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Italy remembers Rino Gaetano on his anniversary

Rino Gaetano died in Rome on 2 June 1981.

Italy remembers the popular singer-songwriter Rino Gaetano, 42 years after his untimely death at the age of 30, with live music events on 2 and 3 June.

An annual live music festival known as Rino Gaetano Day - organised by Anna and Alessandro Gaetano, Rino's sister and nephew - will be held in Rome over two evenings this year.

The concert event, in its 13th edition, will take place in Parco Talenti, with free entry from 18.00 on both days.

Remembering Rino Gaetano

Two years ago Italy marked the 40th anniversary of Gaetano's death by releasing a stamp in his honour, part of the "Italian Excellence" series.

The stamp featured the musician's smiling face in his trademark top hat against the background of a blue sky, a reference to one of his greatest hits Ma il cielo è sempre più blu (But the sky is always bluer).

A new concert arena in Rome's Parco delle Valli was also named after Gaetano and a special box set of the singer's work, Istantanee e Tabù, was released to mark the anniversary. 

More than four decades after his death, Gaetano and his music remain hugely popular in Italy.

Who was Rino Gaetano?

Salvatore Antonio Gaetano was born in Italy's southern Calabria region in 1950 before moving aged 10 to Rome where he would live the rest of his short life.

He made his musical breakthrough in 1975 with Ma il cielo è sempre più blu, a jaunty song about everyday life, littered with irony, clichés and contradictions.

Satirical lyrics

Gaetano soon became known for his satirical songs, which took aim at politicians and supported social protests, all sung in a rough, powerful voice.

Rino Gaetano (1950-1981)

His lyrics often landed him trouble, notably with the 1976 song Nuntereggae più, which originally cited prime minister Aldo Moro (before his kidnapping) and journalist Indro Montanelli, whose names were deleted to avoid controversy.

Critical success

Success continued for Gaetano with his second album, Mio fratello è figlio unico (My Brother is an Only Child) in 1976, and his third album the following year, Aida, which featured the hit of the same name.

Noted for its originality, the song is Gaetano's ode to Italy and its history, told through the figure of Aida.

In 1980 Gaetano recorded his final album E io ci sto, marked by a serious tone and rock sound, whose title track he sang during his last television appearance on 31 May 1981.


Two days later, in the early hours of 2 June, Festa della Repubblica, Gaetano was driving home alone along Rome's Via Nomentana where he collided with a van at the intersection of Viale XXI Aprile, dying of his injuries a few hours later.

Rino Gaetano is buried in city's Verano cemetery and his tombstone reads: Ma il cielo è sempre più blu.

General Info

Address Via Corrado Alvaro, 00137 Roma RM, Italy

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Italy remembers Rino Gaetano on his anniversary

Via Corrado Alvaro, 00137 Roma RM, Italy

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
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