Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1961
|Eurovision Song Contest 1961|
|Selection process||Sanremo Music Festival 1961|
|Selected entrant||Betty Curtis|
|Selected song||"Al di là"|
|Final result||5th=, 12 points|
|Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest|
Italy was represented by Betty Curtis, with the song '"Al di là", at the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on 18 March in Cannes, France. Broadcaster RAI chose the winning song from the 1961 Sanremo Music Festival as their Eurovision entry: the song had been performed twice at Sanremo and Curtis was chosen over Luciano Tajoli as the performer.
"Al di là" was another Italian entry which failed to challenge at Eurovision yet became an international success afterwards. In this case though it was not Curtis who enjoyed the greatest success but Emilio Pericoli, who performed a version of "Al di là" in the 1962 film Rome Adventure and gained a top ten hit on the American Billboard Hot 100 with his recording of the song. "Al di là" also charted in the United States in a 1962 bilingual Italian/English version by Connie Francis and a 1964 cover by the Ray Charles Singers.
On the night of the final Curtis performed last in the running order, following the United Kingdom. At the close of the voting "Al di là" had received 12 points (the highest being 4s from Belgium and Denmark), placing Italy joint 5th (with Denmark) of the 16 entries.