Francesco “Franco” Migliacci was an Italian lyricist, producer, and actor born on October 28, 1930. Known for his multifaceted contributions to Italian art and culture, he is most famous for co-authoring the iconic song “Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu,” commonly known as “Volare.”
Early Life and Initial Foray into Cinema
Franco Migliacci was born in Italy and later settled in Florence with his family. It was here that he entered a competition for young actors, earning a three-day stay at Cinecittà and a modest role in a film by Nino Taranto. This experience was a stepping stone, leading him to move to Rome and immerse himself further in the world of cinema. Migliacci worked in small roles in about 18 films, gaining experience and recognition.
Creating “Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu (Volare)”
In 1958, Migliacci and Domenico Modugno co-authored “Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu,” also known as “Volare.” The song has since become one of the most well-known Italian songs globally. The seemingly nonsensical words, “in the blue, painted blue,” were inspired by a wine-fueled vision Migliacci had. This vision combined elements of two Marc Chagall paintings and imagined himself painted blue and flying.
Ventures in Television, Radio, and Illustration
Beyond his musical achievements, Migliacci expanded his creative landscape into television drama series and radio plays. He was also the illustrator for The Pioneer, a children’s magazine directed by Gianni Rodari.
Franco Migliacci’s contributions spanned various films, including:
- Viale della speranza, directed by Dino Risi (1952)
- Carica eroica, directed by Francesco De Robertis (1952)
- Amori di mezzo secolo, directed by Pietro Germi (1953)
- Ci troviamo in galleria, directed by Mauro Bolognini (1953)
- L’arte di arrangiarsi, directed by Luigi Zampa (1954)
- Non scherzare con le donne, directed by Giuseppe Bennati (1955)
- Serenata al vento, directed by Luigi De Marchi (1956)
- Noi siamo le colonne, directed by Luigi Filippo D’Amico (1956)
- Una voce una chitarra un po’ di luna, directed by Giacomo Gentilomo (1956)
- Ho amato una diva, directed by Luigi De Marchi (1957)
- Vivendo cantando che male ti fò?, directed by Marino Girolami (1957)
- Giovane canaglia, directed by Giuseppe Vari (1958)
- Ladro lui, ladra lei, directed by Luigi Zampa (1958)
- Nel blu dipinto di blu, directed by Piero Tellini (1959)
- Tutto è musica, directed by Domenico Modugno (1963)
- Django, directed by Sergio Corbucci (1966)
- Per amore… per magia…, directed by Duccio Tessari (1967)
- Heidi a scuola, directed by Isao Takahata (1972)
Franco Migliacci passed away on September 15, 2023. His contributions to Italian and global culture—through cinema, music, and other forms of art—leave a lasting legacy.