On Sunday 22 March, IL Volo was a guest on a television program conducted by Mara Venier, DOMENICA IN.
Of course, during the C19 period, the guests were not in the recording studio, but connected via Skype, each from their own home where they are confined.
At the beginning of the connection, the wonderful images of the success of the beautiful American tour are sent on TV. Sensational images, which made goosebumps.
Mara welcomes Piero from Naro, Gianluca from Montepagano and Ignazio from Bologna. Mara thanks the boys for being connected and says that they have recently returned.
Piero confirms that they had been in America since January, have been on tour for two months and have had to cancel the last three concerts to return to Italy. He says that from there they did not realize the situation that was in Italy.
Mara asks how they learned about the serious Italian situation.
Ignazio replies that being in daily connection with their parents who were here, they knew what was going on, and made the decision to return, when it was announced that flights to and from Italy would be canceled.
They thought about the many people who are on tour with them and who have families, children at home. And they (Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca) even since their returned, have not yet seen their families, because they are in quarantine.
Mara asks who of them is with the family.
Gianluca replies (the connection with Gian is not beautiful, his voice is breaking up) that he is in quarantine with his mother, who has been with him on tour. Now he and mom are in Gian’s house, he explains that the parents’ house is bordering on his.
Gianluca explains that the virus has totally changed people’s lifestyle, the right restrictions have been put by the government, to avoid contagion, therefore Gian turns to young boys, who must understand how important it is to stay at home, because nobody is immune to this virus, in addition to the respect for the enormous work that doctors, nurses and all the rescue personnel are doing, risking their lives every day.
Mara thanks Gianluca and hopes that, although there have been audio problems, everything has been understood.
Then she says that Il Volo is very popular all over the world, therefore she considers their appeal to young people important, also because, they too are young boys.
Piero says it is the duty of those who are part of the show, and therefore has more audiences, to make their support felt in these causes. He says that when arrived in Naro, he spoke to the mayor and felt her serious concern. Unfortunately there are people who have not understood the seriousness of the moment and try to avoid the rules.
These people, not very intelligent, have no respect for the gift of life and not even for the people who risk their own every day, to save the lives of our loved ones, especially the elderly.
Mara says it is so and thanks all three again for being in touch with her and says that they are the right people to give these messages.
Ignazio adds that, despite the inconvenience we all suffer from the virus, he realizes how much, everything that was taken for granted yesterday is actually very important, like a hug or a kiss. Today you think of it as a precious thing, a gift that life has given us.
On all the negative sides, there is always the positive to be found.
Mara says that she is experiencing this period like a nightmare. She says that until a month ago, the topic was to talk about the songs of Sanremo, and now we are experiencing all of this and when everything has passed, we will all be better people.
Then she sends the video of Piero and Jovanotti: NESSUN DORMA.
Piero says Lorenzo is number 1. To Jovanotti, Piero said that hospitals in Sicily are not well equipped, and would not be able to endure an epidemic, therefore with fellow Sicilian artists, they launched a fundraiser, with which they will buy equipment for hospitals. (remember that Gianluca and Ignazio are also supporting fundraising for hospitals in their area.)
Mara thanks again Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio and recommends staying at home and wearing a medical mask.
Ignazio adds, that one must stay at home, but one must not stay still.
Mara asks Ignazio how he spends his day and Ignazio says that they are all sportsmen, he trains, plays, sings, plays with the Playstation, then he has fun with his dog.
Gian adds that he is learning to play the piano, and then he is pampered by his mother, who is his treasure.
Mara asks Piero if he is alone or if he has his girlfriend and Piero with his hands makes the sign “zero”, and says that he has no girlfriend, he is in isolation alone, fortunately with the microwave, because he cannot cook.
Ignazio has tried several times to teach him without success, while Ignazio cooks well.
Mara asks Ignazio what he cooks, and he says that he likes to experiment with vegetables lately, since he is now vegan.
Gianluca says that he is not vegan and that he likes arrosticini very much. (Arrosticini are typically made from sheep meat, or lamb, cut in chunks and pierced by a skewer. It is cooked on a brazier with a typically elongated shape.)
