icon questHi Everyone,

The time is getting close,Il Volo will be back in the USA soon. I think we count the days!!

Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca have been much busier this off time than they have before. As their popularity grows, more and more appearances and interviews are taking place! Hopefully they will become as popular in Europe as they have in North and South America. Ignazio has said before that they are more well known in the USA than Italy. It looks as though that is changing. We, of course are still waiting for their 2014 concert schedule.

Let us take a look back in time at the career of popular Italian singer, Sergio Franchi.


Sergio Franchi (born Sergio Franci Galli; April 6, 1926 – May 1, 1990) was an Italian tenor and actor who enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in the USA as a multimedia star and recording artist after being discovered on British television in 1962. Subsequent to a trans-Atlantic taped audition, RCA Victor signed him to an exclusive seven-year contract. Sol Hurok managed Franchi’s initial American concert tour with a debut performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City. One of the most popular acts in show business, Sergio Franchi was a favorite headliner in Las Vegas, and his cabaret and concert appearances filled the largest venues on four continents. His earliest ambitions and studies were directed toward an operatic career, but fate intervened as opportunities opened instead in popular and romantic music. Franchi performed musical comedies on stage, appeared on numerous television variety shows, and starred in a major motion picture. He became an American citizen in 1972. Throughout his career, Sergio Franchi was a generous benefactor and philanthropist, donating his time and talent to many causes. For his longtime support of Boys’ and Girls’ Towns of Italy, he was posthumously awarded the title of Cavaliere in the “Order of Merit” (Stella al merito del lavoro) by the Italian Government. His performing career spanned thirty-six years before his death at age 64 due to cancer. After his death, a foundation was formed in his name to award scholarships to talented young singers.

Very early in his American career, Sergio Franchi possessed the star power to be in demand as a draw for major charity and benefit shows. (His 1962 debut concerts in Boston were organized to benefit The Home For Italian Children in Jamaica Plain.) During his dual-billing cabaret show with Barbra Streisand at the Eden Roc Hotel, they were both recruited for the American Cancer Society Benefit (MC, Bob Hope) at the Paramount Theater in Palm Beach, Florida on March 17, 1963. Along with other stars, they performed before a capacity audience at what was called “the highlight of the [social] season.”In 1965, Franchi (with Itzhak Perlman, Richard Tucker, & Vivienne della Chiesa) performed at Madison Square Garden—raising $150,000 for the annual “Music Under the Stars” benefiting the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation. Later that year Sergio Franchi joined MC Jack Benny and other stars (John Browning, concert pianist; Yoel Sharr, Israeli comedian; and Phyllis Curtin, Metropolitan Opera star) for a United Nations Delegates Concert on September 10.Then, in 1967, New York City’s WDNT held their annual fundraising (more than $125,000 anticipated) show, “13 Stars for Channel 13.” Franchi joined Itzhak Perlman, Shirley Verrett, & Buffy Sainte-Marie in the event hosted by Tony Randall. Some notable benefits at which Franchi performed during the 1970s include Milwaukee’s “Fight for Sight” benefit hosted by Bob Hope at Philharmonic Hall (1971); and a star-filled Easter Seals telethon from Las Vegas at the enormous Sahara Hotel convention hall in 1972 (Raised a million dollars: Franchi performed and made a personal donation) On June 3, 1984, Franchi was a featured performer at the “7th Annual Lions Sight & Hearing Telethon” on New Orleans’ WGNO-TV.


Sergio Franchi did it all, movies, Broadway, TV, recording, touring and opera.

Sergio Franchi died of a brain tumor in 1989 at the age of 64.

st peters3

Il Volo was at the Vatican and met with the Pope. Let’s look at a short history of Vatican City.

The name “Vatican” predates Christianity and comes from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount.] The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields. It is in this territory that St. Peter’s Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel, and museums were built, along with various other buildings. The area was part of the Roman rione of Borgo until 1929. Being separated from the city, on the west bank of the Tiber river, the area was an outcrop of the city that was protected by being included within the walls of Leo IV (847–55), and later expanded by the current fortification walls, built under Paul IIl (1534–49), Pius IV (1559–65) and Urban VIII (1623–44).

When the Lateran Treaty of 1929 that gave the state its form was being prepared, the boundaries of the proposed territory were influenced by the fact that much of it was all but enclosed by this loop. For some tracts of the frontier, there was no wall, but the line of certain buildings supplied part of the boundary, and for a small part of the frontier a modern wall was constructed

The territory includes St. Peter’s Square, distinguished from the territory of Italy only by a white line along the limit of the square, where it touches Piazza Pio XII. St. Peter’s Square is reached through the Via della Conciliazione which runs from close to the Tiber River to St. Peter’s. This grand approach was constructed by Benito Mussolini after the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty.

