Sanremo, sight for sore eyes

On the stage of the Ariston amidst song and good music, eyeglasses and sunglasses steal the show

This year, although Arisa has set aside the glasses that made her famous, others sported them proudly on stage at Sanremo (and apparently it brought them luck!). Samuele Bersani, for one, was wearing an unmistakeably nerdy pair. However, bad luck seemed to be looking the other way, as the singer-songwriter from Bologna won the coveted critics award by just one vote over the more mature Eugenio Finardi. Could it be down to the little-boy-lost look that those glasses give him? Bersani appears to have an affinity for this accessory, which has now become a refined, much sought-after and flaunted item on red carpets all over the world: his 2006 album, Aldiqua, featured the moving track entitled "Occhiali rotti" (Broken Glasses) dedicated to journalist Enzo Baldoni.


And were that lovely nerdy pair worn off-stage by overall winner Emma Marrone during pre-final show interviews her lucky charm? She certainly had her eye on victory, no doubt about it, and in the end pipped Arista to the post, the singer who decided just this year to do away with her glasses. Was that a sign? Less prophetic were the round John Lennon glasses worn by Lucio Dalla who was partnered with the young singer-songwriter Pierdavide Carone. The duo was eliminated and then called back again, but ended up second to last in the final ranking. Not at all prophetic, but slightly prosaic was the pair donned by Adriano Celentano, the Molleggiato, in his Sanremo TV sermon.


Eyeglasses for some and sunglasses for others. Although etiquette says they should only be worn outdoors, a good number of artists defied social graces and wore dark glasses during their performances. Perhaps they had trouble seeing under the spotlights... or maybe they just wanted more of the limelight! Rap star Shaggy wore them as he duetted with Chiara Civello, Loredana Berté kept hers like a security blanket, although she did apologise for her bad manners years ago (in 1982 she sang the prophetic hit song "Non sono una signora" - I'm not a lady!). Dark glasses have always accompanied the Puerto Rican singer Jose Feliciano, blind from birth, who won over the audience as he sang Que Será in Spanish, duetting with the once four-eyed Rosalba Pippa (alias Arisa). And Claudia Mori couldn't be seen without her dark glasses. Having worn them as a judge on the X Factor, she displayed them valiantly at the Music Festival as she defended husband Adriano Celentano.


They were also sported by the lovely Ivanka while wearing her neck collar, as she did the rounds on national TV, and had to forgo doing the first night of the festival because of painful and untimely "cervicalgia with lumbago." The dark glasses were the only way to hide the tears in her grey-blue eyes (but were they caused by pain or anger and despair at being replaced straightaway?). And what can we say about the jolly pair worn by the Morandi and Pellegrini duo? Guitar-shaped spectacles and cocktail "glasses" were hardly credible but did the job of animating the disco section. Although Morandi didn't need eyeglasses to read the autocue, he could probably have done with a nice pair of rose-tinted spectacles to look through.


With its cast of eyeglasses, sunglasses (and butterflies!), Sanremo 2012 was quite a "spectacle!"