Ignazio resumes the speech he had started saying that everyone must stay at home, but they must not stay still, because there are so many fundraisers to help, and therefore from home, you have to give your help and support these good things. Helping doctors and civil protection, giving what everyone can, with a small gesture anyone can be helped.
Mara thanks again Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio for this connection and sends a kiss to them. 😘😘😘
Grazie per le vostre parole: Piero, Gianluca e Ignazio.
Non avevamo dubbio del vostro buon cuore. ❤️
Thanks for your words: Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio.
I had the pleasure of discovering Jo Ann, when she answered my plea and so graciously offered her room to share at The Palms in Vegas! We were so excited to meet each other after several long phone calls. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Vegas, but she did, which she will tell us about in a future post. 🙂 Of course I am always on the hunt for new recruits, so I asked if she’d be interested, and she said yes! She speaks, Italian and Sicilian, as well as English and hales from the Denver area. She will be working with Daniela in sharing some of the workload on the various translations, etc. So, Igna and Piero, you have no more secrets! Now, if she could pick up some Abruzese, well, the guys would have no secrets at all! 🙂 Welcome aboard to the crazy Flight Crew, Jo Ann! Without further ado, here she is!
Ciao a tutti! Since this is my first time writing for the Flight Crew, let me introduce myself. I grew up as Giovanna Singer di Marchione in New Jersey. I answer to Giovanna, Yochanah, or Jo Ann, depending on what country I’m in.
Guarigione a Distanza: Long-Distance Healing
Nine or so years ago, my mother and son, watching a film clip on television, shouted across the house for me to come out of my office and hear something. I know my mother was really affected by it, because she was joking with me in Sicilian dialect “Giovanna, veni ca, e tale!”(“Jo Ann, come here and look!”). My mother hadn’t spoken Sicilian in 25 years, due to depressive illness and traumatic memories, and I despaired of my son ever hearing her speak it with me. I ran into the room in time to hear one of three boys, ‘nu ragazzinu (a young guy) with eyeglasses stretching “ma na-a-a-a-a-tu sole” into an 8-beat measure. I was dumbstruck at the smooth richness in such a young voice, in a teen my son’s age. I also couldn’t believe the “cioccolato fondente” (molten dark chocolate) baritone coming out of the smallest one, or the powerful vibrato from the tall one.
Up to that moment I was frustrated that Mama had abandoned her past. This was a woman who grew up singing with Tommy DeVito and Frankie Vallie (of the 4 Seasons), whose own mother sang in the chorus at La Scala in Milano. Her cousin, Lou Monte, sang Italian fun songs on the Ed Sullivan Show, after he re-recorded “Hello Dolly” silly-style with Louis Armstrong, where even Satchmo did a verse in Italiano. (I can tell what generation any reader is if they used to watch the Ed Sullivan show, or remember Louis as “Satchmo”). I don’t remember what was the TV show or clip where Mama saw and heard Il Volo. I only know that it triggered something good in Mama’s memory. For the last years of my mother’s life, we read Sicilian joke books, spoke and sang Sicilian and Italian, and immersed my son in the pride of where we came from. I have Piero, Gianluca, and Ignazio to thank for that, although we’ve never met and I didn’t even know who they were yet.
Eventually I figured it out, but it took a few years. I was running around the world on engineering projects, and they don’t have much bel canto music in Zambia, Zimbabwe, the mining towns of Slovakia, or the mine camps of upper Saskatchewan.
Il Volo Parte: The Flight Takes Off
A birthday hiking trip in Toscana, Italia in late 2015 started changing things. Stepping out of my hotel the first morning in Firenze, I noticed a poster with the name “Il Volo,” (which was probably an ad for a CD or something). The name struck me funny, since I was standing outside the Santa Maria Novella train station, not the airport! I took a good look, and recognized one of the young men in the photo, the one in the eyeglasses, which were no longer red. The tallest one now had a
striking young man’s face and an earring, and lost his round cheeks. The youngest one was starting to look like a matinee idol. My second thought was, “They had spectacular voices even as young teens. I wonder what they sound like now?” My first thought was “Italian boys really grow up well, don’t they?” The answer to what they sound like came quickly. The guys had won San Remo earlier that year, so the radios in some of the negozi in Firenza, Pienza, Volterra, and Volpaia, played “Grande Amore,” occasionally. That was my Benvenuti in Toscana: my Welcome to Tuscany, Il Volo style.
