Italy's National Anthem
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.