A Trip of a Lifetime ~ Part III ~ Maria, Madeline, Joan and Deborah

So far they’ve toured Rome, visited the Vatican and had an Il Volo Pizza made specially for them.  Then they spent quality time with Gianluca and Mr. Ginoble.  They were even made famous in an Abruzzi news article:

a trip Roseto degli Abruzzi 2nd News Article

Read on. ~Marie 

May 13:

We went to Bar BereBene in the morning for coffee, where we met Emiliano again and there was Nonno Ernesto, sitting outside with a group of his friends! Our guide and Maria both speak Italian and told Nonno Ernesto that we had met with Gianluca and Ercole the day before and Ernesto said that Ercole had told him all about us. We stayed a while and had coffee and took pictures with him. Like his son and grandson, he was very accommodating and charming! We talked about his having been to New York and California with Gianluca, and what a sweet boy he is; Nonno said that Gianluca has always been that way very caring and sweet. We expressed our thanks to him for his beautiful family. Nonno thanked us for coming.

a trip 10

Nonno Ernesto said that if we wanted some good pictures, we should walk down a certain road for a beautiful view of the sea below, from way up on the mountain in Montepagano. You’ve all seen pictures of Gianluca in the same spot! We took photos of the most exquisite view of the sea and towns below us. A man who was fixing up an apartment to sell invited us in to take pictures from his balcony. The apartment was adorable and the views were spectacular.

Once again we were on the road, traveling around Abruzzi. We went to San Benedetto di Tronto in Marche District where we saw buildings that were built into the mountainside in the 16th century. We bought lunch at a small shop on the square and sat outside eating stuffed fried olives, eggplant, and roasted tomatoes. We toured this beautiful region and enjoyed every second of it! We almost hated to leave but we had plans for Sicily!

May 14: Hotel Vecchio Borgo, Palermo

Since our flight to Palermo was postponed from 11:00 to 22:00, our hopes of meeting Ignazio and Piero were snuffed out because they had to leave for Bologna to get ready for Eurovision.

Having time on our hands, we had the opportunity to tour Pescara. What a beautiful city!

From a deck atop a seaside hotel that we wandered into, we took some pictures of the beautiful scenery around Pescara and other interesting sights.

We walked around the town for an hour or so and stopped at a little seaside café where we ate individual pizzas that were served with brown paper wrapped around them; very good, too! We did more touring, then headed to the airport where we said goodbye to Christophe and “dined” at the airport while we waited for our flight!

When we finally landed in Sicily around 23:30, our driver & guide, Ciro Grillo, took us directly to our hotel where Maria tried using her key to get into Madeline’s room… she thought it was her room… okay, so it was late!. Lol!

May 15: Morning

Ciro picked us up and took us through Palermo, where we went to the “Capo” – the open food market where vendors had beautiful fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, etc. At the Capo, half way through the market, there is a baroque style church with mosaics made out of marble. Exquisitely beautiful.

Palermo has three opera houses, one of which is the biggest in Europe – Teatro Massimo

May 15: Stella d’ItaliaMarsala

We checked into our hotel and quickly got ready to be escorted to Marsala City Hall by Alessandro Tarantino, assistant to the Secretary General of Marsala. A Mayor was to be elected at the end of May and the Secretary General took the place of the Mayor until the election. Alessandro walked us to the square where City Hall is located, and we went through the building and saw the room where Ignazio was inducted as Ambassador! Then we met the Secretary General, and Alessandro took our pictures and wrote an article about us which was later posted in the Marsala newspaper!

a trip 11

a trip Marsala News Article

That evening we went to Pizzeria dei Desideri where we met Nina Boschetto and Buddy. Ignazio’s friend, Dario Piccolo, met us there as well.

More?  Of course, they said it was a trip of a lifetime and it’s not over yet!  Lucky dogs!  No offense Buddy. 

