Domenico Modugno was born in Polignano a Mare, the pearl of the Adriatic sea in Puglia. He won Sanremo music festival in 1958 singing “Nel blu, dipinto di blu”. That song is also known as “Volare” which is the most famous and reinterpreted Italian song in history.
“Nel blu, dipinto di blu” was written in Rome in the summer of 1957 by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci. There are various stories about the birth of the hit. As the Apulian singer confessed, the idea came to mind to his friend while looking at the painting “Le coq rouge dans la nuit” by Marc Chagall. Migliacci himself then revealed that in reality the song is the result of a dream in the saddest day of his life.
The two friends met one evening in Piazza del Popolo ( Rome ) and began to write down the words of the text. However, something was missing: the chorus. That “Volare oh oh”, which is the most remembered and recognizable part of the song, was born by chance. Modugno observed one morning with his wife Franca the blue sky from the window of his house and finally a masterpiece emerged.
In the United States, they named Modugno as Mister Volare. He recorded his hit in 13 languages and more than 22 million records were sold worldwide. Even today it is probably the most famous and reinterpreted Italian song in modern history.
His birthplace Polignano, wanted to dedicate a statue, created by the Argentine sculptor Hermann Mejer, which depicts the artist with his arms wide open as if wanting to embrace his hometown. Furthermore it has become an obligatory destination for those who want to take a souvenir photo. Behind the statue there’s blue sky and blue sea which recalls the song’s title “nel blu dipinto di blu”.
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