A Sunday Stroll Through My Email

Thought I would share a few things with you, that were emailed to me….by you.

i - ancora youtubeAnn (anncruise) sent me an email she received from a guy who would like to remain anonymous, for now. Here is a part of that email:

“Il Volo, to me, sing of hope, love, charity, and truth without ever being pious or self-absorbed. That has to be the message for their generation if things are going to change for the better, for the kids of their contemporary era. It is very likely that you and I, won’t be around to see the harvest in Il Volo’s fields of life, but won’t it be wonderful to know that we advocated and supported something outside of our own families that gave to the children of the world we leave behind, a shining example of how valuable the human self is when it is lived with dignity and integrity like Mr. Barone, Mr. Boschetto, and Mr. Ginoble have shown them through actions, grace, and music. That’s what I want to be a part of at the end of my day on Earth. That’s the seed I can help Il Volo plant on their journey!
Godspeed, Il Volo.

How beautiful was that?
credits Daniele Barraco nameAlso from Ann:

president-obama (1)President Obama live on air yesterday.

President Obama apparently wishes he could add some Italian to his mixed heritage.
“I’ve said before, I’m not lucky enough to have any Italian ancestry that I know of, but I consider myself an honorary Italian because I love all things Italian,” Obama told Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during a White House visit yesterday.

grande amore snipped from video2

Gina sent me this fun read. She said, “I have enjoyed this ladies’ (Danielle Oteri) stories about her travels. Since we love our Sicilian boys I thought you might enjoy this.”

Italians have a definite pecking order and the lower you go on the boot, well—the lower you go. The reason I love New York City so feverishly is because of the incredible diversity of cultures that live and thrive here. So I shamefully admit that I arrived in Sicily with a few stereotypes packed in my baggage.

For mainland Italians, Sicily is its own thing—a world unto itself with its own rules and its own language. Nana, who was usually only critical of people who ate mayonnaise, often expressed her distaste for the Sicilian language. “Iddu and kiddu,” she said mocking the way Siclians would say lui and lei. “That’s not Italian. They’re not Italian.” In keeping with this notion, she had a sister-in-law she referred to “La Siciliana,” and a neighbor who was “La Siciliana next door.”

It’s true that Sicily is far different than its extended Italian family. To be Sicilian is to be Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, German, Spanish, French, Spanish again, English, Spanish one more time and finally, Italian. Sicily is still easing into the last one.

My Florentine friends had also done their best to color my view of Sicily with thoughts of mafia, earthquakes and volcanoes, and blamed Sicilians for perpetuating negative qualities often attributed to Italians like bad temper and body hair. One friend who often bragged that he was a twelfth generation Florentine went so far as to say that Sicilian culture had nothing at all in common with Italian culture.

“Well, then I guess that Sicilian men aren’t mammoni?” I said teasingly. After all, this was a man who carried a photo of his mother in his wallet, but not a picture of his fidanzato of 10 years.

“Italian men love their mothers,” he replied matter-of-factly. “But, how do you know this word?” Not only had the word mammoni migrated to America, but the idea of the mamma’s boy was one of the most pervasive Italian stereotypes.

Soon, I forgot all this because Sicily was a giant pumice stone that smoothed off all the rough edges of traveling. In every city I visited, I walked into the very best of circumstances. I swam in the perfect turquoise sea at Taormina that reflected snow-capped Mount Etna. In Siracusa, I watched a string orchestra perform at twilight on the ruins of a Roman amphitheater. In Catania, I walked the passeggiata with a group of college students who gave me an informal tour of the city’s Baroque churches. Even intimidating Palermo was a feast for the senses with its glittering gold mosaics, bustling markets and everywhere—gelato stuffed inside a fresh brioche and eaten like a sandwich.

After almost a year in Italy, I had had no real romance to speak of and Sicilian men were so strikingly handsome. Not only is the Sicilian language infused with influences from island’s many conquerors, but so are the good looks of its people. Somehow, I needed to manifest Sicily into a real person and he came in the form of a waiter named Calogero.

Not only did he have a most Sicilian name, (as my Milanese language tutor would say, “You cannot even go in Milano with a name like Calogero”), but he had a profile that came straight from a Greek vase painting. So when he asked me to stay for a drink after the restaurant closed, I agreed.

We shared some wine, and to my surprise, spoke for over an hour in freely-flowing Italian. Calogero inched his chair closer to mine so as to speak softly into my ear. He whispered a string of Sicilian words, the only discernible one being beddu which was Sicilian for bella. Suddenly, his cell phone erupted with song, breaking the spell of sweet Sicilian being spoken into my ear, as he scrambled into the pockets of his too tight pants to answer it.

“Pronto,” he said while holding my gaze. Hearing the voice on the other end, he extended his perfect Greek chin above the mouthpiece and whispered, “Aspetta—è mia madre.”