Ecco Che Arrive Il Bello (Here Comes the Funny Part)
Back in Colorado the following autumn, I got irritated at a friend who kept calling me to turn on the TV and watch PBS while I was trying to take a nap after a long workout. I finally gave in. There were the three faces from the poster, now in tuxedoes with even more stellar voices, shaking the Piazza di Santa Croce with Maestro Placido Domingo. That did it! No mistaking who they were now. This time I got irritated that I had been in that piazza six months too soon.
But I already derived great pleasure from Il Volo’s music even before I ever went to my first concert. These three boys always seem to be associated with good things happening in my family. I will always keep the warm memory of my son (a
drummer and baritone) and his sweetheart Anya (a soprano), eating dinner Italian style al fresco on my deck, announcing their engagement to me to the background music of Il Volo’s recording of “L’Amore Si Muove.”
When I took my third or fourth trip to Italy, my first to Sicily, in 2018 I was frustrated that due to the needs of one of our group, we scheduled the trip so we reached Taormina just a few days after the Il Volo concert there was over. It was
obvious, though, that Il Volo’s presence in the Italian press had expanded since 2015, mostly for the better. They were on covers and center spreads in magazines in many of the edicole (newsstands), on the coffee table magazines in my hotel, the CD displays in the music store. Buon per loro! (Good for them!)
Next time: Finalmente! At long last, I attend my first Il Volo concert. I decided my first should, of course, be in Italy, where the guys harass each other in Italian and everyone knows all the lyrics . . .
Grazie Mille, Giovanna! What a lovely intro and such celebrities that reign in your family! We can’t wait to hear about your first concert with the guys in Italia! 🙂
In these quarantine days, Gianluca and his friends Giuseppe and Eraldo communicate via a video call, which I translate for you.
Gianluca cuddles his dog Luna and says that he will make a live broadcast with Giuseppe and Eraldo.
Friends ask Gianluca how the quarantine is going and Gian replies that he does nothing but run between sofa and kitchen, kitchen and sofa. Instead the twins reply that, however, it is nice, that their whole family in this period is all together, which is almost anomalous.
Giuseppe tells Gian that, after all, the quarantine is pleasant for him who has been away for so long.
Gian replies that after a month and a half outside, it is nice to be at home, with the family, and confirms that he is with his mother, in quarantine in his home and shows that the neighboring house is that of his parents, but says that he and his mom, they saw his father and brother from afar and could not hug them.
Gian admits that it is not easy, to return and not be able to embrace the grandfather, the dad, the brother, the friends (surely even if he does not say it, his girlfriend).
He says that while they were in California, the virus alarm also arrived there and then they closed everything there too, however from Italy they told me, “You can’t imagine what the situation is like here.” He realized it when they landed in Rome – there was nobody at the airport.
They did concerts with a lot of people, then also the Meet & Greets. Luckily they are fine, they didn’t have any problem and he also says this for the people who are watching them.
Piero and Ignazio, who are now in Sicily and Bologna, were also lucky.
Unfortunately they had to cancel the last three concerts, but health above all. In the US, they are now getting scared and are now taking the example of us Italians, even in Europe.
Giuseppe replies that even England, even if they were reluctant, is taking measures. Everyone has to do it, because the virus is getting everywhere, to be able to travel without problems again, otherwise the infection continues to return.
The problem is worldwide and that he hopes that the arrival of the heat will mitigate everything.
“Contagion is the most important problem also in South America”, says Gian because a message arrived while the two of them were talking. Gian says that when he saw, from cell phone, Italian Prime Minister’s first speech, he cried, imagining his nation in that way.
Gian reads some greetings from people from South America and Russia.
Giuseppe asks Gian to tell him something about the tour, as they have traveled around America far and wide.
Gian says it was beautiful, one of the most beautiful tours they have done in the US, a month and a half of great satisfaction, many people, many emotions.
In the comments of the video, someone asks to sing something, to raise morale at all. Gian says that he trained a little on the piano and therefore plays a song, he also makes a mistake and says that he gets emotional.
