Celebrating With Piero in Toronto ~~ Penina’s Story


Penina and Loretta were on hand in Toronto to help Piero celebrate his birthday and enjoy some good music as well.  I do have to thank the two of them for the very thoughtful thing they did for him in the name of The Flight Crew.  Thank you guys so much!  🙂


Last night I went with a friend to Roy Thompson Hall for the Il Volo concert. Loretta and I had corresponded by email, and we knew where our respective seats were. We also decided it was a good idea to buy a birthday cake for Piero and tell him it was from the Flight Crew. I ordered the cake, specifying the colors and what it should say. But I had no idea what I would do with it during the concert! I managed to find a huge plastic bag that the cake box would fit in to carry it downtown–a necessity because it was raining hard. In the end, I wound up putting it on the floor under the seat in front of me–I wanted to be sure to be able to stand up and cheer without squashing the cake!
We had wonderful seats in the second row on the aisle. Loretta was on the other side, in the front row on the other aisle. We connected before the show, and I also met a few others who were wearing badges–one of the ladies said she reads the blog but doesn’t comment, the others were her friends.

The concert was marvelous (as usual!!), the guys were funny and adorable. Ignazio was up to his usual tricks and at one point late in the show, he slid across the floor on his knees and tore a hole in his pants! He was (mock) upset and moaned about the hole and tried to enlist the others’ sympathy, but they weren’t buying it!  The time flew by–it was a too short two hours. And then it was over and we were waiting for the meet and greet.

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Finally it was our turn. We were waiting in a line that was extended into the room where the meet and greet took place. We opened the cake box so we could show it to Piero when we got up there. Piero saw the cake box and stuck out his stomach and made a gesture with his hand–like I’m getting fat! I grinned at him, and he grinned back. At last it was my turn.  It was my first M & G, and I was a bit tongue tied. I mumbled something to Ignazio (I have no idea what), got him to sign the back of the badge, told Gianluca he is way better than Sinatra ever was (to which he thanked me), and Piero said, “A lot of people are telling him that!” Well, why not? It is certainly true! Piero looked at the cake, gave a big smile and thanked me, and then we were hustled into a line for the photo–They took one of the 3 of us: Loretta, my friend Susan and me. Loretta convinced them to take another one of just her and the guys. While this was happening, I spotted Barbara and I went over to her and thanked her for all that she does for our young men.
A lovely evening indeed!

38 thoughts on “Celebrating With Piero in Toronto ~~ Penina’s Story”

  1. What a wonderful experience for your first meet and greet. I too had my first one in Detroit. I certainly don’t think either he or Gianluca are fat, if anything they need just a tad bit more weight to supplement there gorgeousness. Ignazio…what can I say he is perfect the way he is.

  2. Penina and Loretta you had such a lovely experience. You were lucky to be able to share Pieros birthday with him and the cake was beautiful and looked yummy !!! How nice that you said it was from the Flight Crew. That was great !!!

  3. That was so thoughtful of you to have the cake be from The Flight Crew. Sounds like you had a great time and got the cake to stay in one piece!

  4. Penina, loved your story!! Thanks for thinking of putting from The Flight Crew on the cake, I’m sure he enjoyed it. Loved the photos of you and Loretta!!

  5. Wow, You guys are luckier han me. My present to Piero was handed off to a guy at the stage dpor. I didn’t have M and G ticket. Next time I will. Hope I can get a badge though. It would help to get closer. I don’t know Barbara. How will I know her? Joanie Guyon

    1. Barbara is short, she has a heart shaped face and long dark hair, and a lovely smile! She also will be wearing a REAL Il VOLO ID badge! You can find pictures of her on facebook and the other blogs.

  6. I bet Piero loved it! Who doesn’t love cake, especially a cake as gorgeous as that one, and that even has your name on it?!?!?! That was so thoughtful and (pardon the pun) sweet of you! What flavor was it?

    Also, both of you look great in those photos! I bet The Guys wanted to take you on the rest of the tour with them! 😉

    1. It was a lemon mousse cake–it really smelled fantastic. I am now wondering what excuse I can give myself to buy one for me!

  7. Nice story Penina! Thanks for the cake from all of us and the trouble you went to to get and keep it safe. How sweet! Sounds Yummy!

    Happy Birthday Loretta!

    1. I share a birthday with Piero’s sister, June 16.
      Naturally I forgot to tell him, even though it was on my “prepared” list of things to say. Once you are there, the list flies out the window!

  8. Thankyou Penina for your lovely story of your nite with our Boys!! The cake a beautiful idea & having from Flight Crew was so thoughtful! We all had our precious M&G & can treasure the memories! What I noticed most was still the boy in all three! They look so imposing on stage & so accomplished in their performances! In casual clothes they are slender & not yet the mature young men! I am glad, I don’t want adults yet! IlVolover Marlene said she needed to take Gian home & give him a few good English meals! I was hugged by all 3 & could tell that they do work out! Love lemon cake & pie, a very good choice! They are so wonderful & truly love their fans!😋❤️❤️❤️

    1. I just thought with all the lemon trees that grow in Italy that it was a more “Italian” flavor! It was too bad that was the day that Italy lost it’s match in the world cup, or it would have been an easy talking point!