After a stream of far less romantic sounding Sicilian, he closed the phone, smiling sheepishly as he said, “She is worried that I am out too late and is waiting for me to arrive at home before going to sleep. Now, you are going to tell your friends in Florence that Sicilian men are such mammoni?”

About the Author: Danielle Oteri shares her experiences navigating Southern Italy with all of its linguistic and cultural quirks.

That was a long one, but worth the read.

A - Album

Deanne sent this to me because, “This is such a beautiful review written by this Free Lance writer Frances Ann Wy. (she uses another name at the head of her review) that I had to send it to you… I just found it too beautiful to pass.” It’s an article, “Romance is Back ~ San Remo ~ Grande Amore ~ Il Volo.” Here → https://francesannwy.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/romance-is-back-san-remo-grand-amore-il-volo/ 

s - sanremo Piero 2

From Mary Strickler. A “Recap of the Final 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.” Mary says, “The competition is going to be tough considering what kind of music is popular with today’s younger generation. I will keep checking for potential inputs.”
Click Here –> http://www.eurovision.tv/page/multimedia/videos?id=127743

a - Etihad Airways 5

And finally..I can’t resist reprinting this comment on Jeannette’s post the other day. You know, when you think you may be a bit overzealous when it comes to our Most Handsome Trio, there’s always Pirate to make you feel a little more normal.

piratesorka April 16, 2015 at 6:09 pm 

I agree Marie! I see absolutely no reason to give up my perfectly fine wild imagination and red hot relationship with Piero in my very active fertile imagination! As long as no one is a mind reader I am more than happy to let things be as they are.

Forgive me Connie (aka Pirate), but I live…I mean…love it!

Remember Folks, if you email me and don’t want to see it on this website, you better let me know! Truly, I am careful about that.


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26 thoughts on “A Sunday Stroll Through My Email”

  1. My Sunday was just made so much sweeter by these intelligent, thoughtful, beautifully expressed reflections. Thank you for posting them Marie.

  2. These post are so well written. They express what we all feel but cannot put into words . Thanks gals. Joanie G

  3. What a great post, I loved reading those well thought out ,well written words on our lovely IL VOLO. And then Marie had to go and make me burst out laughing at ME. Oh you rascal!

  4. Marie, Thank you for printing these wonderful e-mails. Ann Cruise’s touching remarks so hit home to me. I have often grieved because I won’t be around to see Il Volo’s future, and Ann said it so perfectly: (her words:) “It is likely that you and I won’t be around to see the harvest in Il Volo’s fields of life, but won’t it be wonderful to iknow that we advocated and supported something that gave to the children of the world a shining example of how valuable the human self is when it is lived with dignity and integrity like Mr. Barone, Mr. Bochetto, and Mr. Ginoble have shown through actions, grace, and music.”

    This beautiful and apt tribute to our beautiful young men bears repeating. Ann, your words have helped me feel better about not being there to see this. Just knowing that it will happen eases the sadness and regret.

  5. Loved all the ‘e-mails’. Thanks so much for your tireless work in keeping us laughing and crying.
    OUT OF ORDER QUESTION: i have noticed people always insisting that if you post this or that (mainly pictures) you have to do certain acknowledgements etc.
    I noticed a complained by one of the boys about someone using his unauthorized pictures. I thought if it was out in the public it was no longer private. All I do is SHARE since I would not know how else to cut and crop and post pictures.

    1. Gina, I do not know the legal answer for that. We always try to credit the pictures we use. If they were tweeted/instagramed from the Boys, I do not credit. You may notice I try to use a lot of my own pictures with my writing for that reason. Some have my name and some don’t. My opinion – if someone used an “unauthorized picture”, it was either a very private picture or was used to benefit the “user” in some way. We’ve been up and running almost two years and we’re still here, so…

  6. Dear Marie loved the Sunday stroll through you email I love belonging to this group like I say often it is so nice to know people of our age feel like I do and get it. Loved Pirate’s comment on Piero can’t agree more with you on that. He just takes my breath away. Have a great Sunday everyone.

  7. Marie, I have just spent a very emotional time reading the emails you posted for us to read, and then reading all the comments. At last, at last, words I have not been able to express myself have finally been written in words that bring a lump to my throat. I know that I will not be around when Piero, Gianluca, and Ignazio – Il Volo – reach the zenith of their careers. But I will have a front seat on a cloud whenever they are performing. Maybe someday in the future, one of my sons or daughters will say, “So this is why mom was so obsessed with these three young Italian men!” In the meantime, Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca, You Are Love and you are loved!

    1. Great Allene! The gentleman quoted anonymously in my post today, who moved us all, has just joined our Crew. His name is Jim. I hope he shares a lot more of his obvious talent with us.

      Welcome Jim!