Now he will have time to train, and says he would also like to write a song.
Gian shows the panorama of Montepagano and Giuseppe shows the panorama of his city: Ascoli.
Gian says that in the evening he will watch TV, there is the second film of the Harry Potter saga and (he is a fan of the saga) and Gian remembers that he was in Orlando to visit Universal Studios.
Gian replies in English to an American fan.
Then they say goodbye to various fans, including Saretto of Bambar and they tell him that they will soon go to Taormina. They remember having eaten 40 granitas in one day.
Then Gian talks about fans from South America, saying that Il Volo knows that the US audience is more adult, while in South America they are all young girls.
Giuseppe confirms that this is because Il Volo is liked by a transversal audience that is liked all over the world.
Then he asks Gian if he has seen the video commented also by Trump, on the Frecce Tricolori (our aerobatic aeronautics) and Gian confirms that it is very beautiful, on the Nessun Dorma sung by Pavarotti.
Both then stress the importance of observing the rules in these moments.
Gian says that he recommends this to his brother Erny, who however says that he is a very responsible boy.
Then he says that he has not been able to embrace his grandfather, they have not even seen each other, despite the fact that his grandfather is the love of his life, “Woe to those who touch him.”
Gian continues saying that many will understand him, because in his situation there are many people.
Giuseppe says that now attitudes among people have also changed, we are all far away.
Gian says that he thinks that the virus problem will continue until 2021, and he hopes that a cure, a vaccine will be found soon, otherwise there will always be anxiety about being in a crowded place.
It will be hard to overcome this moment.
Then Gian shows the window from which he sees his brother and dad, who greet him, like Giulietta and Romeo.
Then Gian shows his lounge rhino.
One of Giuseppe’s uncles welcomes Gian back.
Luna arrives and Gian fondly cuddles him, he says that when she arrived, it changed his life.
Eraldo also returns and Gian says that the two of them and Alessio are his best friends. They met about three years ago, through a relative of Gian who knows the grandfather of the twins (Alessio has always been his friend.)
The twins ask Gian what the banana cake he cooked was like and Gian shows it to them, and says that the dough also contained banana, along with almonds and walnuts.
The twins ask Gian to tell everyone what his breakfast consists of and he says: “Lactose-free Greek yogurt, inside a crushed banana, almost liquid, then chopped almonds and walnuts …..” Giuseppe says not to say last two ingredients, which maybe he will play a game to guess these components.
Eraldo says that he spoke to his grandfather who told him that now the young people complain, because they have to stay at home, but then, what should his generation have done, who was called to war? Gian replies that in fact the younger generations complain too much, instead in grandparents there is wisdom.
Gianluca says that our generation is spoiled, it is hard to stay in quarantine, but it must be done for health. This situation will make us grow and face problems differently and we will face life differently. We will be more mature and look at life with other perspectives, and when we are grandparents, we will say that in 2020 we were closed at home, because of the C19.
So Gian offers some nice masks on his face, and the meter, away. The twins say that we have to play down and laugh a little.
Then Gian says that he has also done some physical training and shows his small personal gym.
Giuseppe says that in the next few days they will do a live broadcast while Gian or all three sing or while Gian is cooking.
A fan in the video asks Gian if he saw Piero’s new haircut and Gian says that with that mustache, he looks like Pablo Escobar.
Another fan, however, asks Gian to do a live broadcast every day.
Gianluca reads some greetings from the fans and in the end it is he who greets everyone.
Well Gianluca, it seems to me that with your speeches, you have given good messages to follow.
As you all know, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca quickly returned to Italy. But maybe not everyone, especially those who don’t have Facebook, knows where the guys are now.
The three, are scattered around Italy, one in the north, one in the center and one in the south.
Let’s start with Piero.
As we read from his words, Piero returned to Sicily, to his Naro, but did not return to the family. To preserve his health and the health of his loved ones, Piero has self-isolated himself in his apartment (which is close to that of his parents), and has no physical contact with them. He has self-declared (as is expected here) and is observing a quarantine, isolated from all.
Piero made a video call with his friend Mariano Di Vaio, whom the boys had met in Miami.
