Bud Spencer

Bud Spencer Futtetenne, What Stressed Lives Need

Bud Spencer was a famous Italian athlete, actor, and singer known for a stress-free philosophy he called futtetenne. Given all the tragic news and political drama hitting headlines, there is no better time to revisit the charms of this Italian icon. So if you’re feeling stressed after reading or watching the news, take a break with me by diving into the devil-may-care world of Bud Spencer.

Who is Bud Spencer?

Bud Spencer is the stage name of Carlo Pedersoli who was born on October 31, 1929, in Naples, Italy. Many Italians like Paolo still name Bud Spencer as the first Italian Olympic swimmer to swim the 100-meter freestyle in less than a minute. Typically though, it’s just Italians who can name this fact about Bud. Internationally, he’s famous for his work as an actor.

Why is Bud Spencer Famous?

Bud Spencer is famous for his roles in a number of spaghetti western movies and bromance films with fellow Italian actor Terence Hill. After Ace High was released in 1968 and They Call Me Trinity in 1970 the duo reached legendary status in Italy.

Although they never reached a wide level of fame in America their kindhearted kitch was respected internationally. In fact, in 1972 a New York Times review of “They Call Me Trinity” described Bud as “a grizzled bear of a man” saying he and Terence Hill “couldn’t be more likable.”

Bud Spencer and Terence Hill
Bud Spencer and Terence Hill

Bud Spencer Movies

With a career spanning from 1950 to 2010, Bud Spencer starred in over 60 movies and TV series most notably, They Call Me Trinity, Trinity Is Still My Name, and Watch Out, We’re Mad.

On his YouTube channel Hats Off Entertainment, Joe Ramoni brilliantly summarized the on-screen chemistry between Bud Spencer and Terence Hill as “Part Laurel & Hardy, part buddy cop action stars.” Noting the duo have been global superstars for decades, except in America. In the video below, Joe perfectly summarizes their work with an American audience in mind.

Bud Spencer Futtetenne
Joe Ramoni Introduction Video to Terence Hill and Bud Spencer

Through it all, Bud never forgot where he was from. In fact, Bud was so proud of being from Naples that he would quickly correct reporters who called him Italian by briskly saying “Napoletano.”

Bud Spencer Futtetenne
Bud Spencer “I’m Napoletano” Video Compilation

Knicknamed “the good giant” of Italian cinema, Bud exuded a genuine easygoing nature on screen. A quality that many say extended beyond the screen to the genuine character of Bud Spencer at his core.

Bud Spencer & Futtetenne

Now that I have lived in Italy for a few years, I’ve fallen in love with the Italian lifestyle. In large part because it is far less stressful than my years as a New Yorker.

Some call it la dolce vita, the sweet life. Others define it as dolce far niente or the sweetness of doing nothing. Which I believe is simply a nod to the Italian appreciation for a slower pace of life.

In truth, it’s much more than that. I believe Italian icon Bud Spencer summed it up best as futtetenne.

What Does Futtetenne Mean?

In spirit, futtetenne is about living carefree by not dwelling on the bad. In my mind, Bud Spencer’s life philosophy and his pursuit song “Futtetenne” are about finding balance in letting go. Sort of a one-word mantra for finding balance in letting go.

In other words, when things go wrong, remember they also go right. Of course, that’s just me rephrasing it politely. In reality, Italians translate futtetenne as “to hell with it” or “fuck it.”

Here is Bud in an interview explaining the Neapolitan philosophy of Futtetenne he made famous.

Tip on Italian Language Videos. YouTube has closed captions in multiple languages. Hit play, then click the CC button to turn on the closed captions. Next, click the settings button (gear-looking wheel) and click where it says Italian Auto-Generated. Then when the next window comes up, click Auto-translate and select your preferred language. Fair warning. You’re about to be very hungry!

Bud Spencer Futtetenne

Italian Song “Futtetenne” by Bud Spencer

In this famous Italian song, Bud Spencer sings the refrain:

“Se tè guard dù specchiu
E se diventata vecchio
Falle nu pernacchio
E ride, ride, ride”

Which loosely translates in English to “If you look in the mirror and see you got old, blow a raspberry and laugh, laugh, laugh.” When it comes to understanding futtetenne, these are my favorite lines of the song because the thought of aging with humor is so freeing.

Bud Spencer Futtetenne

If you’re in need of some more distraction, don’t miss our list of famous Italian songs.

Futtetenne Lyrics Italian

Se t’hanno rubato u core
E stai morendo d’ammore
Perché se rifiutol cun altro
E t’à lasciato solo
Senta a me futtetenne
Senta a me futtetenne
Stai per impegnà du capitale
E tè sè mise in un affà
E gli amici più cari
T’hanno fottuto ì denaro
Senta a me futtetenne
Senta a me futtetenne
Se qualcosa va male
Poi qualcosa va bene
Il principio totale è trovar dù parità
Io sogno dù mondo quadrato
E una luna senza colore
Tu pensa solo a una cosa pensa solo a l’ammore
Se tè guard dù specchiu
E se diventata vecchio
Falle nu pernacchio
E ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, e ride
E e futtetenne
Ih ih ah ah ah

Futtetenne Lyrics Translated into English

If your heart was stolen
And you’re dying of love
Because if you refuse another
And he left you alone
Feel me futtetenne
Feel me futtetenne
You are going to commit du capital
And tea put itself in a business
And dearest friends
They screwed your money
Feel me futtetenne
Feel me futtetenne
If something goes wrong
Then something is fine
The total principle is to find equality
I dream of a square world
It is a moon without color
You think only of one thing only think of love
If you looked in the mirror
And if you got old
Make her nu pernacchio (blow a raspberry)
And laugh, laugh laugh
Laughs, laughs and laughs
And he is very young
Hee hee ha ha ha

Final Thoughts

Italians get stereotyped as rude. My theory? Italians are just more comfortable letting go of worries to enjoy each day. 

Sometimes, that includes what other people think. 

I might have grown up American, but now, as an Italian, I’ve proudly adopted a Bud Spencer futtetenne approach to things that stress me out. 

Despite fighting cancer for a year and a half now, my life is still pretty flippin’ amazing here in Italy. I won’t let that go unnoticed because I can hardly stand to read headlines. 

Yes, life trying but it can also be beautiful. With a bit of futtetenne and a few good Bud Spencer movies, I am willing to bet we can share a laugh between the headlines. 

Bud Spencer was 86 when he died peacefully, surrounded by his family in Rome. They said his last words were “Grazie.” 

Well said Bud. Well said.



  • Italian Actor Bud Spencer dies at age 86 – Reuters
  • Bud Spencer – Wikipedia
  • Bud Spencer, the ‘Good Giant’ of Spaghetti Westerns, Dies at 86 – The New York Times

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  1. Haha, my Southern Italian father was one of the most stressed out, uptight people you’d ever want to meet….