According to the Lateran Treaty, certain properties of the Holy See that are located in Italian territory, most notably the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo and the major basilicas, enjoy extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies. These properties, scattered all over Rome and Italy, house essential offices and institutions necessary to the character and mission of the Holy See.

Castel Gandolfo and the named basilicas are patrolled internally by police agents of Vatican City State and not by Italian police. According to the Lateran Treaty (Art. 3) St. Peter’s Square, up to but not including the steps leading to the basilica, is normally patrolled by the Italian police.


There are no passport controls for visitors entering Vatican City from the surrounding Italian territory. There is free public access to Saint Peter’s Square and Basilica and, on the occasion of papal general audiences, to the hall in which they are held. For these audiences and for major ceremonies in Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square, tickets free of charge must be obtained beforehand. The Vatican Museums, incorporating the Sistine Chapel, usually charge an entrance fee. There is no general public access to the gardens, but guided tours for small groups can be arranged to the gardens and excavations under the basilica. Other places are open only to individuals who have business to transact there.

I hope you enjoyed looking back on the career of Sergio Franchi. He was a favorite of mine back in the 70’s and 80’s.

I also hope you enjoyed a look at The Vatican.

We of course want to tell “our Boys” how much we miss them and can’t wait for their return!!!

The latest tweets: Piero tweets he’s happy to be back in Sicily (warmer) All the “Guys” have tweeted their support for Venezuela.                                  young guys 2


11 thoughts on “DID YOU KNOW????”

  1. Thank you for the tribute to Sergio. I’m so glad he is not forgotten. One of my very favorite singers. Saw him on his first appeance on the Ed Sullivan show when he did not speak English.Same thing with il Volo. Saw them on American Idol and I was done for! He then came to Chicago and Wisconsin every year and we actually got to know him. What a beautiful performer; singing over Lake Michigan at night where his voice echoed so beautifully. He even learned to tapdance and brought his children here. His son played piano with the orchestra and his sister also sang. I saw him in Wisconsin the year he died and he really looked bad. I then found out he knew he had brain cancer and still wanted to perform. He made one movie “Secret of Santa Vittoria” and asked me if I enjoyed it. He deserved to become more famous with his gorgeous voice and personality. Thanks again.

  2. Linda that was a beautiful biography of Sergio Franchi. I got a couple of his vinyl records, I thought his voice was magnificent & yes he did die too young.
    Also the history of the Vatican is so informative. I am sure Jenny will be happy if she can get tickets for St. Peter’s Basilica & the Square that will really make her tour complete.
    Your talent is outstanding


  4. And I, too, add my thanks for the bio of Sergio and the wonderful “tour” of ancient Italy. I hadn’t remembered until now how much I had loved hearing Sergio sing, and especially the movie he was in.

    We are in the middle of a blizzard here in Minnesota. Expecting a possible 14 inches of new snow! And high winds later tonight! Oh, spring, where are you!

    Thanks again, Linda.

  5. Thanks Linda. I really enjoyed the visit to the Vatican. Can you just imagine being inside the Sistine Chapel and looking up? I wonder if anyone ever does that with a dry eye!

    Oh Allene, stay safe and warm! Spring in a few weeks! Longest winter of my life and I don’t even live in Minnesota.

  6. I know I don’t comment a lot, but I have to say I’m loving all of these “Did You Know’s” and “Assisi” and the letter from Jane and the “Memories” from Marie. And your recipies, too, LeeLee (can’t wait to try some–maybe not the homemade pasta; that’s a little beyond me. 😉 )

    Thanks for everyone for participating. 🙂

  7. Oh that was great. Thanks for the tribute to Sergio, lovely man, gone too soon. As for the Vatican I hope to go back someday, My tour group got rushed through because of some possible strike nonsense. Marie, the Sistine Chapel is magnificent. The crowd was chattering like magpies in there and the guards kept saying ” Silencio! Silencio!” and I felt overwhelmed. My huge emotional moment came when I came in front of the Pieta. I actually burst into tears it was so gorgeous and infinitely sad. I will go back, there is a convent of nuns I know just a few blocks from the Vatican and I plan to stay there so I will be able to go inside and study as much as I can! ( along with my ipod and IL VOLO!)

  8. Nice picture of Gianluca praying for Venezuela at the top left of the blog. Piero and Ignazio also tweeted their prayers as well. A few hours ago Gian extended his prayers to Ukraine also. Thank you guys. We can feel your love tonight! To world peace!

  9. I love coming here to learn about Italy! I had never heard of Sergio Franchi before. I didn’t know all these thing about Vatican City either. I do know that it is counted as the only country in the world that doesn’t have and cell phone towers though!

    Thanks for that picture up in the left. It is wonderful to these sentiments from all three of The Guys and from everyone here.

  10. Wonderful stories. Thank you for your research and presentation here! Your efforts are MUCH appreciated! We are sitting under ANOTHER NEW 14-16 inches of snow…Allene, when you eventually find spring please send some up our way, too! 🙂

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