Italian Song Challenge Day 22: Fiorella Mannoia

Fiorella Mannoia’s father was an Italian film stuntman, and she and her brother and sister also worked in this same industry as children as stand-ins.

Mannoia made her debut in the world of music when she sang at the Castrocaro Music Festival in 1968 where she got a contract with a record company.

After this came a succession of festival performances, collaborations with different producers and albums.


In the early 70’s she had minor roles in many different Spaghetti Westerns.

She continued to record, collaborate and perform in the music industry also to sing at the Sanremo music festival.


Her first major success was when she performed Quello che le donne non dicono (What women don’t say). The song was written for her by Enrico Ruggeri and Luigi Schiavone and won the critics prize at the Sanremo festival.


I can’t say I am a massive fan of Fiorella Mannoia. But, this song is regarded as one of the first most universally appreciated Italian pop songs that expressed the complex nature of femininity.


It’s a beautiful, honest and brave song dedicated to women. It definitely was a song that moved feminism forward in Italy, hence why it’s on my list.

It talks about the world from a female perspective, without being overly romanticised or condescending.
Mamnoia says it like it is, women are siamo cosi (we are like this) absolutely complicated creatures with many strengths, power and abilities.

Women are sweetly complicated and are to be listened to, appreciated and praised.


Fiorella Mannoia’s extensive and long career has made her an intricate part of Italian pop culture.

She also devotes herself to activism, lending her attention to subjects such as abortion, divorce and women’s issues in general.

She is definitely a formidable woman who has triumphed in an industry traditionally dominated by men.