Rino Gaetano

16/02 - 28/04/2024
Museo di Roma in Trastevere

More than forty years after his death, a tribute to Rino Gaetano.

The journey into the world of Rino Gaetano starts in Rome with the first exhibition dedicated to the great singer-songwriter who marked an era in Italian music.

An iconic poet with a unique and edgy style, with his rough voice and his apparently light and disengaged but full of content lyrics, he was able to scratch society and politics without ever hiding behind labels and masks, succeeding, through non-conformist thoughts and simple words, in bringing to light the dark years of our nation.

The songwriter, Calabrese by birth but Roman by adoption, is celebrated in the neighbourhood he loved and frequented since the Folkstudio days. It is no coincidence that Rino lived in Rome, where he cut his teeth on off stages and in theatres with ETI Ente Teatrale Italiano, where he learnt to highlight the message with all the tools of the theatre.

A never-before-seen exhibition resulting from the research of materials, many of which are being exhibited for the first time, documenting Rino Gaetano's entire artistic journey, enriched by 'many rarities' of absolute value, granted for the occasion by his sister Anna: documents, photos, artistic memorabilia, the record collection, videos, musical instruments, objects, stage clothes such as the bathrobe worn during Festivalbar at the Arena di Verona and the leather jacket used at Sanremo, posters and the hat collection.

His songs, innovative and with a strong civil commitment, have been rediscovered after his untimely death and have become true anthems among the new generations, used in theatre, as film soundtracks, turned into fiction, compilations, street art and festivals. The social denunciation concealed behind the irony of his mocking rhymes is still highly topical, as is the constant struggle against taboos, mystifications, hypocrisies and conformisms. He never needed masters, he himself represented the new wave of an unparalleled current. The lyrics of his songs should not be taken as realistic tales, but should be experienced as if they were surprising images, ideas, suggestions, poems that nourish the two souls of his inspiration: the anarchic and boisterous one and the poetic and poignant one, with moments of happy expressive fusion and amused abandon. All this over music with iron rhythmic systems and arrangements of unusual richness and invention, accompanied by a modern and aggressive vocal style.

In his lyrics, made up of mockery and caustic jokes, he pointed out Italy's eternal crisis, that of the blue cars and legalised tax evaders of Nuntereggae more with verses such as 'I see so many people who don't have running water, and have nothing, but who can hear me'. Or the exaltation of the feminine strength of Gianna who 'defended her wages from inflation', up to her famous Ma il cielo è sempre più blu , steeped in the commonplaces and misdeeds that the 'benpensanti' call progress, which is countered by the indomitable hope of the 'dreamers' who yearn for 'an ever bluer sky'. And then again, but the list is long, Berta filava, Sfiorivano le viole, which in outdated language dealt with themes of marginalisation. The creative peak was reached with the album Mio fratello è figlio unico, which remains one of the most important records not only in the singer's career, but in Italian music in general.

Between 1973 and 1980, he released six albums through which he candidly portrayed an Italy that still resembles us, but precisely because of his scathing lucidity in tackling topical issues, he struggled hard to make a name for himself, facing the prejudices of critics, the public, his colleagues, the environment and even the establishment, which frowned upon this strange character who amused himself by mocking everyone, the powerful, politicians, men of power, naming names. He sang Gianna and, for the first time in the history of the Sanremo Festival, the word 'sex' was pronounced; in the Sanremo theatre, at the time, the impression was of seeing a 'Martian', due to the desecrating force of that performance inspired more by Carmelo Bene than by the codes of music. Do not be misled by the immediate popularity of his songs: there is much wisdom in the use of sarcasm, of calembour, of nonsense, in that particular means of communication that is the song, always too willing to take itself seriously even when it is operetta.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Gangemi Editore containing history, images and a long list of extraordinary testimonies that help us understand all the facets of a man considered one of the cult storytellers of our history. It is an extraordinary journey of collective memory to the rhythm of the notes of his whimsical songs and where his art will be more alive than ever.

During the event it is possible to attend live performances by Alessandro Gaetano, in trio with the Rino Gaetano Band and with Diana Tejera, who will perform some mini acoustic concerts, allowing visitors to discover and experience the power of his music; dates will be announced on the Museum's web pages. The exhibition offers the spectator the opportunity of a unique and special encounter with the artist, who will make us discover how his voice speaks to us today stronger than ever.


Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Opening hours

from 16 February 2024 to 28 April 2024
Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 20.00
Last entrance one hour before closing
Closed on Mondays

ALWAYS CONSULT THE ADVISORY PAGE before planning your visit to the museum

Entrance ticket

See the page Tickets


tel 060608 (every day from 9.00 to 19.00)

Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Cultura, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali

C.O.R. Creare Organizzare Realizzare

Under the patronage
of the Ministero della Cultura and SIAE Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori

With the media partner of
Rai and the collaboration of Rai Teche - which preserves most of the films about the artist - and Universal Music Publishing Group.

Exhibition curated by
Alessandro Nicosia and Alessandro Gaetano

Organisational support
Zètema Progetto Cultura



Eventi correlati

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There are no planned activities.
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