Italy’s Tonina Torrielli: ‘I didn’t know I was singing at the first Eurovision’

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As Turin hosts the 66th edition, Italy’s 1956 contestant recalls taking part in what would be world’s biggest music contest

When Tonina Torrielli represented Italy in the Eurovision song contest in Lugano, Switzerland, in May 1956, not only did she never discover how well her song performed, as just the winner was announced after a secret vote, but she was not even aware she was taking part in the first edition of what was to become the biggest music competition in the world.

“They packed me off, just like a parcel, to Lugano, without saying what it was for,” said Torrielli, who lives in Turin, where the 66th Eurovision song contest is taking place. “So I went and sang and that was that, I didn’t know it was the first European song contest as nobody was talking about it.”

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