Famous fellow citizens

Our most famous fellow citizens

Domenico Modugno

Domenico Modugno, called also Mimì, as many recall him, was born in Polignano a Mare on january 9th 1928, in Minerva Square nr. 5 (today Caduti di via Fani Square), from Vito Cosimo Modugno, municipal policeman, and Pasqua Lorusso; he had tw brothers, Vito Antonio called Tonino and Giovanni called Giannino, and a sister, Teresa.  From a young age he wanted to become an actor and in 1951, after his military service, he enrolled in an acting school. While still studying he had a role in a cinematographic version of Filumena Marturano by Eduardo De Filippo as well as some other films. In 1935 his father moved to San Pietro Vernotico, in the Province of Brindisi (where his parents are buried). Here Domenico attended primary school and learned San Piertro Vernotico's dialect, which belongs to the linguistic area of Lecce's dialect, which is close to Sicilian dialect. He attended secondary school in Lecce.

In 1957 his song "Lazzarella," sung by Aurelio Fierro, came second in the Festival della Canzone Napoletana, bringing him his first taste of popularity.

In 1958 Modugno took part in Antonio Aniante's comedy La Rosa di Zolfo at the Festival della Prosa in Venice. The turning point of his career came in that year, when he also participated in the Sanremo Music Festival, presenting, together with Johnny Dorelli, the song "Nel blu dipinto di blu." Co-authored by him and Franco Migliacci, the song won the contest and suddenly became an enormous discographical success worldwide, especially in the United States. It received two Grammy Awards with sales far over a million copies, and represented Italy in the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest, where it came in third.

In 1959, Modugno won the Sanremo Music Festival for the second time in a row, with "Piove" (also known as "Ciao, ciao bambina"), and received second place in 1960 with "Libero." This was a successful period of time for Modugno who again represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1959. Later his hit song "Io" was sung by Elvis Presley in English with the title "Ask Me."

In 1962, Modugno won the Sanremo Music Festival a third time with "Addio..., addio...." Four years later, he again represents Italy at Eurovision with "Dio, come ti amo." Jack Jones recorded it in English for his 1967 album, Our Song, under the title, "Oh How Much I Love You."

The 1970s kept Modugno's voice and mind busy in more classic music genres and profiles, as a singer and as a musician, adapting poetry, acting on television and in lead singing roles of modern operas.

In 1986, Modugno entered the political arena as a member of the Italian Radical Party and was elected congressman for Turin in June 1987. In this last stage of his life, he was very active in social issues, fighting against inhuman conditions of patients in the Agrigento psychiatric hospital.

Domenico Modugno died from a heart attack in Lampedusa, Italy, in August 1994 in his home by the sea.


Pino Pascali

Born to parents of Polignano to Sea, Pino spent his adolescence in Barium, where he attended the scientific high school, but he was transferred and graduated at the art school of Naples. In 1956 moved to Rome, where he registered at the Accademia delle Belle Arti and he attended the lessons of a certain amount Scialoja. After the diploma begins to work like help set designer to the Italian Broadcasting Corporation. Meanwhile, it begins a consecutive collaboration with the Lodolofilm, realizing carousels, advertising ad and television abbreviations.

In 1965 it realizes its first personal show, I press the well-known Roman arcade "The Tortoise". In alone three years it obtains a considerable verification aside of the critic and comes noted from influential Italian and international gallery directors. Actual to the apex of its career, while some its works were in show to the Biennial of Venice, dies in a road accident with its motorcycle.

Eclectic artist, Pascali was sculptor, set designer, performer. In its works it reunites the roots of the mediterranean culture (the fields, the sea, the land and the animals) with the dimension ludica of the art: a cycle of works is dedicated to the arms, true and actual toys realized with materials of I recover (metals, straw, cords) and a lot its intense activities ripropongono the icons and the fetishes of the mass culture.

It is retained one of the most important representatives of the poor art, together to Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Eliseo Mattiacci, Lombard Sergio and Caesar Heels. Beyond that to the National Arcade of art Modern and to the MACRO one of Rome, the its they operates you were exhibited to Paris to the Hit the center of Georges Pompidou, to Vienna to the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, to Osaka to the Museum of Modern Art, to Turin to the GAM, to Barium to the Provincial Art Gallery.

To him a show it is dedicated inaugurated to Como, I press the former basilica of San Francesco, 12 April 2008.


Polignano gives birth also to:

- Messer Zaccaria, doctor at the Swabian Court;

- Vito Cosimo Basile (1877-1958), doctorn and man of letters;

- Monsignor Pompeo Sarnelli (1649 - 1724), humanist and literary man of great moral and doctrinal talent, Bishop of Bisceglie from 1692 to 1724.

- Fulvia Miani (1844-1931), writer (mather of the literary man Armando Perotti);

- Cosimo Turi (1892-1972) writer and essayist.


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