RAI, the Italian national broadcaster has announced today via its official Eurovision Facebook page that the 2016 Sanremo winner will be elegible to represent Italy at the forthcoming 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm next May, just as was the case this year when Il Volo agreed to fly the Italian flag in Vienna after their Sanremo victory.
The Italian broadcaster has also announced that the Eurovision Song Contest will be moving from Rai 2 to Rai 1. This year’s Italian success in Vienna has led to the Italian broadcaster to move the contest to its prime television channel. The Eurovision Song Contest was aired on Rai 2 in Italy, since the country’s return to the contest in 2011.
The last time Rai 1 aired the Eurovision Song Contest live was in back in 1991 when Italy hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in Rome.
The 2016 Sanremo Song Festival is scheduled to be held from 09-13 Februay at the Ariston Theatre in Sanremo, Italy. The grand final will be held on Saturday 13 February. The winner of the Campioni (established singers category) will be eligible to fly the Italian flag in Stockholm next May.
In 2015 Italy selected its Eurovision act and entry via the Sanremo Song Festival. The winners of the 2015 Sanremo Song Festival, Il Volo were awarded the golden ticket to represent Italy at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. The Italian trio achieved an honorable 3rd place in the grand final with Grande Amore.
Since its return to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011, Italy has selected its Eurovision representatives via the Sanremo Song Festival: Raphael Gualazzi (2011), Nina Zilli (2012) Marco Mengoni (2013), Il Volo. But this changed in 2014 when RAI opted for an internal selection and Emma Marrone was given the grand honour of representing Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with her entry La mia citta. In 2015 Italy returned to Sanremo in order to select its Eurovision act and entry and sent Il Volo to Vienna.
Italy debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and was one of the founder members of the contest. The country has won the event 2 times in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti and 1990 with Toto Cotugno. Italy withdrew from the event in 1998 and returned back in 2011.