Learn Italian, the Il Volo way!

Hello my friends!


Well, with any luck (and lots of voting) Il Volo will be coming to Vegas to join us in the greatest celebration of our lives, in one of the most exciting places on earth!

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?”  Well, we might have to break that rule! Lol!

Even though they speak English quite well, we all want to speak to them in THEIR native language – Italian!

I also know that a few of you, maybe more, are planning trips to Italy this year.  So, let me help you and everyone else, learn a little Italian to make our guys feel at home, and you feel comfortable in their home!  Remember… “when in Rome….”  Ok, maybe literally!

I say the “Il Volo” way, because I’d like to zone in and target certain words and phrases that we are most familiar with that we hear them singing in their songs, as well as in their many interviews.  I plan to first dissect a few of their songs – of course we all know “grand amore” is big/grande love.  We probably know more Italian than we think we do.  I’ll start with basic common words we likely already know, to gain an instant familiarity, then throw in some we don’t know, taking other words – both nouns and verbs, as well as other parts of speech, from the songs and interviews.  Of course, I will have to throw in some grammar and basic pronunciation, and even some games – have to make learning fun!  Since we’ve listened to them, most of us probably have a good basis for pronunciation, however, I know from my personal experience, the words and how they pronounce them are not always how we think they should be spelled!

What will be a bit fun, is that I will be learning right along with you!  I had 4 years of Spanish in high school and a short refresher in college, but that was MANY years ago.  Although, I remember much more than I thought I would, I don’t remember everything.  If you are at all familiar with Spanish, you will recognize that Italian is actually very similar.  Many words and verbs are the same, or almost identical, except for a few letters different here and there.

I know there are some of you out there that are Italian and speak Italian, so feel free to add your “2 cents worth,” or correct me, at any time!

So, stroll along with me, down the Appian Way, and learn Italian – the Il Volo way!

Ciao, for now!


52 thoughts on “Learn Italian, the Il Volo way!”

  1. Jana, I am so excited about this project! Can’t wait to learn a few Italian words. When Ignazio begs me to move to Italy, I want to be prepared!

    Chow and good notte. See?

    1. Marie – thanks so much for letting me do this!! With your background, you’ll have to let me know how I’m doing. I have no “formal” teaching degree, but I think I had some really great teachers while in school and I know how I like to learn! Even at a very young age – about 4 or 5, I found the joy of sharing my knowledge with others. I taught a few of the kids how to tie their shoes using the “bunny ears” method. To this day, I still remember the joy it brought me – it’s really an incredible thing to be able to teach someone how to do something and see the joy on their face when they finally “get it!” Of course, I will not be able to see your faces, but hopefully, you will be able to express it in words – Italian words, of course!

      1. Your welcome Jana. My greatest teacher was my mom. She didn’t have a formal teaching degree either. She didn’t even have a high school degree. Didn’t matter.

  2. Jana, this is brilliant! I went online to a language site and did Italian lessons for a little while and learned a little. I did not have the patience to do the practices–which is really the only way to learn. Part of the problem was my frustration with the “voice” that was saying sentences that we had to translate.
    This sounds like it will be much more fun! Kudos to you for thinking of it!

    1. Thanks Penina! Things are easier to learn when it’s fun – I’m sure you will enjoy doing your homework. I’m pretty creative….

  3. Ciao (pronounced Chow) means hello and goodbye. Buona Notte means good night. We have learned so much geography with Our Boys, we might as well learn their language together. I also studied Spanish for 4 years and Italian for 2 years, but if you don’t use it, you lose it. I think our lessons here together will be great. Phrases here and there are great because you use them a lot and they are easy to remember when we go to Italy to see their concerts there. lol

    1. Ann – thanks for the encouragement! Yes, I hope this to be fun! It is quite amazing the things we’ve learned because of Il Volo. Did you know that in Italy you can drink alcohol legally at 14? But can’t drive until you are 16 or vote until you are 18? Lol! Maybe us Americans have something backwards?

