If you’ve ever heard a song play on the Italian radio over and over again, getting stuck in your head then you know exactly what “tormentoni" is! Tormentoni are the songs heard on the radio all summer long or booming from the beach club speakers if you’re away in Italy—and if you’re home in the States they can still be the soundtrack for wherever the summer takes you with a simple YouTube search or download. The word “tormentoni” translates to the catchphrase, but refers to any piece of music or lyrics that are played on repeat for an extended period of time gaining massive popularity and therefore “tormenting” you as they become a permanent fixture in your head. Even the harshest of critics who claim these songs lack every decent element of musical composition can be found singing or dancing along to these lyrics.
Get ready to turn up your speakers because we’re sharing 8 of the most popular Italian songs of the summer for 2023!
Coming in at number 1 on many lists including ours is Disco Paradise by Fedez, Annalisa Scarrone, and Article 31. Born in Milan, Fedez is a usual suspect for tormentoni lists and his songs are chart toppers inducing dance in even the shyest of clubgoers. His catchy lyrics (often risqué) and contagious beats have quickly found their way into many a playlist. With its 80s vibe and the voice of Ligura native Annalisa, Disco Paradise is sure to draw widespread attention. In our humble opinion, it’s just not estate (summer) without a Fedez hit!
For our second hit, we’re adding a bit of a slower rhythm to the mix with Pazza Musica, by Marco Mengoni and Elodie. This is the first time these two talents have come together on a track and might we say, it’s giving a touch of 90s R&B romance. Mengoni comes from the Lazio region of Italy while Elodie’s roots are in bustling Rome. Combining a jazzy undertone with a whole lot of hip-hop, the constant switch-up of beats on this song begs to be replayed.
Third on the list is Mare Caos by Paola and Chiara and the video is just that (sea chaos) with horses galloping at the water’s edge and a group of jaw-dropping men gathering where the sand kisses the ocean. The artists responsible are the Iezzi sisters, a female group from Milan who have sold an astonishing 35 million records. They entered Sanremo Music Festival 2023 with their hit Furore, and are now back for more with this new Latin-infused hit!
Up next is ITALODISCO by The Kolors. Pioneering an Italian disco party, you just can’t help but get up and dance to this one with its discotheque beats that build throughout the song. The Kolors are a pop rock band originating in Naples and composed of lead vocalist Stash Fiordispino, drummer Alex Fiordispino and Daniele Mona who plays synthesizers, totaling a number of three released albums.
Taking fifth on our list just by chance is Hands Up by Bologna native Elettra Lamborghini. You may recognize Lamborghini’s name from her party sensation Pistolero which continues to be played summers later, though she’s also well-known for her steamy dance moves. Fusing some reggaeton into tormentoni is very common, and Lamborghini’s addition of Spanish lyrics and Latin beats are the perfect combination for dancing late into the night!
Paola and Chiara make their second appearance with Boomdabash in their upbeat sensation Lambada. The tempo is addictive and the lyrics paint a picture of how summer nights wait to be dissolved into the light of early morning. This time the sisters are joined by Italian dancehall reggae band Boomdabash from the region of Apulia. They’re known for widely-indulged records such as Karaoke and Tropicana.
Annalisa strikes again with Mon Amour, her French-titled Italian number. Contemplating the confusion of who kissed who on a night out, she knows how to get the crowd up and moving with this electro-pop hit. It’s no surprise that Annalisa made her way to the top of charts for most listened to singles, becoming the first female soloist in Italy to do so in over three years! She has written songs for other well-known Italian artists and has also collaborated with a number of them as well.
TAXI SULLA LUNA
And finally, we round out the end of our list with TAXI SULLA LUNA by Tony Effe and Emma Marrone. Mixing the vibrations of techno with the sounds of electro-pop, Taxi Sulla Luna tells of the main lyricist’s intoxication with his partner, partaking in a night involving a music festival and dancing in the rain with the promise of taking her with him wherever he goes—even if that means going for a ride to the moon in a taxi, (hence the name of the song). Effe grew up in Rome while Marrone’s roots lie in Florence.
Sarah Talarico is a writer at heart, with a deep passion for all things Italian. Much of her writing inspiration comes from her Italian American roots that trace back to her father’s beloved hometown in Calabria. Southern Italy holds a special place in her heart, right next to homemade sauce and cappuccini. Sarah has a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing and English and a desire to use her writing skills to share the timeless charm of Italy and that ‘dolce far niente’ feeling. In her downtime, she finds joy in filling the plates and seats at her dining room table.