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The Italian National Anthem

The Italian National Anthem "Inno di Mameli" or "Mameli's hymn" is also known as "Canto degli Italiani" or "Song of the Italians". This article will help you to better understand its significance...


The National Anthem of Italy was written by Goffredo Mameli in the autumn of 1847 but only became the Italian National Anthem in 1946.

Mameli was a Republican born in Genova in 1827 who joined the war with Garibaldi to fight the French troops. The French, at the time, were supporting the Catholic state in Rome. (See the history of Rome Italy for more).

Goffredo died 2 years after writing the Italian National Anthem. He was only 22 years old and his death was as a result of an infection due to a war injury. His remains are kept in the Mausoleum of the Janiculum.

Statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi,
Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) Rome, Italy
italian national anthem

(Inno di Mameli o Il Canto degli Italiani - Scritto nell'autunno del 1847.)

My wife and I have tried to keep the translation as close as possible to the original meaning but the Italian Anthem was originally written as a poem (then made into a hymn) and is therefore open to a certain degree of poetic interpretation.

Italian National Anthem

Fratelli d'Italia,
L'Italia s'è desta;
Dell'elmo di Scipio
S'è cinta la testa.
Dov'è la Vittoria?
Le porga la chioma;
Ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.

Noi siamo da secoli
Calpesti, derisi,
Perché non siam popolo,
Perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un'unica
Bandiera, una speme;
Di fonderci insieme
Già l'ora suonò.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.

Uniamoci, amiamoci;
L'unione e l'amore
Rivelano ai popoli
Le vie del Signore.
Giuriamo far libero
Il suolo natio:
Uniti, per Dio,
Chi vincer ci può?

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.

Dall'Alpe a Sicilia,
Dovunque è Legnano;
Ogn'uom di Ferruccio
Ha il core e la mano;
I bimbi d'Italia
Si chiaman Balilla;
Il suon d'ogni squilla
I Vespri suonò.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.

Son giunchi che piegano
Le spade vendute;
Già l'Aquila d'Austria
Le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d'Italia
E il sangue Polacco
Bevé col Cosacco,
Ma il cor le bruciò.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alle morte;
Italia chiamò

Brothers of Italy,
Italy has awakened;
Scipio's helmet
she has put on her head.
Where is the Victory? (ref. 1)
Offer her the hair; (ref. 2)
because slave of Rome
God created her.

Let us unite!
We are ready to die;
Italy called.

We have been for centuries
stamped on, and laughed at,
because we are not one people,
because we are divided.
Let's unite under
one flag, one dream;
To melt together
Already the time has come.

Let us unite!
We are ready to die;
Italy called.

Let's unite, let's love;
The union and the love
Reveal to the people
God's ways.
We swear to liberate
the native soil:
United, for God,
Who can beat us?

Let us unite!
We are ready to die;
Italy called.

From the Alps to Sicily,
Everywhere is Legnano; (ref 3)
Every man of Ferruccio (ref 4)
has the heart and the hand;
the children of Italy
are called Balilla; (ref 5)
The sound of every church bell
calling for evening prayers.

Let us unite!
We are ready to die;
Italy called.

They are branches that bend
the sold swords; (ref. 6)
Already the eagle of Austria
has lost its feathers.
the blood of Italy
and the Polish blood (ref. 7)
Drank with Cossacks
But its heart was burnt.

Let us unite!
We are ready to die;
Italy called.

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The following references are made to the Italian National Anthem:

Ref 1: "Victory" was the name of the Goddess of victory.

Ref 2: "offer her(Rome) the hair"; in reference to an old tradition of cutting women slaves hair short, they are calling on the Goddess Victory to offer her hair for Rome; because by divine will of the Gods she was given into slavery to Rome.

Ref 3: Legnano is the site of a famous battle in 1176 where various Italian comunities fought against Emperor Federico Barbarossa for their freedom.

Ref 4: Ferruccio was a captain who valliantly defended Florence from the troops of Charles V in 1530.

Ref 5: Balilla was a nickname for Giambattista Perasso who was a child from Genova that fought in the 1746 people's revolution of Genova against the Austrians.

Ref 6: "Sold swords" - referring to Italian mercenaries bought by the French to fight against the Italian Republicans.

Ref 7: "polish blood" - referring to the Austrians who jointly with Russia invaded and destroyed Poland.


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