Gianluca joined the ESCUnited team in Fall 2022 as a correspondent covering Slovenia and Estonia. Based in Rochester, New York, Gianluca is a longtime Eurovision fan who brings years of experience as a communications and PR specialist, social media manager and former local journalist.
Tell me about your first Eurovision memory:
I have been a fan of Estonian singer-songwriter Kerli since middle school. Once I discovered her through her hit song “Walking On Air,” I looked back through her older work and found “Beautiful Inside,” the song she sent to Estonia’s national selection in 2004. It was the first time I’d even heard the word “Eurovision.” Suddenly, I was in an internet rabbit hole learning all about what the contest was and telling my friends about it. This was in 2009, which is one of the most iconic years of the contest. I’m so glad ’09 was my first time watching!
What’s your favourite Eurovision song?
It’s so hard to choose! The first that comes to mind is “Fai rumore” by Diodato, Italy’s entry from 2020. I get chills during the bridge and final chorus every time I listen! I also love “Visionary Dream” by Sopho Khalvashi (Georgia ’07), “Hi” by Ofra Haza (Israel ’83) and “Bandido” by Azucar Moreno (Spain ’90).
What are your favourite musicians outside of Eurovision?
I’m one of the biggest JoJo fans you’ll ever meet. I saw her on her “Leaks, Mixtapes & Covers” tour when she came to Philadelphia and it remains one of my favorite live performances ever! Some of my other favorite artists are Omar Apollo, Bad Bunny, Lous and the Yakuza, Shygirl, Taylor Swift, Tinashe and Yuna. I also love the Finnish metal scene and have been a fan of Nightwish and Apocalyptica since I was a kid.
What about your favourite food?
Anything Mediterranean, especially Greek, Lebanese and Turkish cuisine! As a New Jerseyan, I also have an obsession with diners, and I love breakfast sandwiches!
Trips to the Jersey Shore; Historic Grand Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona; Budapest, Hungary; Rome, Italy and Sorrento too, because I love limoncello.
Best way to spend your free time?
Exploring the beautiful parks and hiking trails of Upstate New York, weekend trips over the border to Canada, learning new recipes, going to concerts, and being one of the most loyal participants at my gym’s barbell class.
One interesting fact about yourself?
I think butterflies are really cool – maybe that’s why “farfalle” was one of my favorite songs at Sanremo 2022. My first time ever being in a newspaper, long before I knew I would pursue news as a career, was when I sent a correction to my local paper because they published a photo of a butterfly with a caption that identified it as the wrong species. I was just a 4-year-old with a brochure from our local zoo’s butterfly exhibit, and my aunt and grandma helped me send the correction to the editor. It’s one of my favorite memories with them.