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How to talk about Sanremo in English - a mind map

Updated: Feb 14

A vocabulary lesson with plenty of expressions to describe music events like this juggernaut of a festival that has everyone, whether they love it or hate it, talk about it for weeks. And some useful tips on learning new vocabulary using mind maps.

Tonight is the night everyone was waiting for – the final event of the Sanremo Music Festival. Whether you love it or hate it, we have to talk about it plus I thought I could show you how to use smart mind maps to learn new vocabulary.

I know you want to know the meaning of the funny word from above. I called Sanremo a juggernaut of a festival, because it's a huge, powerful force to be reckoned with, and that's what the word means.

This lesson is not just about Sanremo though; it was an excuse to show you some cool words relating to music, TV and showbiz that you can use to talk about any other music event or TV broadcast, such as Grammy Awards or Coachella.

This is to say that even if you're a Sanremo hater, you'll still needs this vocabulary, OK?

Why a mind map?

I started looking at my students's notes and it seriously made me feel uncomfortable.

Most people carelessly scribble words along with the translation making long, boring lists, and since it usually looks dreadful, they never even look back at it, and the whole thing is just a waste of time.

If you're one of those people, stop wasting your time and start taking your notes seriously.

Imagine how amazing that would be if your entire vocabulary notebook looked like this mind map below dedicated to music events vocabulary like Sanremo. BTW, it's what I do with my private students, and if you interested in private tuition, you can book a lesson here.

What's great about mind maps is that they're:

  • a really powerful note-taking method that will completely change the way you learn new words and expressions

  • visual and engaging and make you want to look back at what you wrote

  • practical and help you order new vocabulary in various categories such as nouns, verbs, expressions, people, places etc.

  • interactive – every time you look back at your map, you can quickly revise all the vocabulary

  • a brilliant way of continuously enriching your vocabulary – every time you look at a mind map you made, you realise there's something missing, and you can add it

  • a useful testing tool that can help you realise how much you know and what is there still to learn

  • a great way of having fun when learning – some of my students started making drawings, using a highlighter along the way and it looks amazing


Go over the vocabulary in the mind map above and complete the following text, which could be a news article about Sanremo.

The Sanremo Music Festival is the most popular __________, __________ and __________ in Italy. Taking place over a week, the festival is __________ by Rai1 and it __________ at 8 o'clock. It is __________ at now iconic Teatro Ariston, which is a medium size __________ in a small town of San Remo near the French boarder. Roughly 15 __________ take part in the contest to win the main __________. Apart from newcomers, audiences can watch __________ by famous artists such as Giorgia or Ricchi e Poveri. The event is usually __________ by a prominent TV presenter and attracts the likes of social media __________ such as Chiara Ferragni and other __________ such as Belen Rodrigues or Novak Djokovic.

Over the last few decades, the festival has been __________ by many international artists such as Steve Wonder, Cher and Tina Turner. It attracts criticism for __________ music, __________ colours and __________ costumes, but it produces the biggest __________ such as Felicità, which has become one of the most famous songs in the history of Italian music.

Check your answers

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