      1. Jana I am so enjoying seeing the words and learning a couple of words a day. It will be easier as we repeat the most common phrases. Knowing the translation of the songs is so much more enjoyable as they sing the words with such passion. Especially “Ancora” – I cry every time I hear it because the words are simple but so lovely. Molte Grazie Bella!

  4. I am ready to learn. By the time I was fifteen I had to learn three languages due to lives circumstances. I was nine when we had to leave my birth country and lived in Austria and Germany till emigration to US. I had to attend school so I had to learn fast. That was when I was young. When we came to the State in June I had to learn enough to go to school in September. I had discovered comic books and in those days radio shows and spend my time with a dictionary listening and using the pictures in the comics books to understand. Now at my advanced age I will have a little more difficult time since senior moments are a common event. I took a year of French in High School so that will be of no help. I could not find a dictionary in Italian at Barns and Noble so will have to order one from Amazon.
    If Il Volo ever comes to Texas and I can get to see them i want to be able to tell the boys how cute they are in Italian. Marie I also want to leave my phone number with Ignazio.

    1. Gina – wow, it sounds like you had a dificult, yet interesting childhood! I will be sure to tell you what “cute” is and we’ll go over numbers – but of course “numbers are numbers” in most languages. Lol!

      1. Marie thanks I will check the sight that teaches how to say it correctly.
        You must share Ignazio.

  5. Buona sera! I’m so glad you are interested! I was not sure how this was going to go over, but Marie really liked this idea of mine, way back in January! Funny, it seems like a lifetime ago right now! I enjoy your comments and will try to teach you what you are asking for. Of course, some of you (Marie) might need a little extra after school help…. Lol! (just kidding…) By the way, I did go to my local Barnes and Noble and was able to find two good dictionaries and one book I was able to order from them online – more of a real textbook and I think it will help me (and you) out a lot. I was just reading it last night – really for the first time and going over different pronuncations and the alphabet, etc. There are exercises in there as well, but as mentioned, I will make it fun. So instead of the boring places and persons, I will try to make it “AAIV” – so to speak – lol! With their names, etc. I know i’m going to have a ball with this!! So, I hope everyone else has just as much fun! Ann – so glad you have a few more years on me – I may be asking for your help! I also found a guy at work in my department, that I overheard him tell someone he read the Italian newspapers! Hmmm….I thought – I need to get to know him better! I did send him an email yesterday and he helped me decipher a few of the phrases in Grande Amore! He was very nice… I just told him I was trying to translate some Italian into English and that they were phrases from a song. I didn’t tell him “what” song, but I thought there was a chance he may pick up on it if he read the news, but he didn’t so, I didn’t say anything… lol!

    But, like anything, you will need to do some practicing – aloud! They really do have some good videos on YouTube and I will probably reference them, as well. Of course, you can’t really hear my voice (no, I’m not doing YouTube!), so you will just have to imagine… I’ve been told I have a sweet voice and soft voice – one that puts people to sleep! Jeannette and Marie can vouch for my voice – ha, ha.

    I was thinking about once a week for lessons? I’ll need some time to prep, too!


      1. I sure hope so! Now if we knew for certain we’d have a private meet and greet, that certainly would be a good motivator!

      2. I hope we get to meet them as well, but if the IV mgmt is going to go by our poll, I doubt it at the moment. We need to get the word out more somehow – we have 334 people that follow this site and get the emails, but there are way more than that that visit this site! At the moment there are only a total of 535 votes. They sold out Radio City a few years ago and that holds a tad over 6000 seats. Has the fan base really gotten that forgetful? Where are they now that we need them? And, my personal opinion, is that we need to get at least 100 a day before Eurovision ends. I’m pretty sure they are saving the final touches on their tour to see if they win or not. If they do, i’m pretty sure they will be doing a few more cities in Europe, than just in Italy? There’s like just about 50 days til the competition starts/ends, so that’s about 5000 votes! if my math is right? 50 x 100 = 5000? Unfortunately, just “wishin’, hopin’, thinkin’ and prayin,” is not going to get them here!

    1. Hi Jana, I just saw your suggestion for Italian language lessons. I think that is wonderful and certainly want to participate. I’m ready to get started. Thank you so much.

