Learn Italian in Song: Fossi Figo

video title for Fossi Figo

If I Were Hot

This piece of rude irony by Elio e le Storie Tese (Elio and the Tense Stories) is a good example of the use of the conditional tense in Italian, as well as covering some common Italian slang, and some use of English words in everyday Italian.The video features Gianni Morandi, for no apparent reason (except friendship with the band, I suppose). The subtitles are slogan-like statements about shampoo, beauty treatments, and the importance of diet and exercise in maintaining one’s looks. The final line is “It’s beautiful to be beautiful.”

The video is filmed, I think, in Milan’s Chinatown, except for the last scenes (jogging) in the Galleria and the Piazza del Duomo.

Fossi figo frequenterei il locale giusto, If I were hot I’d hang out at the right club 
fossi figo conoscerei la gente giusta, If I were hot I’d know the right people 
fossi figo indosserei vestiti trendy, If I were hot I’d wear trendy clothes 
certe volte son dei capi orrendi Sometimes they’re horrible pieces 
che a nessuno li rivendi. That you can’t resell to anyone. 
Fossi figo tutti i giorni sarei in palestra. If I were hot every day I’d be in the gym 
fossi figo starei ignudo alla finestra. If I were hot I’d stay naked at the window 
Fossi figo sarei il principe dell’adduttore, If I were hot I’d be the prince of the adductor [muscle] 
sarei il re dell’addominale, I’d be the king of the abdominal 
sarei il re della finestra. I’d be the king of the window. 
Ammirerebbero i miei capelli, They would admire my hair 
si, sono finti ma comunque sono molto belli, Yes, it’s fake, but in any case it’s gorgeous. 
quelli veri sono volati via col vento My real hair is gone with the wind 
e anche la foto sul documento And even the photo on my ID 
non mi rassomiglia piu’. doesn’t look like me anymore. 
Capelli, capelli*, Hair, hair, 
sono andati via e non torneranno mai, It went away and won’t return again 
in piazza* li rimpiazzo in my bald spot I’ll replace it 
con un prodigio della tecnica frutto di ricerche With a technical prodigy, the fruit of research 
e sperimentazioni che ci aiutano nel look. and experimentation that helps us with our look. 
Fossi figo guiderei una grande jeep If I were hot I would drive a big jeep 
fino in disco attesissimo in zona V.I.P., to the disco, awaited anxiously in the VIP area 
il mio nome sarebbe sempre incluso nella lista, My name would always be on the list 
non dico proprio il primo della lista I don’t say right at the top of the list 
ma neanche l’ultimo degli stronzi. But neither the last of the bastards. 
Cubista, cubista, Go-go dancer, 
come balli tu io non ho ballato mai, The way you dance I have never danced 
ti guardo, tu mi guardi I look at you, you look at me 
e si scatena nel mio corpo And something is unleashed in my body 
quella strana sensazione che noi giovani chiamiamo… That strange sensation that we young people call 
cincin ueò muiterù [parola in cinese che significa “cazzo duro”]  … [word in Chinese meaning “hard dick”] 
(coro) (chorus) 
Forse non sono figo, forse no, Maybe I’m not hot, maybe not 
ma sono bello dentro, dentro, But I’m handsome within, within 
fuori stranamente mi vedete come un solitario Outside, strangely, you see me as a loner 
ma a me piace stare con la gente. But I like being with people. 
Io, per piacervi, I, to please you, 
mi epilerei per tutto il santo giorno Would depilate all day long 
come le balle di un attore porno Like the balls of a porn actor. 

* Capelli is plural, unlike English where we use “hair” as a singular collective noun. Which is why Italians, in English, frequently talk about their “hairs”.* piazza is of course the classic Italian town square, but it’s also used to denote the classic male bald spot

NB: The subtitles on the video are not the lyrics, but advertising slogans like “Farewell to split ends!”


  1. I give you the reason why Gianni Morandi appears in this video: he sings in the song together with Elio!

  2. AMAZING (Ok, I admit, I’m a EelST fan)!!!

    Simona’s right: Gianni Morandi sings in the song, alternating with Elio. For an instance, please close listen to “If I were hot every day I’d be in the gym” down to “and experimentation that helps us with our look”. That’s why he appears in the video.

    Thank you very much for the bravery of posting EelST as a vivid sample of how Italians really talk. That’s much more intriguing than usual school-fashioned vocabulary!

  3. One of the reasons why the chose Morandi to be in this song is because he seems to never get old. 😀

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