The Magazine about Sorrento Peninsula
Categories Culture, Itineraries

Lucio Dalla’s Places and Memories

He was born in Bologna, and he spent his youth all around Italy. Lucio Dalla’s name, however, is indissolubly linked to Sorrento. Credit goes to the friends who accompanied him during his “incursions” into the Coast, whose atmosphere inspired him, and to «Caruso», the masterpiece that he composed during his stay in the city. Therefore, it is no wonder that many locations in Sorrento remind visitors of episodes of the singer-songwriter’s life, ended in 2012. That is why, in this issue of Sorrento Style dedicated to music, we suggest you an urban trekking following in Dalla’s footsteps. The starting point is Tasso square, the stage where the relationship between Lucio and Sorrento was established. Here, in 1963, the Jannuzzi brothers opened the Fauno Notte Club. The following year, the first club in the city hosted the performance of the Flippers band, of which Dalla was a member. He was 21 years old, but he immediately enchanted the audience with “scat jazz”, singing in “a kind of English that was not English at all”, because he did not know a single word of that language. The episode is still among the cherished memories of Sorrento inhabitants.
From Tasso square to Marina Piccola and to “La Scogliera” bar, where Dalla used to pass the time with Angelo Leonelli and other friends from Sorrento, after one-day-long sailing trips. There was a strong bond between Lucio and Our Lady of Succour, the protector of the old town centre, who is worshipped in an impressive and evocative chapel erected in 1831. There was also a very deep bond between the singer-songwriter and Marina Grande: Dalla loved the sea and the gozzo, the typical boat of local fishermen. He used to take part in the traditional celebrations of Saint Anne and he did not disregard visiting the Aprea shipyards.
However, the centre of Sorrento was the place where Dalla created his masterpiece. The suite of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, where the tenor Enrico Caruso had stayed in 1921, inspired the songwriter to compose those immortal notes. Afterwards, Dalla moved to the Sorrento Palace, where he was hosted by his friend Giovanni Russo, and where he completed «Caruso». The first ones to listen to it where Lucio’s friends from Sorrento, during a happening at the Blumare Club: there, a great classic of Italian music started its tour around the world.

Sorrento Style #4