      1. Thank you, Marie. For the warm and generous hospitality of your welcome. Il Volo is quite dear to me. These young men have in “short-order” evolved into an inspiration of great meaning to me. I hold them close to my heart and even closer to my soul. No sons of my own blood and marrow could be any more loved than what I hold in my chest for Gianluca, Ignazio, and Piero. They filled a very dark hour of sorrow in my life one night not so long ago, with a brilliant beaming light of solace when they sang to me for the very first time. It was Divinity unyielding. I am forever bound to them with gratitude. I would fight a circle-saw blind-folded for these boys if it kept them from a moment of harm. Godspeed, Il Volo.

  8. I just knew that’s who that was!! I could tell by what he said, and how he said it, and also how he signed off. He and I have conversed a few times on ATIV. It was my thought right away that he should be with us, from the first time I read his initial comment. WELCOME JIM!

  9. Good morning and thank you for all the emotional readings! each time i read the comments on your site they capture my exact thoughts but you manage to bring it out in writing for all to share ! – thank you to wake up to this monday morning 🙂 greetings from Malta !

  10. Christine, good morning to you and welcome. You are starting your day, but here in Arizona, USA @ 12:58 am April 20, I have not yet gone to bed. So nice to know that someone from so far away has come to share in this sites love and devotion for our three very special young men. We hope that you will stay, and be a part of our IL VOLO family. Have a great day!

    1. Hi thank you for your reply ! yes we are just starting our day here in Malta. I am so happy i came across your site and so look forward to your updates and bloggs !! just a bit about myself i am 52 years old ( Hope not to old for your site) but i just love ILVOLO like no other group – i had seen them on Ta Lascio Un Canzone on RAI TV and have followed them ever since up to Sanremo 2015 – i was never into classical music or pop but once i heared them sing then there was no turning back and I just get hooked to their singing and do not want to listen to anything else – i have even managed to download their music on my phone to listen to them where ever i go, they seem to have a calming effect on me.
      Now so looking forward to seeing them life for the first time in concert at Taormina, the closest place for me to vist from Malta. Unfortunately i could not make it last year when they sang there but this time i made sure to book before they actually won san remo as i knew it would be very difficult to get tickets afer san remo as I knew that they would win !! now supporting them all the way to the Eurovision
      ( hope they will not be too tired as i do worry about them with all that travelling ) but they are still young so hopefully will not effect their performance – Malta too is taking part in the Eurovision so hopefully our 12 points will go to IL VOLO !!

      1. Nice to hear from you Christine. How is your English so perfect? Well, you are not too old for this site, in fact, you are one of the youngest! I envy you having tickets for this years concert in Taormina. I hope you share your experience and maybe pictures with us. I am not going to say we won’t see our Darling Boys this year. I just can’t! I wish we, here in the states, could vote for Il Volo. They will win anyway with your precious 12 points!.

      2. Malta is very close to Sicily and we are in the European Union, although we speak our own language which is Maltese ( unique in the world) we also speak English, which is our second language and also Italian due mainly to exposure of Italian TV as well as it being taught in local schools – Malta is a very small beautiful island in the Mediterranean sea. Many Maltese immigrated to USA after the war and have settled there just as many Italians did – I too have family there and they live in Detroit – a place already visited by IL VOLO ( have their CD of their live recording of their concert in Detroit)
        Now its fingers crossed for a Eurovision Victory for IL VOLO it is going to be a very tough competition so I really do wish them all the best of luck !!

        Keep up the good work and keep those comments and bloggs coming I assure you that they are eagerly awaited !!

  11. Christine, this is such a coincidence! I am just now “speaking” with someone on facebook who is also from Malta. Her name is Floriana and she is with the Il Volo Fan Club -Taormina. Amazing! First time I’ve ever spoken to someone from Malta and I’m speaking with two of you at the same time. Ya gotta the Web…and the Boys who are responsible for all of us connecting this way!

    1. Well they do say its a small world ! Its true its quite a coincidence consdering how small Malta is with a population of just around 350,000 but one does tend to find us Maltese in the four corners of the world ! It seems that there are quite a few “Volovers ” here in Malta too 🙂 Well our very own world wide known tenor Joseph Calleja, who was in Boston just a few days ago, gave quite a boost to classical music in Malta over these past few years and I will also be attending his annual concert here in Matla which is also being held in August where one of his guests this year will be Anastasia who also sang with IL VOLO in VERONA – so its an August to hopefully look forward to !

  12. Christine, at 52 you are a mere youngster to a lot of us on the Flight Crew. Welcome aboard. I hope to hear more from you as time goes on.

    And welcome to you, too, Jim. Your postings have put into words exactly how I feel about my beloved Il Volo – Piero, ignazio, and Gianluca.

    ds exactly how I feel about my beloved Il Volo, Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca.

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