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Italian Music you should listen to, part II

More Suggestions about Italy’s best performers and songwriters

Do you want to learn more about our classic stars and singer songwriters? Check out Best Italian Music I

Top Italian music, i Famosissimi

These are the artists that everyone knows, no matter their genre. 

Vasco Rossi

Il Blasco (as it is known among his fans) is an Italian phenomenon. When people outside of Italy hear his music, they are often untouched. When Compared to American rock stars, Vasco may look and sound more like a theatrical imitation. But don’t be fooled, he has talent.  

He remains one of the most popular Italian singers and he is literally adored by his fans. He’s been high riding the charts since the early 1980s and some of his tunes remain among the best example of Italian pop-rock music

Must listen:  Albachiara, Vita Spericolata, Senza Parole, C’è chi Dice no, Gli Angeli.

Luciano Ligabue

Ligabue (Liga) is as much of a crowd-pleasing rocker as Vasco is.  If his cowboy look (much tamer today than it used to be) may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it must be admitted that he is a talented songwriter.

Liga shares its origins with Blasco, as they come from the same Italian region, Emilia Romagna. However, lovely Emilia is much more of a feature in Ligabue’s music and lyrics. He references its people, food, and wines. He sings tradition with a modern twist.

Must listen: Urlando Contro il Cielo, Certe Notti, Ho Messo Via, Balliamo sul Mondo, Sono Sempre i Sogni a dare Forma al Mondo.

Eros Ramazzotti

Eros barely needs introductions. Still, if you’re not familiar with his career and music you can check out our Eros Ramazzotti feature article.

What makes him so different is that he’s not only big in Italy, but also abroad. Spain, Germany, South America and the US, Eros has conquered the world with his blend of catchyness, poetry and creativity. His very distinctive voice may have also helped: his timbre is unmistakable. 

Must listen: Terra Promessa, Musica è, Adesso Tu, Cose della Vita, Più Bella Cosa, Infinitamente.

Laura Pausini

In many ways, Laura Pausini‘s career resembles that of Eros Ramazzotti. They both began very young at the Festival di Sanremo. They also share an enormous international success, something not many Italian singers and songwriters can say about themselves. Laura has invested time and effort into singing in Spanish and English. And it paid off. The international public loves her.

Must listenLa Solitudine, Tra te e il Mare, Non ho Mai Smesso, Surrender.

Tiziano Ferro 

Sure, Tiziano Ferro is a younger and newer artist. At least compared to the other Famosissimi.

He was born in 1980, but his career started at the beginning of the 2000s. That’s when he launched his first album, “Rosso Relativo.” It’s the beginning of an enormous success, which brings him also abroad. In fact, he sings in Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese.

Must listenSere Nere, L’Amore è una Cosa Semplice, Assurdo Pensare, Ti Voglio Bene.

Gli Alternativi

These are the alternatives to the big stars in the top Italian music. The public still recognizes, but they have their niche.


Subsonica came to the spotlight in 2000. The band participated to Sanremo with the song “Tutti i Miei Sbagli,” but its story had started much earlier. The Subsonica were born in the summer of 1996 in Turin, where the members lived.

People love their mix of rock and electronic music. Not to mention Samuel Romano’s beautiful voice.

Must listen: Tutti i Miei Sbagli, Il Cielo su Torino, Livido Amniotico, Nei Nostri Luoghi, Nicotina Groove, Nuova Ossessione.


Litfiba, from Firenze, have been around since the beginning of the 1980s and they have never really gone out of fashion. Lead by charismatic duo Piero Pelù and Ghigo Renzulli, the band is known for its brand of visionary rock, made of heavy guitars and ethnic influences. To alternative rock purists, Litfiba’ s best production is that of the first 10 years of their career, up to 1993’s “Terremoto;” their successive albums, however, may be more palatable for pop music fans. Either way, Litfiba are unanimously considered a piece of Italian alternative music’s history. 

Must listenLulù e Marlene, Eroi nel Vento, Paname, Fata Morgana, Maudit, Suona Fratello, Cuore di Vetro, Regina di Cuori.


Fedez,  short for Federico Leonardo Lucia, is currently the best known representant of rap music in Italy.  His career started in 2011, when he recorded his first album, “Penisola che non c’è.” Appreciated by the younger public, Fedez’ style has been criticized by rap purists in more than one occasion. The young Milanese didn’t let negative feedback affect him too much: his last album “Pop-Hoolista” has won two Platinum Records so far. Fedez has also been a judge on Italy’s “X Factor” eight edition. 

Must listen: Magnifico, Cigno Nero, Ragazza Sbagliata, Si scrive Schiavitù si Legge Libertà. 

Marlene Kuntz

The Piedmontese band has been around since the mid-1990s and has always mentioned American music icons Sonic Youth as their first inspiration when they began palying music. Their first two albums, “Catartica” (1994) and “Il Vile” (1996) are probably their best, especially if you are into proper indie rock. Since then, the band has mellowed down a little, yet managed to maintain the right edge to still be counted among the best alternative music bands in the country. Marlene Kuntz have some of the best lyrics around from a linguistic point of view: lead singer Cristiano Godano is an extremely talented writer. 

Must listen: Sonica, Nuotando nell’Aria, Lieve, Tre di Tre, Ape Regina, L’esangue deborah, Il Vile. 

One last band to keep an eye on are the Måneskin. Find out who they are here!

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