17 thoughts on “A Trip of a Lifetime ~ Part III ~ Maria, Madeline, Joan and Deborah”

  1. I have been on an overload of jealousy about you ladies getting to go to Sicily and now Marie and Jana going to the PBS concert. I had to take a moment and decide time to be nice and wish everyone great memories and a good time.

  2. Lucky, lucky, ladies!!! Wow! Fantastic memories!! Sooo happy for all of you!!

  3. Visiting with Nonno Ernesto was a great honor. He is very sweet and kind just like the rest of the family . We were lucky enough to be able to visit with three generations of Ginobles !!
    We were told that if our plane had not been delayed we would probably been able to visit with Ignazio and Piero before they left for Vienna !! Ten hours to late !!! However, our adventure in Marsala and throughout the entire trip was beyond what we could ever have dreamed. We never expected that family,friends and Mayors would want to meet us and of course we never in a million years expected to have articles about our trip in the Newspapers !!! All in all there were five Newspaper articles !
    Thanks again for posting our trip Marie !!! We love reliving it with all of you !!

  4. Joanie Can’t wait for the next installment. Wish you could have seen Piero and ignazio. Oh well waiting to see your trip to Naro. Joanie G

  5. I am so happy for you lovely ladies!!! Thank you for sharing your marvelous visit!!! Each installment just gets better & better!!! All I can say is these young men, their families, & their friends are the most gracious, caring, loving people we will ever meet in our lifetimes!!! They truly represent GRANDE AMORE!!!

  6. What a wonderful trip you all had. Envy, envy envy. That seems to be the only thought. But, seriously, I am glad you had a great time. It is very interesting what a close knit family and community Gianluca has for his foundation.

  7. I am so enjoying reading about your trip, you lucky gals! You even got to meet Buddy Boschetto! (Tell us, is he even more handsome in person?) 😀 What strikes me the most is how wonderful everyone was to you…you were treated like rock stars by all of these lovely people. I love the fact that they even wrote newspaper articles about your visit. They are ALL Ambassadors of Italy, aren’t they? I smile all the way through your story, and I thank you all so much for sharing it with us! Can’t wait to hear some more!

  8. It is really wonderful how you are sharing your dream trip! I am so happy for you ladies. I love your story and now YOU are famous in Italy!!

  9. It is so heartwarming to read all of your comments about our trip. We wanted to share the love we received from everyone in Italy to all of you! Each day brought more excitement for us, but I’ll leave it up to Marie to post it when she can. Right now I’ll bet she has the jitters just waiting for July 6th. I want to go with her to Detroit!

    Will talk to you all very soon!

    1. Maddie, et al, I am still wondering if this was all a collective dream while napping after a very large spaghetti dinner. What a trip! I mean even BUDDY? I’m surprised the other two-thirds of Il Volo didn’t turn the plane around when they heard you were there! I only know they didn’t because I’ve read the whole diary.

      Me? Jitters? Actually I feel_______ (insert many appropriate verbs and phrases such as, “are you kidding? I could wet my pants!”)

  10. I flew to Atlanta today to visit my son for the week and just now finished reading everyone’s wonderful responses to this part of our trip and want to thank each and every one of you. We can never express enough the love and gratitude we feel at being embraced so warmly and kindly by family,friends Mayors and even strangers in Italy/Sicily. After this experience it is easy to see why Gianluca,Ignazio and Piero have grown into the magnificent,kind, and loving young men that they are. They have always been surrounded by unconditional love and now they are passing that love, which has been showered on them from birth, on to all of us. We are all so very blessed to have them in our lives !!! They and their families are Grande Amore !!

  11. Joan, you’ve summed it al lup so nicely. And we’re so happy that the members of this fabulous site are enjoying our story… of course Marie adds a lot to it with her humor! Thanks Marie… and please give the boys a special hug for me; please, please, please???

  12. Could not read this in this format please try sending again in different one .

    Thank you!

    Sent from my iPad


Leave a Reply