The Italian Almanac

Mariano Apicella and Silvio Berlusconi

Italian News - November 30

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's latest efforts at writing love songs will be on display soon in a new CD being prepared by his now established partner in music Mariano Apicella. The collection of 14 new songs, some in Neapolitan dialect and all focused in the thrills and trials of love, is expected to be released in February next year.

Five of the new songs have lyrics penned by the premier, a longtime fan of popular music who sang for holiday-makers on a cruise ship in his youth. Apicella, a former car park attendant from Naples, said the album would include 'Cicculat 'e Caffe'' (Chocolate and Coffee), a number which Berlusconi's close friends have already heard performed at private parties.

The new album, which still has not been given a title, is the second from a song-writing duo who first made contact in 2001, when Berlusconi was dining at a Naples restaurant where Apicella was playing. The relationship soon blossomed and two years ago the Neapolitan folk singer and the premier teamed up to write a series of songs.

Their first album, "Meglio Una Canzone" (Better A Song), was released in 2003 and sold about 45,000 copies, just 5,000 short of the number needed for a Golden Disc. The two - Apicella on the guitar and Berlusconi singing - have frequently put on mini-concerts for friends and visiting heads of state at the premier's villa in Sardinia.