Anthem of Italy

The national anthem of Italy is known to its citizens as “Il Canto degli Italiani,” which translated to mean “The Chant of the Italians” or “The Song of the Italians.” However, many Italians know the song simply as “Inno di Mameli,” or “Mameli’s Hymn.” The lyrics to the song were written in 1847 by Goffredo Mameli, a 20-year-old student. The music was created later that year by Michele Novaro. The hymn grew in popularity over the next several decades. However, it was not yet adopted as the official national anthem. In 1861 following the Italian Unification, the chosen anthem was “Marcia Reale,” or “Royal March.”

It was after World War II when Italy became a republic and selected “Il Canto degli Italiani” as its provisional national anthem on October 12, 1946. It was not designated as the official anthem until December 30, 2017. The original poem written by Mameli featured several stanzas. However, the official national anthem consists of the first stanza and the chorus, with the word “Si!” shouted at the end. The stanza that is used for the national anthem describes Italy being ready to go to war to gain its freedom, referencing Italy’s battle with Rome during ancient times. The chorus stresses that Italians are ready to fight and even die for their country and freedom.

Lyrics

Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
Bound Scipio's helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,
For God created her
Slave of Rome.

Chorus:
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called.
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called, yes!

We were for centuries
downtrodden, derided,
because we are not one people,
because we are divided.
Let one flag, one hope
gather us all.
The hour has struck
for us to unite.

Chorus

Let us unite, let us love one another,
For union and love
Reveal to the people
The ways of the Lord.
Let us swear to set free
The land of our birth:
United, for God,
Who can overcome us?

Chorus

From the Alps to Sicily,
Legnano is everywhere;
Every man has the heart
and hand of Ferruccio
The children of Italy
Are all called Balilla;
Every trumpet blast
sounds the Vespers.

Chorus

Mercenary swords,
they're feeble reeds.
The Austrian eagle
Has already lost its plumes.
The blood of Italy
and the Polish blood
It drank, along with the Cossack,
But it burned its heart.