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Published on Dec 21, 2009
"Come Back to Sorrento" or "Torna a Surriento" is a Neapolitan song said to have been composed in 1902 by Ernesto De Curtis to words by his brother, Giambattista. The song was copyrighted officially in 1905; it has since become wildly popular, and has been sung by performers as diverse as Beniamino Gigli, Elvis Presley, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Meat Loaf, Mario Lanza, Franco Corelli, Robertino Loretti, Giuseppe Di Stefano, and Francesco Albanese.
The song was supposedly written at the request of a friend of Giambattista's, Guglielmo Tramontano, who was mayor of Sorrento in 1902 when the prime minister of Italy, Giuseppe Zanardelli, stayed at his hotel in that town; it was claimed that the piece was meant to celebrate Zanardelli's stay. More recent research indicates that the song may merely have been reworked for the occasion; family papers indicate that the brothers deposited a copy with the Italian Society of Authors and Editors in 1894, eight years before they claimed to have written it.