The Best Italian Folk Music Songs

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Italian folk music is a genre that has been around for centuries. While it may not be as popular as other genres today, there are still many great Italian folk songs out there. In this blog post, we will be taking a look at some of the best Italian folk songs that you should check out!

Introduction to Italian Folk Music

Italian Folk music has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. The songs are often about love, nature, and working life. They are passed down from generation to generation and sung at celebrations and festivals. The best Italian folk music songs are those that have stood the test of time and are loved by all.

What is Italian Folk Music?

Italian folk music has a long history that has been influenced by a variety of factors, including the music of other cultures. For centuries, folk music was an important part of the Italian identity, and it continues to be an important part of the country’s musical culture.

There are a number of different types of Italian folk music, each with its own unique history and sound. Common elements of Italian folk music include traditional instruments like the accordion and mandolin, as well as vocal styles that often reflect the region where the music originated.

While some Italian folk songs are light-hearted and happy, others deal with more serious topics such as love, loss, and war. No matter what the subject matter, however, Italian folk songs are always emotional and moving. The best Italian folk songs are timeless classics that will transport you to another place and time.

History of Italian Folk Music

Italian folk music has a long and complex history. Like most other European folk music, it has been influenced by the music of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Celts. However, it was also greatly influenced by the music of the Arab world during the Middle Ages. This can be heard in the use of Arabic scales and instruments in some traditional Italian songs.

Over time, Italian folk music has evolved to include a wide variety of regional styles. These regional styles are often very different from one another, and can be found in different parts of the country. Some of the most well-known regional styles include the music of Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria, and Lombardy.

One of the most important things to remember about Italian folk music is that it is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. It is not just for “serious” musicians or listeners; it is for everyone who wants to have a good time. This is why many traditional Italian folk songs are upbeat and easy to sing along to. If you’re ever in Italy and find yourself wanting to join in with a group of people singing or playing music, don’t be afraid to do so!

Best Italian Folk Music Songs

“La Donna e Mobile”

“La Donna e Mobile” is a popular Italian folk song. It was composed by Giuseppe Verdi and is considered one of his most famous pieces. The song tells the story of a woman who is fickle and changeable. It has been featured in many movies and TV shows, and has been covered by many artists.


One of the most popular Italian folk songs is “Volare.” The song was written by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci in 1958. It tells the story of a man dreaming of flying like a bird. The song became an international hit, reaching number one on the Billboard charts in the United States in 1958. It has been covered by many artists, including Willie Nelson and Dean Martin.

“Funiculi Funicula”

“Funiculi Funicula” is one of the most popular Italian folk songs of all time. The song was written in 1880 by Luigi Denza and published the following year. It quickly became a favorite among Italians, and has been performed by some of the most famous Italian singers, including Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. “Funiculi Funicula” is a joyful song that celebrates the funicular railway in Naples, which was built to connect the city to the top of Mount Vesuvius. The song remains popular today and is often played at Italian weddings and other celebratory occasions.

“O Sole Mio”

“O Sole Mio” is one of the most popular Italian folk songs of all time. It was written in 1898 by Eduardo di Capua and Giovanni Capurro and quickly became a staple in Italian culture. The song tells the story of a man who is pining for his lost love and the sunny days they spent together.

Despite its popularity, “O Sole Mio” was not actually sung by an Italian singer until 1916 when Enrico Caruso recorded it. Since then, it has been covered by countless artists from all over the world and has become an international standard. Some of the most famous rendition of “O Sole Mio” include those by Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, and Josh Groban.

“Santa Lucia”

“Santa Lucia” is a traditional Neapolitan song. It was written in 1860 by Teodoro Cottrau (1827-1879) and published in the collection “Songes et ROMances Neapolitains”. The melody was first recorded by the Neapolitanchoir of Gaetano Favicchia (1814-1914) in 1860.

The name “Santa Lucia” refers to Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Syracuse, Sicily. Lucy was born into a wealthy family in Syracuse, but she converted to Christianity and dedicated her life to helping the poor. She was arrested and eventually martyred for her faith.

The lyrics of “Santa Lucia” describe a woman who is waiting for her lover to return from sea. She gazes out at the water, hoping to see his ship come into view.

The song has been recorded by many artists over the years, including Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli.


In this article, we have looked at 10 of the best Italian folk songs. We have looked at a variety of songs from different regions of Italy and from different eras. We have also looked at a variety of different styles of folk music.

What Italian Folk Music Means to Me

I grew up listening to Italian folk music. My grandparents would sing these songs to me when I was a child, and I have fond memories of spending time with them while they sang. This music has always been a part of my life, and it holds a special place in my heart.

Italian folk music is more than just a type of music. It is a part of the country’s history and culture. These songs tell the stories of the people who have lived in Italy for centuries. They are full of love, loss, joy, and sorrow. Every time I hear one of these songs, I feel like I am being transported back in time.

There are so many different Italian folk songs out there, and each one is special in its own way. I could never choose just one favorite song. But if I had to narrow it down, I would say that “A Vucchella” by Paolo Tosti is one of my all-time favorites. This song is about a woman who is waiting for her lover to return to her. The lyrics are beautiful, and the melody is incredibly catchy. Whenever I hear this song, it always brings a smile to my face.

If you have never listened to Italian folk music before, I encourage you to give it a try. You might just fall in love with it like I have.

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