Here it is and I will roughly translate it for you.
First thing, we all notice, Piero’s new beard cut …… I don’t like it !!!😑
Mariano also makes fun of Piero for doing this new shave and leaving his mustache like this, and laughing. Piero said he did it alone (of course). He was inspired by the Narcos telefilm, where there is a sheriff, and was inspired by him.
Piero says he’s been in quarantine for two days and already doesn’t know what to do. Mariano says he’s been four days and it feels like a month (he also has a wife and 3 children).
Piero shows that he also tried to cut his hair, with the result that he almost peeled one side. (disaster)
He says he saw a video of a fairly well-known singer in Miami, who was in the disco without worries. 😲
(Thank you Judy Thurman for this nice collage!)
Di Vaio, confirming that he spoke with friends in Miami when the alarm went up, but people still do not realize the big problem of C19.
To pass the time, Piero watches TV, then has tools to train with, takes virtual lessons with his personal trainer.
Piero says that he would have liked to stay at home with his parents and sister, however, he is alone and the policemen come every day to check that he is at home, in isolation, because having been away, he does not know if he may have contracted the virus, and therefore, rightly so.
But Piero, what did you do, right now that hair was starting to grow back!!
Climbing up, from the boot, we arrive in central Italy, Montepagano ….. Gianluca.
Gianluca was traveling, accompanied by his mother Eleonora. They returned home, but not to their parents’ house, but to Gianluca’s house, to be isolated from Ercole and Ernesto. Gianluca lives close to his parents, but they still couldn’t hug each other. They too are in isolation.
Gianluca provides us with many moments of his day and his beautiful home.
In this video, Gianluca says that in quarantine they are all becoming incredible chefs. He too, who has never cooked in his life, made an amazing banana dessert.
Then Gian also practices playing the piano.
Bravo Gianluca !!
And he trains in his small gym. Do not overdo it!
Instead, mother Eleonora sends us this photo of Ernesto beyond the railing of the window. On the photo it says: “Love at a distance, soon we will embrace each other again.”
We continue in the ascent of Italy, and we arrive in the north, in Bologna, where Ignazio is.
Ignazio returned to Bologna, where he has his apartment and where his sister Nina was, who was already waiting for him in solitary confinement.
The situation in Bologna is much more serious than in Sicily or Abruzzo.
Ignazio has a long phone call with his friend Fabio Ingrassia, which I translate briefly for you.
Immediately Fabio asks Ignazio if he has bought the new earring, and Ignazio affirms and shows it to him, then asks Ignazio, how is the first day of quarantine and Ignazio answers: Arturo, television and one meter from his sister Nina. Fabio tells him that in Marsala (where Fabio is) there are two new cases of C19.
Nina cooks, and Ignazio confirms that he is now vegan. He also shows a pizza that his sister made him on his arrival, heart-shaped and with vegan foods.
An exchange of ideas was born with Fabio who says that he eats real meat and Ignazio tells him that he is only a skeptic.
A message arrives from Gianluca, who is following their live, and he says that in Abruzzo they will create vegan arrosticini (typical food made with meat) for Ignazio.
Fabio reports that friends in Miami have said that the C19 is spreading and both say that it was not taken seriously there.
While chatting, Ignazio comes to a contact with Red Ronnie, who asks him where he is and Ignazio confirms that he is in Bologna.
So they talk about the hospital in Marsala, to which Fabio made a donation and Ignazio also confirms that he will do it too and therefore communicates the data for the hospital.
They talk about Ignazio’s guitars that he brought to Bologna, and he admits that he is training.
Every now and then Ignazio has sweet tenderness with his beloved Arturo.
Then Ignazio and Fabio experiment with chords and songs simultaneously with their guitars.
Ignazio asks Arturo what song he wants to hear ….
Arturo stretched over Ignazio and he says to him: “Do you want to rest a bit? I am dad, not a sofa!”
So the first quarantine days of IL VOLO have passed, but there are many days to pass, but the important thing is that they are safe.
Here in Italy, the situation has worsened and I think the boys were shocked on their return.
But even this period will pass.
I also recommend to you, American friends, stay safe!
You all know the news: Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio have just returned home.
