Italy participated in the Eurovision Song Contest frequently from 1956 to 1997. It was one of only seven countries that competed at the very first contest. The country competed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, marking its first participation in the contest after a 14-year absence.
The EBU had previously announced that they would work harder to bring Italy back to the contest in 2010, along with former participants Monaco and Austria, but again Italy did not participate in the contest. On 31 December 2010, it was officially announced by the EBU that Italy would be returning to the contest as part of the "Big Five", meaning it will automatically qualify for the final of the 2011 contest.