Italian music has frequently graced the glamorous streets of Hollywood, and although it might not be immediately apparent, Italian songs have often found their place in Hollywood films.
I’ve curated a list of already famous songs in Italy that have been chosen as soundtracks for some iconic films. From Pedro Almodòvar to Martin Scorsese, various directors have relied on the unique charm of Italian songs to enrich their cinematic masterpieces. Without further ado, let’s press play on our all-Italian soundtrack!
“Bando” (Anna) in Fast X
Anna’s 2023 rap hit, Bando, has become a sensation in the Italian rap scene. To the surprise of many, the song was featured in a remixed version in the tenth film of the Fast & Furious saga, Fast X.
“Gloria” (Umberto Tozzi) in The Wolf of Wall Street
Continuing our playlist with a bang, the 2014 film The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese, ranked seventh in the box office for the 2013–2014 cinematic season. Observant viewers couldn’t miss the presence of Umberto Tozzi‘s 1979 song Gloria, accompanying the protagonist Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) in his wild and tumultuous yacht outing.
“Il Cielo In Una Stanza” (Gino Paoli) in Goodfellas
Martin Scorsese’s fondness for Italy is evident once again in our special playlist. Goodfellas, a ’90s cult classic ranked 92nd among the greatest American films of all time. The film features the 1960s song Il cielo in una stanza by Gino Paoli, in the version performed by Mina.
“Meravigliosa Creatura” (Gianna Nannini) in The Krenes Case
Released in 2013, this dramatic film won the prestigious Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Gianna Nannini‘s iconic 1995 hit, Meravigliosa Creatura, is one of the singer’s most renowned successes.
“In Ginocchio Da Te” (Gianni Morandi) in Parasite
The first South Korean film to be nominated for an Oscar and winner of the Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. Among the tracks featured in the film, we must mention In ginocchio da te, a relaxing and impactful piece by one of the fathers of Italian music, with over 50 million records sold worldwide.
“Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” (Domenico Modugno) in Absolute Beginners
A song that needs no introduction, Nel blu dipinto di blu is a hands-down classic. In reality, Absolute Beginners is a musical film featuring David Bowie. The singer himself performs a version of the legendary Domenico Modugno’s song.
“Bongo cha cha cha” (Caterina Valente) in Spider-Man: Far From Home
The first film in the successful Spider-Man series to surpass $1 billion at the box office. Bongo cha cha cha is an all-Italian song included in this 2019 cinematic blockbuster.
“Traffic Boom” (Piero Piccioni) in The Big Lebowski
Traffic Boom is a piece by Piero Piccioni, better known as Piero Morgan, one of Italy’s most renowned film score composers.
“Tu vuò fa l’Americano” (Renato Carosone) in The Talented Mr. Ripley
The iconic 1956 song by Renato Carosone narrates a young Italian’s desire to imitate the American lifestyle. Often interpreted as a satire of the Americanization process in the post-war years, when Italy was still rooted in a rural and traditional society. The song is featured in the film The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), directed by Anthony Minghella.
“24 mila baci” in Ida
A Polish film that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, released in 2013. 24 mila baci is a piece composed by Lucio Fulci and Piero Vivarelli.
These ten Italian songs have written unforgettable pages in the cinematic history of Hollywood, offering the international audience a sonic experience infused with passion and beauty. From the enveloping rhythm of Bando in the frenzy of Fast X to the romantic classic Nel blu dipinto di blu in Absolute Beginners, Italy has brought its unique touch to the soundtracks of iconic films.