Fabrizio de Andre - the Italian Bob Dylan

Our little village has an osteria - il Nespolo - locally owned with lovely food and wine at a very cheap price.  It often has special events to celebrate local festivals with a fixed price menu and occasionally live music.  Last week I noticed an advert for an evening of poetry and music with a meal, all for 15 euros - it seemed an unmissable way to spend a summer evening and do a bit of de-stressing!

Fabrizio was quite beautiful
I hadn't heard of Fabrizio de Andre, but I learned very quickly that he's huge in Italy, even though he died a few years ago.  He was born in Genoa, to a rich family, but spent his life supporting libertarianism and pacifism and championing the causes of gypsies and other marginalised people, as well as opposing the Catholic church.  Ironic then that he was captured by bandits and held hostage on Sardinia for several months until his family paid the ransom. 

Some of the music was familiar - he translated Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan into Italian, but he also wrote a great deal of his own.  One of the albums that interested me was his response to Edgar Lee Masters 'Spoon River Anthology' - a wonderful volume of poetry where Lee Masters gave voices to all the dead inhabitants of Spoon River and let them tell their life stories one after the other. Fabrizio de Andre, seems to have been heavily influenced by modern poetry and is also regarded as a poet in Italy.

We had a ringside seat from our little table at the back. Alongside the video images and the music, two people took turns to read his lyrics. 

It was difficult to find a photograph of him that didn't have a cigarette somewhere attached to his anatomy. Not surprisingly he died of lung cancer at the early age of 59 -  he is much mourned here.

You can listen to some of Fabrizio's music on YouTube following this link.

We had a fascinating evening and discovered another aspect of Italy.



  1. what a fabulous evening.

    I hadn't heard of Fabrizio either.

  2. I didn't know him, how interesting. Thanks for sharing!


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