  6. I found myself like a fish flopping out of the water when I took a Italian immersion class last year. It was fun…and it was nerve-wracking too. However, I am still avidly interested in the language even though I suck at it like a pirate in dry dock.However, I think this can and will be fun, so count me in!

  7. Jana and Connie, I also tried to learn a little Italian last year. I know a little Spanish. Growing up in Calif. you learn some Spanish in elementary school. However, more than helpful, I found it confusing because of the closeness of the languages. So, I have an apple for you Jana and I’ll be copying Pirates homework.

    1. I know, I was kind of thinking that myself. Every once in a while I have caught the guys getting a bit mixed up on sounds/pronunciaiton between the Spanish and Italian. I can understand though, as you mentioned, words are so close, but some of the letters are just pronounced differently….don’t know if you have the Mas Que Amor CD, but on “el mondo” – spanish version, at one point, you hear Ignazio start to sing “ee-eell….then he makes it really pronounced and goes into “el…” Like he was first doing the “italian il – for “the”, then realized it was spanish and changed the “el…” lol!

  8. Jana, This is so great. I have frequently admonished myself for not trying to learn some Italian when I first started following Il Volo five years ago. Trying to look up words in my Italian-English dictionary has not proven to be very satisfactory. Bravo to you for giving us this opportunity.

  9. Jana, that would be sooo cool! I’m already waiting for the first lesson!
    I have voted for them to come to Las Vegas and put it on FB but haven’t received much response!
    Il Volo are sooo amazing! They have certainly changes thousands of lives, mine and my husband’s included!

  10. Jana, I love the sound of the Italian as well as the Spanish language. I had to learn Spanish in order to run a clinic in Mexico years ago. As you say, If not used it is lost. It will be fun learning Italian with you. Let,s get started. Joanie G

  11. Good to go Jana. I tried a few weeks ago from an Italian lesson program on the computer & lost interest pretty soon. I wrote 9 words down with the meaning & lost interest. Looking forward to having fun with the rest of you.

  12. On Eurovision who should win 2015 the guys are 1300 behind George & they need our votes. We can vote only once a day.

  13. To protect her ‘rights’ to Ignazio MARIE posted an Italian saying telling me that it was “you are so cute”. Something I would like to tell the boys in Italian.
    “HA UNA MALATTIA CONTAGIOSA” Well I translated word by word and it stands for “I HAVE A DISEASE CONTAGIOUS”. THE WAR IS ON FOR IGNAZIO.


      Oh my. I am still laughing…and laughing…. I think I am beginning to wheeze.
      That was one of the funniest things I have read for some time. I tell you I had this little movie in my head with Gina sweetly smiling at Ignazio and saying she has a contagious disease, Ignazio for his part is quickly backing up saying ” Aiuto, Auito, CODICE ROSSO! AUITO!” *

      and in the distance I could hear Marie snicker… Oh such a good laugh.

      *”help, help, code red, help”

      1. This conversation is contagious! I love Ignacio saying “aiuto” – help. Haven’t heard that word for a long time. I sure wish he is reading this. He would have that gorgeous smile and laugh, laugh, laugh…..(ride, ride, ride). We sure are learning Italian here. (pronounced reedey)

      2. Gina I am so sorry! I blame Jana. She should have started these lessons sooner and I wouldn’t have made such a terrible mistake!

        Shut up Pirate!

  14. I have not had good laugh like that for ages & YES the war is definitely on for Ignazio

  15. Jana, this is a great idea. Looking forward to our Italian language lessons. With all the buzz of the possibility of the guys coming to Las Vegas, has there been an mention of when “Las Vegas” might happen?

  16. Good I’m making a list of words to study. Thanks Gina Pirate & Ann thisis going to be more fun doing it by myself

    1. Yes this is fun. You girls are amazing. One famous line Ignacio will be saying is “aiutami” help me – pronounced ahutamee. Good phrase to remember and I can just hear him saying it. Maybe if he reads this, he will! lol

  17. Right Ann he will be calling me to get him out of Marie’s clutches. Another good word now to just find out how to pronounce it

      1. Stop it! Those are not the words Jana is going to teach. AND… I pity the fool who tries to remove him from my clutches. no lol.

