No Italian Wedding Is Complete Without These 20 Romantic Songs

Add these timeless, cultural tunes to your wedding playlist.
Courtney Jenney
Courtney Jenney
Courtney Jenney
Courtney Jenney
The Knot Contributor
  • Courtney contributes a variety of wedding inspiration content to The Knot.
  • Courtney launched her professional career managing The Knot’s engagement and proposal brand, How They Asked.
  • Courtney holds a degree in Public Relations and Graphic Design & Advertising Art from Seton Hall University.
Updated Jan 17, 2023

Italian weddings are known to be loud, luxurious, and have a strong emphasis on family and tradition. If you come from an Italian family or have attended an Italian wedding, you know how important it is to the culture to incorporate traditional wedding music.

Whether you plan on hosting a traditional Italian wedding or a destination wedding in Italy, creating a playlist that represents your Italian heritage may feel daunting. From graceful tunes for your wedding ceremony to tarantella folk dancing music, we've rounded up 20 of the best Italian wedding songs. These tunes will transport your guests to views of cobbled streets and historic fountains. Scroll on and take notes—you'll want to add all of these recommendations to your playlist. Once you've created your dream wedding playlist, make sure to send a list over to your DJ or live band before your big day so they can prepare.

"La Canzone del Sole," Lucio Battisti

Lyrics you'll love: "You were clear and transparent as me/The sun when it rises, rises slowly and then/The light spreads all around us"

Courtesy of his vocal range and catchy tunes, Lucio Battisti is one of the most popular Italian pop singers dating back to the 1960s. Your guests will recognize his voice the second your DJ or live band begins playing one of his tunes. Battisti has clearly made an impact on Italian music, as he has an asteroid named after him…No big deal! La Canzone del Sole is just one of many of his hits, with others including La Cinta Rosa, Con Il Nastro Rosa, and Ancora Tu.

"Tarantella Di Napoli," Joel Francisco Perri

Lyrics you'll love: Instrumental

Dating back to the 15th century, the Tarantella - one of the best Italian songs - is a staple song for your wedding playlist. No Italian wedding is complete without an upbeat and joyful tune. The Tarantella is commonly paired with a dance featuring quick steps, tambourines, and usually is performed in a circle. Traditionally, wedding guests surround the newlyweds for this performance, which is meant to symbolize well-wishes and good fortune in their future together. Fun fact: The word "tarantella" comes from tarantism, which was a hysterical reaction that was thought to be caused by the bite of a tarantula.

"Ave Maria," Franz Schubert

Lyrics you'll love: "Dominus tecum, Bendicta tu in mulieribus, Et benedictus, Et benedictus fructus ventris, Ventris tui, Iesus. translates to The Lord is with you, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus."

The Ave Maria is a traditional church hymn written by the Austrian composer, Franz Schubert. Many Catholic Italian weddings will play Ave Maria during a church wedding ceremony. Make sure your guests grab their tissues! This powerful, beautifully sung song has been covered by artists like Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, and even Beyoncé. When spoken, this Catholic prayer translates similarly to the Hail Mary prayer many Catholics—Italian or not—know today.

"O Sole Mio," The Three Tenors

Lyrics you'll love: "Ma un altro sole, più bello c'è, o ragazza, il sole mio, sta in fronte a te"

While you may not be familiar with the title of this romantic melody, you've probably heard it before. 'O Sole Mio translates to 'My Sunshine' and is arguably one of the most famous songs to come from Italy. This popular wedding song was written in 1898 as a Neapolitan song, but has been translated in various additional languages, including Italian. It's full of romance and culture, and would make for the perfect first dance song.

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"Vivo Per Lei," Andrea Bocelli

Lyrics you'll love: "Vivo per lei perché mi fa Vibrare forte l'anima. Vivo per lei e non è un peso"

Looking for a timeless and romantic first dance song? Set the mood for your special day with this infamous hymn by Italian opera singer, Andrea Bocelli. The heartwarming lyrics literally translate to, "I Live for Her." Does it get more romantic than that?!

"Allegro – La Primavera," Antonio Vivaldi

Lyrics you'll love: Instrumental

Queue the watery eyes, this classic Italian song is one of the most powerful Italian wedding songs of all time. Inspired by a group of landscape paintings by Italian artist Marco Ricci, Antonio Vivaldi composed Allegro – La Primavera with the inspiration coming from the season of spring: romantic, blooming florals and pastel colors. If this Italian song sounds familiar, it may be because of its popularity for being a wedding processional song.

"Azzuro," Adriano Celentano

Lyrics you'll love: "the afternoon is too blue/and too long for me/I remember, not having enough resources anymore without you"

Who said your 'something blue' can't be a song?! This joyful, traditional Italian song is one of our favorites for your wedding reception. Celentano recorded this popular pop song in 1968 and though the lyrics describe a lonely Italian summer, the tempo is catchy and will easily gather your loved ones to the dance floor.

"Sciuri Sciuri," Roy Paci & Aretuska

Lyrics you'll love: "l'amuri ca mi dasti ti lu tornu, Sciuri, sciuri, sciuri di tuttu l'annu"

If beautiful flowers are in your wedding vision, this Italian song is a must for your playlist! Translated from Sicilian, the title of this upbeat Italian wedding song is "Flowers, Flowers." All of your wedding guests will run to the dance floor when they hear this spirited, traditionally Sicilian folk tune.

"Funiculì, Funiculà," Luciano Pavarotti

Lyrics you'll love: "We've climbed it, my love, we've already climbed/To the top!/It's gone up, then returned, then it's back.../It's always here!/The summit revolves, around, around, around you!/This heart always sings, my love. Let's get married one day!"

