The Italian Almanac

Pietro Garinei

Italian News - May 11

The man known as the father of Italy's musical theater, Pietro Garinei, died in Rome Tuesday at at age 87. At the time of his death, Garinei was working on a stage musical inspired by Frank Capra's 1961 film, "A Pocketful of Miracles".

Among Garinei's many credits were the lyrics for "Arrivederci Roma." He brought "Ciao Rudy" featuring Marcello Mastroianni as Rudolph Valentino to Broadway in 1966 and was credited with making Rome's Sistina theater a gathering place for fans of the modern musical.

Garinei and his late partner, Sandro Giovannini, wrote Italy's first musical, "Attanasio Cavallo Vanesio" (Attanasio the Vain Horse) in 1952. Radio host Fiorello devoted his Tuesday show to Garinei. "We dedicate this program to him and we'll try to entertain you as much as we can because that's the way he would have wanted it," he said. "I can assure you of that because I knew him personally."