      2. Thanks Ann now I get the idea break it down into syllables or verbs or whatever do I know what I am talking about NO.
        Dont’t worry Marie I’ll be gentle you won’t even know he is gone

  18. I am looking forward to speaking Italian correctly … Don’t want you to think I can speak Italian incorrectly because I can’t do that either… It will be fun and great to throw a few words or maybe even sentences to our guys when we meet them at a concert… Love this Jana

    1. Thanks for offering to teach us Italian, Jana. I checked out a Pimselur CD from my library & started to learn a few phrases. So far the most complicated thing I can say is “Would you like to eat something?” But I can’t write it ’cause I don’t know what the Italian words look like.
      I am also happy to see that the tug-of-war over Ignazio has been reignited, with Gina joining the fray. Watch out, Gina. Marie & Loretta have been at this a long time. and they always make me LOL. At least Pirate hasn’t made me walk the plank yet, because I want Piero for myself!! I do hope we all get to meet each other in Las Vegas one day. I know we would avere un buon tempo (at least that’s how bing translates it).

      1. Careful there Lynngba14, you just got caught in my radar. I’ll keep my eye on you.
        Ciao, bambina!

      2. Hi Lynngbal4 how about translating what you said & hope your on my side, Marie doesn’t know it but Ignazio & I are meeting every few weeks. He’s my precious

  19. Ladies, ladies – it appears I may have to separate a few of you and assign extra homework for those that are not playing fair (Marie…). Yes, I caught that when you posted it, even before the translation! I’m so glad I have sparked some interest here! However, we must all play nice together, in the spirit of our guys/boys…. that’s ragazzi! Ok, first word! That’s what “uncle bruno” says all the time, right?

    Ragazzi is from the Italian word for male children, boys, or guys. As a camaraderie term, it means the good-fellowship among the “guys” (including ladies, too) who are part of a loyal team, fandom, inner circle, following, etc. (Plural form of ragazzo, feminine ragazza.)

    Thankfully, it is a longer weekend for me, so I will be busily planning my first lesson!

    Ciao, mi amicas!

  20. Jana, what a great idea. I’ve picked up a few words here and there,from either the guys, videos,or bing translations. Don’t know what’s worse; not understanding at all, or recognizing a word or two, just enough to leave you wanting more. Il Volo has put Italy and anything related to it ,on the map again, as they say. I did read somewhere, that in the last 5 yrs, the number of people interested in learning Italian, has risen dramatically. Humm, imagine that! Can’t wait to learn more.

  21. Gee Kittykam I wonder what sparked their interest.
    Jana I’m sitting here with my ears open, glasses on & pen in hand waiting patiently for the first lesson. Thank you for your interest in being teacher ( what does mi amicas mean)

    1. Hi Loretta, what I wrote above was (I hope) “we would avere un buon tempo” is we would have a good time (in Las Vegas). Maybe I should have written what we say in Louisiana in French “Laissez les bon temps rouler”, which means “Let the good times roll”. In Italian, Google says it is “Lasciate che i bei tempi rotolo”. However you say it, if we get to have a fan faire in Las Vegas or anywhere else, the good times & fun will definitely roll.

  22. Yes Jana, I am so looking forward to your lessons. A great frustration to me is not being able to understand what our “Ragazzi” are saying – every bit will help! ie L’Arena di Giletti, their latest show and no translation available!
    I have all the translations of their Italian songs and am getting familiar/understand some words as they sing.
    So Jana, I am ready to join in. It will be “meravigliosa” (love that ‘wonderful’ word).

    1. I am very interested in learning Italian phrases/words. I took 2 year of French in Junior High & 4 years of French in High School. In addition to this I took extra curriculum in French for a summer. So I know very little of Italian and looking forward to these learning sessions

  23. Jana, I would like to enroll in the preschool class! You know slow and dummy it down! 😐. Things don’t sink in anymore, it just drifts with the wind right over my pea brain!!!
    Barbara in AZ

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