in defiance of the Austrian, Bourbon and Papal police.

The other and equally persuasive story goes that one evening in 1847, in the house of the American consul, the center of discussion was the uprisings of the day. Urged by many of the consul’s guests, Mameli improvised a few lines on the spot and later wrote the rest. A few days later a friend took the poem to Turin and read it aloud at a nobleman’s party. The composer Michele Novaro, who was a guest at the same party, tried a few notes on the piano and then, went home to compose the sequel. The anthem was sung for the first time the next day by a group of political exiles in the Caffè della Lega Italiana of Turin.​

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Fratelli d’Italia  |  Italian brothers

​L’Italia s’è desta  |  ​Italy has arisen

Dell’elmo di Scipio  |  With Scipio’s helmet

S’è cinta la testa  |  binding her head.

Dov’è la Vittoria?  |  Where is Victory?

​Le porga la chioma;  |  Let her bow down,

​Chè schiava di Roma Iddio la creò  |  For God has made her the slave of Rome

​Stringiamoci a coorte,  |  Let us gather in legions

​Siam pronti alla morte:  |  Ready to die

​Italia chiamò  |  Italy has called

Noi siamo da secoli  |  We for centuries

​Calpesti e derisi downtrodden and ridiculed

Perchè non siam popolo,  |  Because we are not a people

​Perchè siam divisi;  |  Because we are divided

​Raccolgaci un’unica Bandiera, un speme  |  Let one flag, one hope

Di fonderci insieme;  |  Bring us together

​​Già l’ora suonò.  |  The hour has struck

Stringiamoci a coorte,  |  Let us gather in legions

Siam pronti alla morte:  |  We are ready to die

​​Italia chiamò  |  Italy has called

Uniamoci, amiamoci;  |  Let us unite and love one another

L’unione e l’amore  |  the union and love

Rivelano ai popoli  |  Reveal to peoples 

Le vie del Signore  |  The ways of the Lord​

Giuriamo far libero  |  Let us swear to free

​​Il suolo natío  |  Our native soil​​

Uniti per Dio  |  united under God​

Chi vincer ci può?.  |  Who can conquer us​

​Stringiamoci a coorte,  |  Let us gathe|r in legions​​

Siam pronti alla morte:  |  We are ready to die

Italia chiamò  |  Italy called

Dall’Alpi a Sicilia  |  From the Alps to Sicily

Dovunque è Legnano  |  Everywhere it is Legnano​

Ogni uom di Ferruccio:  |  Every man of Ferruccio​

Ha il cuor e la mano.  |  has the heart ​​and the hand​

I bimbi d’Italia  |  ​The children of Italy​

Si chiamano Balilla:  |  ​Are called Balilla​​

Il suon d’ogni squilla  |  ​Every trumpet blast

​​I vespri suonò.  |  ​Sounded the Vespers

​​Stringiamoci a coorte  |  Let us gather in legions

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