#YourItalianRoots – Songs of Italian Immigrants: “La porti un bacione a Firenze”

La porti un bacione a Firenze (“Send a big kiss to Florence”) is an Italian ballad written in 1937 by Odoardo Spadaro, a florentine songwriter and actor between the 19th and the 20th century.

He wrote this dedication to Florence to empathize with all those Italian immigrants who had to leave their home countries, trying to overcome poverty and to make a fortune.

In this song there’s a boy asking to a man – that is going to Italy – to send a big kiss to Florence from him, which means saying hello to Florence, his beloved birth city that perhaps he would never have seen again.

If you are Children or Grandchildren of Italian Immigrants, this song tells you a lot about the past of your offspring and about what did they experience leaving Italy. The feeling of nostalgia that pervades this ballad is the same that many of the Italian immigrants have lived on their skin, unable to come back to their country for economic reasons.

We feel really involved in the issue of Italians living abroad, so that we organised a contest for Children and Grandchildren of Italian Immigrants, an opportunity to have a special discount on our Italian courses by telling us the story of your Italian offspring.

We are even more fond of this song as it is written in florentine and dedicated to Florence, our beloved city with its great traditions, passionate people, hidden places and its many facets.

And who knows, probably you will soon come to Florence to experience first-hand all these beauties!

Although Spadaro is the real author, here we post the more recent and very appreciated version by Nada Malanima, a popular Tuscan singer.

La porti un bacione a Firenze

Partiva una mattina co’i’ vapore
‘gli era un signore d’una certa età
Vedendolo gli fo: Scusi signore!
Perdoni, l’è di’ ffiore, sì lo so
Lei torna a casa lieto, ben lo vedo
ed un favore piccolo le chiedo

La porti un bacione a Firenze,
che l’è la mia città
che in cuore ho sempre qui
La porti un bacione a Firenze,
lavoro solo per rivederla un dì

Son figlia d’emigrante,
per questo son distante,
lavoro perché un giorno a casa tornerò
La porti un bacione a Firenze:
se la rivedo glielo renderò

E quel signore m’ha risposto allora
Il tuo bacione a’ccasa porterò
e per tranquillità sin da quest’ora,
in viaggio chiuso a chiave lo terrò
Ma appena giunto a’ccasa te lo giuro,
il bacio verso i’ccielo andrà sicuro

Io porto il tuo bacio a Firenze
che l’è la tua città
anche l’è di me
Io porto il tuo bacio a Firenze
nè mai, giammai potrò scordarmi te

Sei figlia d’emigrante,
per questo sei distante,
ma stà sicura un giorno a’ccasa tornerai
Io porto il tuo bacio a Firenze
e da Firenze tanti baci avrai

L’è vera questa storia e se l’un fosse
la fo passar per vera sol perché,
so bene e’lucciconi e quanta tosse
gli ha chi distante dalla Patria egli è
Così ogni fiorentino ch’è lontano,
vedendoti partir ti dirà piano:

La porti un bacione a Firenze
gli è tanto che un ci vò;
ci crede? Più un ci stò!
La porti un bacione a Firenze
un vedo l’ora quando tornerò

La nostra cittadina
pettegola e carina,
la ci ha tant’anni eppure
la un n’invecchia mai
La porti un bacione a Firenze
e a tutti i fiorentini che vedrà

Send a big kiss to Florence

I was leaving in the morning by train
And a nice girl came by.
Seeing me she said: excuse me mister!
I beg your pardon, you are from Florence, this I know.
You return home happy, I can see it,
And I’m asking you a little favour.

Please send a big kiss to Florence,
For it is my hometown
And I keep it inside my heart, always
Bring a big kiss to Florence,
I’m working only to see it again one day.

I’m an emigrant’s daughter
And for that I’m far away
I work ’cause one day I’ll go back home.
Send a big kiss to Florence,
If I’ll see you again I’ll give it back to you.

Nice girl! – I told her then.
Your big kiss to home I’ll send.
And to be safe, from now on,
Travelling I’ll keep it locked by key.
But as soon as I’m home, I promise to you,
Your kiss will go up to the sky for sure.

I bring your kiss to Florence, for it is your hometown
And it is mine too.
I take your kiss to Florence
Not even I could ever
Forget you.

You’re an emigrant’s daughter
And for that you’re far away
But be sure, one day you’ll go back home.
I’ll send your kiss to Florence
And from Florence many kisses you’ll receive

This story is true, and if it wasn’t so,
I pretend it’s true, only because
I know well how many tears and what a cough
Those who are far away from their hometown have.
For that every Florentine that’s far away
Seeing you leave will tell you softly:

Send a big kiss to Florence,
It’s been a long time that I haven’t gone there
Do you believe it? I no longer live there
Bring a kiss to Florence,
I can’t wait to go back there

Our town
Nice and beautiful
Is so very old
But it never gets older
I’ll send big kisses to Florence
From each Florentine I met.

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