Gondolier Marco Zanon created an audio slideshow on his Facebook page using this majestic version of the Anthem to San Marco, performed by La Fenice chorus — although you’ll hear attempts of various quality if you listen to impromtu groups, piena di allegria and prosecco, usually, anytime the mood so inspires them. It only hints at the depth of pride Venetians have for their patria.
You may have to become Marco’s Facebook friend to view/hear the anthem — but it’s worth it, I promise (you can always un-Friend him later if you prefer). He posts lots of photos and other memoriabilia of La Venezia che fu, the Venice That Was, along with other commentary on current conditions in the city.
The composer of the anthem is anonymous, but the lyrics (with rough translation), and this recording, certainly give indication to the sentiments of its inhabitants…still.
Il nostro vessillo vogliamo sul mar – We want our vessel at sea!
L’inno di guerra San Marco dei prodi – The anthem of war, San Marco, and proud men.
Il nostro vessillo vogliamo sul mar.
Il nostro vessillo vogliamo sul mar!
E tra quel silenzio di tanti canali – and in that silence of so many canals
si sente la voce del suo gondolier. – one hears the voce of her gondolier
Che spinge la barca vogando sul remo – that propels his boat by oar
cantando con voce la mesta canzon. – while singing this melacholy song.
“Mia cara Venezia, mia patria diletta – My dear Venice, my precious homeland
tu fosti regina possente sui mari – you were the powerful queen of the seas
Tu fosti regina possente sui mari
cinta di glorie, speranze d’amor… embraced by glory, the hope of love…
Viva Venezia, viva San Marco
Evviva le glorie del nostro leon – and Viva the glories of our lion
Viva le glorie del nostro leon!”