Sanremo music festival to start with stars but no audience

Golden Globe winner Laura Pausini, Ibra' among guests of honour

(ANSA) - ROME, MAR 2 - Italy's much-loved Sanremo Music Festival kicks off on Tuesday, with the show set to go on even though there will be no audience at the Ligurian city's 'Ariston theatre because of COVID-19 restrictions.
    The annual music extravaganza, screened by State broadcaster RAI, usually takes place in February but has been pushed back this year due to the pandemic.
    The festival,which runs until Saturday, revolves around a best-song competition.
    The winner gets to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest.
    Presenter and Artistic Director Amadeus has said the "at-all-costs" festival is aiming to give Italy's families some carefree moments at a difficult time.
    Laura Pausini, who won the best original song prize at the Golden Globes on Sunday for 'Io Si' from in The Life Ahead, Sophia Loren's latest film directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, is one of the guests of honour.
    She is one of many Italian artists whose careers were launched by the festival.
    Expectations are also high for an appearance by AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (ANSA).


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