If the lyrics didn't draw you in, the romantic storyline will. Luciano Pavarotti was inspired by a Neapolitan man when he wrote this Italian love song, which tells the story of comparing your partner to a volcano and inviting them to join you on a romantic walk. Funiculì, Funiculà was first played during the opening of the first railway on Mount Vesuvius and by 1881, had sold one million copies. With its rich Italian history, this song is sure to entertain your guests old and young.

"Storia d'amore," Adriano Celentano

Lyrics you'll love: "She was saying 'I'm yours,' and in the dream, I kissed her."

Though this song is anything but a love story, it's an Italian classic with an engaging storyline. Storia d'amore tells the story of a man who is deeply in love with a woman, though the woman is married to another man. While your wedding day will be full of love and free of drama, this catchy tune is one your guests will be tapping their feet to all night long.

"Cavalleria Rusticana," Pietro Mascagni

Lyrics you'll love: "O Lola c'hai di latti la cammisa/si bianca e russa comu la cirasa, quannu t'affacci fai la vucca a risa, biatu pì lu primu cu ti vasa!"

This dazzling opera number was first performed in 1890, after it was adapted from an 1880 popular play about a man in the military who returned home and learned that his fiancé had married while he was away. Though it does end up replicating a modern-day love triangle, you can bring the romance to your wedding dance floor with lyrics that translate to, "Happy the lover brave, when by thy kisses/Thou shalt his soul enslave in fondest blisses!"

"Triumphal March from Aida," Giuseppe Verdi

Lyrics you'll love: Instrumental

Looking to make a dramatic entrance as you walk down the aisle? We've got the hymn for you. This hit song has made appearances in broadway shows and movies, typically as a character of royalty enters the building. Maybe we've been watching too many episodes of The Crown, but who wouldn't want to feel like royalty on their wedding day?!

"Luna Mezza Mare," Dean Martin

Lyrics you'll love: "There's the moon in the middle of the sea, Mother, I must get married, My daughter, to whom will I give you"

Nicknamed "The King of Cool," Dean Martin was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century. You may know this hit song from the wedding scene in The Godfather or you might recognize it from going viral on TikTok earlier this year! The second your DJ begins to play Luna Mezza Mare, your guests will hit the dance floor.

"Calabrisella Mia," FORTUNATO

Lyrics you'll love: "When I went to the city to study, I saw none as beautiful as you, I thought with pain about those eyes full of love, And I cried for you in the handkerchief"

With lyrics like, "I saw you near the water, you were washing clothes, And my heart filled with love" this hit Italian folk song is the perfect style of tune to play while guests are settling in their seats for dinner. Neither fast nor slow, playing Calabrisella Mia at your wedding will add an extra feeling of nostalgia, tradition, and is the perfect nod to your Italian heritage.

"I Sing Ammore," Nicola Arigliano

Lyrics you'll love: "I mean I love you, I love you so, and stay so with me."

This 1956 hit Italian pop love song was Italian jazz singer Nicola Arigliano's first hit. With it's upbeat melody, romantic lyrics, and traditional Italian feel, your guests will be transported to the cobblestone, lantern-lit streets of Italy when they hear this romantic hit.

"L'italiano Toto Cutugno," Renato Carosone

Lyrics you'll love: "You want to play the American, 'Merican, 'merican, But you were born in Italy!"

Known for his iconic film posters, Renato Carosone is often referred to as the Michelangelo of movie posters. His song, L'italiano Toto Cutugno is also one of his well-known projects, featuring the perfect combination of swing and jazz music. Your guests won't want to leave the dance floor once your DJ plays this classic Italian song, which was also performed in films like The Talented Mr. Ripley.

"Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu)," Gipsy Kings

Lyrics you'll love: "And flying, flying happy, I feel taller. Higher than the sun, And while the world, A sweet music slowly moves away from me"

The Gipsy Kings are a pop group with popular songs in the salsa and flamenco categories. Volare, a fun and upbeat folk song will have your guests running to the dance floor.

"Arrivederci Roma," Dean Martin

Lyrics you'll love: "Keep my lover's arms outstretched and yearning, Please be sure the flame of love keeps burning, In her heart"

Though many may confuse the lyrics as a farewell melody to Rome, this love song by the infamous Dean Martin was made for a first dance. This romantic Italian wedding song incorporates English lyrics, so all of your guests will be able to sing along as you dance with your partner.

"Lauretta," Enrico Musiani

Lyrics you'll love: "You were an angel fallen from heaven, And tomorrow dressed in a veil, Your daddy'll take you to be married, The bells are ringing the occasion, For the people who love you, Your daddy will keep inside his heart, the most beautiful memories of you"

In search of the perfect father-daughter dance song? The lyrics of this Italian tune tell the story of a father who is preparing to marry off his daughter, soon-to-be bride. The emotion a father feels on his daughter's wedding day is described with lyrics like, "And with a white wedding dress, you'll be the most beautiful girl in the world" and "A day of celebration and cheer, because this daughter is to be married." There won't be a dry eye at your wedding when you dance with your dad to Lauretta.

"La Donna è Mobile," Luciano Pavarotti

Lyrics you'll love: "Let me sing with the guitar in my hand, let me sing a song slowly slowly, let me sing because I'm proud of it. I'm an italian."

As a true nod to the arts, La Donna è Mobile is derived from Act 3 of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, Rigoletto. The story focuses on the love between a father and daughter, making it a beautiful and rich-in-history father-daughter dance song.

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