Il Vestito di Arlecchino - by Gianni Rodari

Gianni Rodari Gianni Rodari was born in Omegna, near Lake Orta, province of Novara, on 23rd October 1920 and died in Rome on 14th April 1980. An author, educator and journalist, he wrote many books for children and teenagers, where the main theme is the struggle of good versus evil and the importance of friendship, and was translated into many languages.

The poem Il vestito di Arlecchino was made into a song, music composed by Roberto Fasciano. In the video, costumes and masks of Harlequin, Columbine, Pantalone, Pulcinella, Brighella, Balanzone. The video is a creation of Roberto Fasciano YouTube channel. In case it does not appear properly, see it on YouTube directly.
In 1970 Gianni Rodari was awarded the prestigious Premio Andersen; among the greatest authors of the "fantasy" theme, he also wrote La grammatica della fantasia (The Grammar of Fantasy, 1974), about the art of inventing stories. In Italy there are now hundreds of parks, clubs, libraries, playgrounds, streets, kindergartens and elementary schools named after him, among them the Parco Rodari in Omegna, his hometown, and the Public Library of Rome Municipio VII.

Other famous books by Gianni Rodari were Il libro delle filastrocche [= The book of doggerels] (1951), Il romanzo di Cipollino (1951) [= Cipollino's novel], La freccia azzurra (1953) [= The blue arrow], Gelsomino nel paese dei bugiardi (1958) [= Gelsomino in the Land of Liars], Filastrocche in cielo e in terra (1960) [= Doggerels on land and in the sky], Favole al telefono (1962 [= Fables on the telephone], La torta in cielo (1966) [= The cake in the sky], and many others.

Cipollino, his most famous character, fights for his fellow vegetable friends against the fruit royalty (Prince Lemon and Tomato), and became extremely popular in Russia.

Cipollino in a Russian stamp with Mr Tomato

Il vestito di Arlecchino
Harlequin's costume
Per fare un vestito ad Arlecchino
ci mise una toppa Meneghino,
To make a costume to Harlequin
Meneghino put a patch,
ne mise un'altra Pulcinella,
una Gianduia, una Brighella.
another was put by Pulcinella,
one Gianduja, one Brighella.
Pantalone, vecchio pidocchio,
ci mise uno strappo sul ginocchio,
Pantalone, the old louse,
put a tear on the knee,
e Stenterello, largo di mano
qualche macchia di vino toscano.
and Stenterello, the squanderer
a few stains of Tuscan wine.
Colombina che lo cucì
fece un vestito stretto così.
Colombina who sewed it
made such a tight a costume.
Arlecchino lo mise lo stesso
ma ci stava un tantino perplesso.
Harlequin put it on the same
but he was in there a bit worried.
Disse allora Balanzone,
bolognese dottorone:
Then said Balanzone,
the big doctor from Bologna:
"Ti assicuro e te lo giuro
che ti andrà bene li mese venturo
"I assure you, and I swear
it will fit you fine next month
se osserverai la mia ricetta:
un giorno digiuno e l'altro bolletta!".
if you follow my recipe:
one day fasting and the other service bills."