      1. Hi Penina and Loretta!
        so glad you both had such a good time.
        By the way lovely juicy cake with lovely colors 😉 bianco rosso e verde!!

  9. Penina: Another Thank You from another Ilvolover for gifting the cake from all of us! I belong to such a wonderful group of fans, I am truly blessed. Of course, Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero are the biggest blessing. I’m grateful to God to be a part of this phenomenon. Thank you again!

    1. Any time Linda! Someone want to fly me over to Italy for Ignazio’s birthday, I’ll be happy to bring him a cake too!

      1. Well, if you find a sponsor, include me in that flight! That’s the only way I’ll ever be able to see Italy. Even then, I would see Italy only if I could tear myself away from you know who!

      2. Gee, someone with dimples maybe? Did you ever notice that Gianluca also has a very elusive dimple? Anyone?

      3. It’s very elusive, but you can see it some of the spontaneous photos, usually when he’s with fans.

      4. It’s there when he grins. I have to say I like Ignazio’s better!

      5. Hey Penina your not going without me. We make a good party. Maybe Laia & Susan could come also & we could have a chance to share a slice of cake with him & his family. Wishful thinking.
        My son & his friend said a while ago they wanted to go to Italy & asked if I would like to go & of course I said a big YES.
        Everyone this was Penina’s idea about the cake. It was absolutely beautiful, wherever she had it made did a fantastic job. Green, white & red are the colours of Italy.To bad we couldn’t have shared a slice with them. Susan her friend is a lovely lady & took a picture of me with Barbara & very attentive helping me up a down stairs. There were so many stairs to climb & go down to so many floors at Roy Thomson.
        Penina I didn’t know lemons grew so abundantly in Italy.
        Thanks Marie for the birthday wishes & Happy Birthday to you also.
        Happy belated birthday wishes to you Penina I didn’t know your was the 16th So we share close birthdays mine is the 20th that is why I went to Festival Park.

      6. I was hoping for a bit more time with them to tell Piero that we all had birthdays around the same time. Of course all that flew out of my head when I was face to face with him. He was very gracious and sweet–lovely in every way. I felt all three of them were exhausted. But the next time (I hope there is one!) I will take a page out of Connie’s book (it was Connie, wasn’t it? Maybe Helen?) who said “I’m here for hugs!”

      7. Hi Loretta,
        Thank you so much for thinking of me! I would (of course!) be so happy to go to Italy with you – what a lovely idea. Unfortunately at the moment it is only a dream. But – as all us Il Volovers know, dreams DO come true! Who knows? Maybe some day we will do just that.

  10. I think that was a great story and I also was at the meet and greet in Toronto, first time, my Daughter and Granddaughter were with me, but I think once they saw my granddaughter I became invisible (haha), anyway it was great meeting them even for the short time, I also met Babara and gave her a big hug and said thanks for all she does, she is a lovely person, I really miss them all and hope that they will come back to Toronto,

    1. Loretta….. I checked Amazon, all the CDs Il Volo has made, Spanish and all, and as far as I can tell, they have not recorded Besame Mucho. On their earliest tour, they would sing a few bars of it when they were kidding around, but they never sang the whole song.
      That’s all I could find! Sorry!….. It is a beautiful melody.

      1. Thanks Helen I was told at Festival Park by one of the men taking water to the stage that they sang it on a CD & another song but I can’t remember the name. They are supposed to be Spanish Il Volo albums. I listened to a video on the internet that states that Gianluca is singing Besame Mucho but for some reason it doesn’t sound like Gianluca. That song suits them perfectly.

    2. Loretta…I saw that video, too. If you look closely, you will see that the artist is Andrea Bocelli! I’m like you…I knew it wasn’t Gianluca. We really know Our Boys, don’t we?

    3. Loretta,
      Alas ! through a lot of screaming ,,,,but here they sing a bit of Besame Mucho, and then, She, a few years now

      1. Thanks mlla I saw this also but I was told at Festival Park that Besame Mucho was sung by the guys & that there is a Latin or Mexian CD with some other songs on it as well. I don’t understand why they only sing a couple of bars of this song at this concert

  11. Such a great story, Penina! Thank you so much for taking a Flight Crew cake to Piero! How very, very thoughtful of you. Isn’t he a doll? So much cuter in person than I expected, and I just loved his smile. HOWEVER, I was so focused on getting to Gianluca and my hug from him that I almost forgot Ignazio. Talk about good looking!!!! Such a sweet, sweet “boy” with a million dollar grin! Then, of course, Gian, who is too handsome to be true! PERFECTION!!!! I could go on and on…..I know we all feel the same way. Hope and pray there will be a tour in the U.S. next year…I can hardly wait!!!!

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