Sanremo 2023, Roberto Benigni’s speech on the Constitution

The Constitution was written but it needs to come into force every day. You can tell me: “It’s an ideal, it’s a chimera, it’s a dream”. Yes, but we do have an advantage: our founding fathers and mothers have traced the road for us, they have shown us the way, they have shown us the way, they have done everything themselves and they have left us only one thing to do: to make this dream come true”. Roberto Benigni inaugurated the first evening of the 73rd edition of the Sanremo Festival (LIVE) with a touching monologue for celebrate the 75th anniversary of the entry into force of the Constitutionin the presence of the public ofAristonby the artistic director Amadeus and the co-host Gianni Morandi and, above all, of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, the first Head of State present in the hall in the history of the Italian musical festival. The Oscar-winning actor compared thearticle 11which recites “Italy repudiates war”, to the “verses of a poem” and a “sculpture”, and defined thearticle 21 on the freedom to express one’s thought “architrave and pillar of all human freedoms”. He has then paid homage to the founding fathers: “Among them was Bernardo Mattarella, the President’s father, to whom we applaud. You and the Constitution had the same father, we can say that she is his sister”.


“My favorite article, you cannot know how much I love him, is article 21, written in such simple and beautiful language that it seems written by a child”, said Benigni, then reciting the text. The actor recalled that “before the Constitution, during the twenty years of Fascism, one could not think freely, not even the Sanremo Festival could have been held, because there was only one song, always the same, the propaganda, il duce , the war, the army, the party, the power” and that Article 21 “it freed us from the obligation to be afraid“. Benigni then cited the case of “Countries very close to us” in which “free-thinking opponents are imprisoned, poisoned or physically disappear just because they show their faces and hair or because they dance or sing or talk”. That “the only way to do something useful for the future is to always have the past present and always remember one thing: that everything we have can be taken from us at any moment“, an awareness that our founding fathers and mothers had: in fact, with the drafting of the Constitution they intended not to repeat the mistakes of the past “never again”.


The Constitution is a work of art that sings of man’s freedom and dignity, and every word of the Constitution releases an evocative and revolutionary force“, said Benigni “because it throws up all that prearranged order, that suffocation, that oppression of freedom, that injustice, that violence that existed before” and “shows us a different reality from the one we have before us in the eyes, it makes us feel that we live in a country that can be just and beautiful. He tells us, as children say, that a better world is possible “because the Constitution is”a dream fabricated by awake men“. The actor then quoted the incipit of Fly Of Dominic Modugno“I think a dream like this never comes back” and paid homage the constituent fathers and mothers, “visionaries” who performed a “miracle” because they were “divided over everything except one thing: being united“.