Ornella Vanoni is one of the voices that have marked the history of Italian music. Performer of memorable songs, in his life he made people talk about himself not only for his songs but also for his love stories. Let’s find out all the background.
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Ornella Vanoni, all the loves of her life
Ornella Vanoni is the singer who has become a living myth and symbol of the Italian pop but refined song. With his 87 years he has a very rich past, having lived a lot and loved a lot, with often tormented loves.
In 1953 he enrolled in the Academy of Dramatic Art of Small Theater by Giorgio Strehler of which she became the favorite pupil. These are his words.
To go from my house, to Porta Venezia, to the Piccolo, I took the tram, 11. Strehler, who was also shy, followed the tram with his hideous one thousand hundred amaranth with a white roof. It looked like a cherry with cream. He was waiting for me and followed me with his cherry. It couldn’t have been a coincidence. It was no accident. He followed me, but never approached me. I got off the tram and he had evaporated. Then, the year ends, I pass the exam and he takes us all to the architect Marco Zanuso’s house, all crammed into his car. On my return, the last one to take home was me. This too could not have been a coincidence. It wasn’t. He declared his love to me.
After a year she became Strehler’s partner and it was a scandal. He was twenty years old, he was 32 and he was married, there was no divorce and, moreover, he lived alone, he was leftist and he was an artist. His mother complained, cried:
So you ruin yourself, you have to get married.
He soon realized that only she wasn’t enough for him, he was cheating on her with many, too many women, she knew it, sometimes she even got involved in orgies and group sex, even if Strehler didn’t want other men to touch her. A very tormented first love for the very young Ornella who makes her grow up and become a woman but who also opens the doors to life and her future, making her bring out her great potential as an artist. The story with Strehler ended with too many excesses.
In the early 1960s he met Gino Paoli in the Milanese studios of Ricordi, the record company of both. Ornella is over, as they say, from the pan into the fire:
I see this thin, gloomy guy pass by, with blind glasses. You know, when you are among a lot of people and you feel a presence, you feel it among many, and you can’t help but feel it? It is called magnetism. He played the piano terribly. But he played Heaven in a Room.
They told her that Paoli was gay, to him that Vanoni was a lesbian, to her that Paoli was gay. The two do not care about gossips and gave life to one of the most passionate history of Italian music that has seen the birth of masterpieces such as Endless.
But he was married, they both felt terrible because their relationship could never be lived out in the open. It took both of them a long time to forget and perhaps they never quite succeeded.
Lucio Ardenzi, Ornella Vanoni’s husband
Partly because she didn’t know how to do with her life, partly because Paoli was busy, at a certain point she too got married. The lucky husband is the theater manager Lucio Ardenzi. The wedding was celebrated on 6 June 1960 in Porana di Pizzale, a small town in the province of Pavia.
Indeed the love for the creator of Endless it was still huge. Years later the artist revealed:
That marriage was a mistake. I still loved Gino and he advised me against it until the end, even threatening to come to the ceremony to sing Senza fine. The marriage does not stand up and when Cristiano was born in 1962, Ardenzi and I are already separated, I was still in love with Paoli. On the wedding day I shouldn’t have shown up, I should have told the truth, it would have been more loyal.
Someone even dared to say that Gino Paoli’s attempted suicide was attributed to Vanoni’s new love. On the day of the wedding he even sent her a photo album with some of his captions where he declared himself desperate to see her married to another man, happy and smiling as in the image that portrayed her in Lucio’s arms on an armchair in their new Roman villa .
The couple’s marriage will last very little and she will leave her husband, even if he is pregnant with his son Cristiano, to go and live with Gino. Vanoni’s heart continued to beat tumultuously for Gino. The relationship with Lucio was a bolt from the blue: Ornella broke up with Strehler, she loved Gino Paoli but couldn’t have him, so she decided to marry Ardenzi. In the end he did not hesitate to return from love endless of his life.
After the marriage chapter, Ornella turns the page and meets Danilo Sabatini, the person she has been with the longest. He is a sensual Maremma man with whom Vanoni has had a lot of fun but by whom she has been betrayed many times. Like other men in her life, the passion for other women and for sex in general was always stronger than the love for her.
Hugo Pratt and Ornella Vanoni
A love of mind rather than sex that involved Vanoni with the great designer Hugo Pratt. An intimate relationship of words and phrases, without bed and sheets, as Vanoni herself says:
We never made love. It was his head that interested me. Go inside and stay there for life. We used to talk almost every day, but we didn’t have time to become lovers. If I had been closer to him, maybe one day it would have happened. I miss the proof, but I still think that by his side and crouched in his big head I would have spent some peaceful and beautiful years.
Hugo Pratt for Ornella was lost love:
I wanted to end my life curled up by his side, to hear him speak, to tell, with his enveloping Venetian, because he was not just a man, he was a whole world, he was the world. An irresistible storyteller.
And not only…
Sergio Bardotti would have been the perfect man. One of the greatest Italian lyricists who flew high and was very curious. But time was not on their side.
Despite everything and despite the tram, as Ornella Vanoni still calls her tormented love stories, she has a great desire to start over. She is always in love. A love different from that of the 20 years and perhaps even from that of the sixties:
After the age of 80, sex doesn’t fill your heart and you get hives living with it.
At 80, next to her there is another man with whom there is no sex but a poetic and virtual love. His name is Pino Roveredo and he is 20 years younger than her, he is a Campiello prize writer in 2005 with the book Send me to say.
Alongside the great artist there is also another presence defined by herself thefriend of the soul. His name is Francesco Leto:
She is 36, we sleep in the same bed to be able to talk at night. For example, I was singing in Paris with Paolo Fresu, Francesco came to see me, we slept together. I’m not looking for conventional stories.
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