The festival of Sanremo, Italys most popular song contest, starts 1 March. It is week-long jamboree for television viewers, but audiences no longer reach the viewing records of the festivals heydays in the 1960s and 70s. However success is still guaranteed for the winner of the best song. This year there are 33 entrants in five categories. The festival kicks off with the usual contrived controversy; what will Italians think of the theme-tune, a jazzed-up version of the national anthem?

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