Here’s what Gianluca just wrote and which I translate.
Fiumicino, ore 14.30 Dopo due mesi di tour negli Stati Uniti, sono tornato in Italia, fra poche ore sarò di nuovo a casa.
Ricordo che mentre partivo mi dicevano “Vedrai che il tempo vola… tanto qui non si muove una paglia”. Invece, mentre io non c’ero, le cose succedevano eccome, anche se non mi rendevo bene conto della situazione perché ero lontano ed impegnato. Poi, qualche giorno fa quando Conte è intervenuto in diretta nazionale è stato qualcosa di inatteso che mi ha profondamente toccato. In quel momento, mi ha assalito la nostalgia di casa e soffrivo al pensiero che il nostro paese, il più bello di tutti, stesse attraversando un periodo così critico.
Oggi viviamo un periodo storico che ricorderemo per tutta la vita. Queste emozioni forti, le paure, le speranze… ce le porteremo per sempre con noi, ma la prossima volta che vivremo quello che fino a qualche giorno fa davamo per scontato, lo faremo con un’altra coscienza e avrà tutto un altro sapore. Il sapore di qualcosa che non ci è stato regalato dalla nascita, ma di qualcosa che ci siamo dovuti riprendere attraverso le rinunce a cui siamo chiamati oggi.
#iorestoacasa con la mia famiglia, fatelo anche voi e riflettete su quando valga un abbraccio perché io sono tornato, dopo due mesi fuori, e non posso stringere chi mi è mancato.
Fiumicino airport, 2.30 pm
After two months of touring the United States, I went back to Italy, in a few hours I will be home again.
I remember that while I was leaving they said to me “You will see that time flies … then, nothing ever happens here.” Instead, while I was not there, things did happen, even if I did not realize the situation because I was far away and busy. Then, a few days ago when Conte (Prime Minister) spoke nationally it was something unexpected that deeply touched me. At that moment, homesickness assailed me and I suffered at the thought that our country, the most beautiful of all, was going through such a critical period.
Today we live in a historical period that we will remember for a lifetime. These strong emotions, fears, hopes … we will take them forever with us, but the next time we live what we took for granted a few days ago, we will do it with another conscience and it will have a completely different flavor . The taste of something that has not been given to us since birth, but something that we had to take back through the renunciations to which we are called today.
I stay at home with my family, do it too and think about when a hug is worth it, because I came back after two months spent outside, and I can’t hug those I missed.
This was posted by Piero.
Covid19 is dangerous for those with respiratory problems and we remember that Piero suffers from asthma.
Here is a message posted by Piero after his return to Naro:
Hi friends, sorry if I only write now but it took some time to realize everything that’s going on. I came back yesterday from the United States, we were there since January and believe me that we didn’t get a chance to fully understand what was happening here in Italy. We had the full perception of the emergency just a few days ago and we made the decision to stop the final part of our American tour to return to Italy before all the airlines closed. In these weeks between concert and another we met tens of thousands of people, and before returning to Italy we were informed us about the precautions to be taken. Currently in voluntary isolation, I am here at home, in my own country, with all the necessary comforts. I think I’m lucky for this. I have taken on this responsibility and will pass my quarantine without seeing my parents, grandparents, only with the purpose of protecting them. All of this has made it easier for me to see the reaction of my country, Naro, united right now, with a punctual administration in the information it gives to the citizens. I therefore say to my friends, to those who follow me and anyone who reads these few lines: everyone stay home and follow the WHO information. To face all this looking into perspective because sooner or later it will all pass. And if we stick to these rules it will pass faster. See you very soon, Piero
“And here they are at home welcomed by their tender friends.”
We have to stay at home and then the people, who cannot meet, in Naples did this, everyone on the windows and on the balconies to make their voices heard, because nobody is alone.
At the beginning and end of the video, they sing the anthem of Mameli, the Italian national anthem.
Here in Italy, everywhere they are putting up signs with this writing:
ANDRÀ TUTTO BENE (IT WILL BE WELL) !!!
And tonight we will light a candle at the window to tell our doctors, nurses and police personnel that we thank them for their hard work.
Credit to owners of all photos and video.
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!