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

I want to meet Buddy.  I want to cuddle Buddy.  I want to live where Buddy lives.  I want to sleep where…  Oh… the Italy Trip.  Here you go… ~Marie

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. When we walked in, Nina asked us if we were the ladies from America! She came from behind the counter and gave us all hugs and kisses. Nina is a lot like Ignazio – very bubbly and loving! We talked for a while, then we all ordered individual pizzas or calzones, beers and sodas. Madeline’s pizza was called “Ignazio” (of course… what else would she order!) and all the other pizzas had names as well. We took pictures with Nina and when Madeline asked Nina to tell Ignazio we were sorry we missed him, she picked up her phone and did a video of us and immediately sent it to Ignazio! We were just overwhelmed with joy!  (aaakkk ~Marie)

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There is a wall in the restaurant with postcards from all over the world where the boys had travelled (see photo below). There was also a picture with all of the boys on one half and just Ignazio on the other half; riveting! Many other Il Volo Pictures were posted too.

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May 16:

This morning we went to a local park to a meeting of the Vespa Club of Marsala (we had been invited). Ignazio is an honorary member of the club since he refurbished a Vespa for his own use. The club members greeted us with open arms and allowed us to take pictures of them and their machines, which they allowed us to sit on as well. We were able to take a picture of Dario standing on the steps of the same cinema where he did a video to Ignazio on the L’Arena show (Massimo Gilletti). The cinema is across the street from the park where the meeting was held!

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After the Vespa meeting we headed for Trapani and lunch at Cantina Siciliana. The chef and owner, Pino Maggiori, who is very famous throughout Italy, prepared dishes for us (no menu) and gave us a tour of his wine cellar and the Sicilian puppets that are part of the Sicilian culture. We toured some of Trapani on foot and by car for a while. It was a very enjoyable afternoon (as were all our days of this magical vacation!)

On the way back to Marsala we stopped in Dattilo for a connolo tasting at a place where they make the best cannoli in the world! These cannolis are shipped all over the world and now we know why!

Late that afternoon we headed to Agrigento and the Hotel Amici.

So let’s talk about Hotel Amici!! Now this was one of our longer stays of 3 nights. 

This hotel did not meet up to our expectations.  We all looked at each other and said “I don’t think so”!!  At least it was clean, so we ended up staying 2 of the 3 nights and were able to move to a very nice hotel on the 3rd night (thanks to Ciro), which was much better!!  So 1 out of 8 hotels is not bad odds! Ironically enough, 3 out of 4 of us had the best night’s sleep at Amici!

May 17

Ciro picked us up at our hotel bright and early and we took off for parts unknown (to us). Ciro has a Bose amplifier in his vehicle and we listened to the beautiful music of Il Volo as we rode throughout Sicily every day!

We drove through some beautiful countryside; again, lots of olive groves and vineyards no matter where you looked! We saw some vineyards that were covered with white plastic, making the countryside look like it had snowed in that area, but Ciro explained that the covered vineyards are for table grapes, while the uncovered ones are for wine.

We went to the quaint little town of Sciacca (pronounced Shakka), famous for its ceramics and thermal spring water. We stopped at a shop where the owner was actually hand painting a ceramic piece and we talked with him for a while and bought some of his smaller pieces. Too bad our suitcases had a weight limit or we would have bought large platters or bowls – they were all so beautiful!

Naturally we stopped for a late lunch and ate at a Ristorante that was right on the sea, where we watched boats sailing around, and just enjoyed the beauty of it all.

When we returned to Agrigento we decided to forego dinner and go out for some wine and snacks (Deborah had to have her gelato instead!) and, walking back to our hotel later, we suddenly heard Grande Amore playing somewhere. Knowing it wasn’t the melodious, beautiful voices of our beloved Il Volo, we ran in the direction of the music to see who was singing their song (the music was from the boys’ recording though); it turned out to be a karaoke bar at a sidewalk café, and a guy was singing to the boys’ music. We went in just in time to hear him sing the last part, and two old men started waiving for us to come in and sit with them! LOL!! We had so much fun! (No, we didn’t stay… as soon as “Grande Amore” was finished we hightailed it out of there!)

May 18: Naro

Today we went to Naro to meet Piero’s mother, Eleonora Ognibene.

Oh, by-the-way, “today we went to meet Piero’s mother.”  Do you notice how casual these women have become after meeting almost every important person in Italy,  not counting two-thirds of Il Volo and the Pope?  The Eleonora meeting next. I still want to live where Buddy lives. ~Marie

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

  1. Sounds like a quaint and most beautiful place to live. People are friendly and happy to see you and join them into what ever they are involved in. So much Love to give and be given here. Anxiously awaiting for Part V! <3

  2. What more is there to say except that we all know how very fortunate we were to be able to meet and visit with family members of our beloved young men. Nina was as sweet and gracious as can be and seemed genuinely happy to be visiting with us. She was very busy making pizzas for all her customers, including ours,
    but ran over to us every chance she could and then when it slowed down she finally was able to spend quality time with us and she did !! Ignazio’s friend Dario had come in to get Pizzas for his family for dinner. Just think how surprised we were when we saw him walk in the door !! He was very nice and chatted with us for a long time. His family must have been starving by the time he went home with the Pizzas !! And it was a bonus when Buddy wondered in !! Of course we all remembered when Ignazio first got him when he was a little puppy !!
    Thanks again Marie for your wonderful sense of humor and for posting our continuing adventure and I hope you all enjoyed reliving this part of the dream with us .

  3. Man what a dream trip you ladies had I can’t wait till you tell us about meeting Piero Mom I would be so nervous and overwhelmed I don;’t know how I would be. Probably just start crying.

  4. I think the term “magical vacation” truly fits your trip. As I sit here and read your escapades I know my mouth is open and I think my eyes might be drying out because they are open so wide with the wonder of it all. Envy is too small a word.
    Actually I am THRILLED you all had such an awesome time.

    The next addition in Naro is where I will probably start sniffling. Oh Piero!

  5. Oh!!! You wonderful ladies are the luckiest four women in the world!!! I am so thrilled & happy for you!!! Thanks for sharing your intermost thoughts & these precious moments with us!!! I feel like the magic & enchantment has surrounded me also!!! I can not wait to hear about Piero’s Mamma!!! If I met one of the Mamma’s or even Barbara, I am sure I would dissolve into tears also!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments Anne. It’s very easy to get emotional when it comes to our precious boys and their wonderful families !!

    2. Thank you, Anne. Yes….we lived the dream! That is the only way I can describe meeting, Gianluca, Ercole, Nina, Eleonora and the many others that made up this trip of a lifetime.

  6. Really interesting reading of your experiences from lovely holiday to Italy ! 🙂 I am happy for you that you had the opportunity to meet people close to Il Volo and Gianluca with his father. Thank you for sharing your adventures with others on this page. I look forward to the next part. 🙂 Italy is a beautiful country, full of history, with nice monuments, amazing nature, bel canto music, with lively, funny, kind people and especially is a country where were born, among others, three fantastic singers with angelic voices that spread love and goodness around the world. 🙂 Hope that once I will visit Italy, too. 🙂

    1. Lydka yes you must go if you possible can. Even though I was born there, I had not returned in 50 years, for which I am sorry I wasted all that time. But, because of IL Volo I had the courage to get back on a plane! The country is beautiful and so full of wonderful archaeology. You just cannot read about it, you must experience it first hand. GO !!!!

  7. I’ve been laughing and smiling all the way through this wonderful story! Can’t wait for the next chapter!

    1. Ruth it makes me so very happy to know that you are enjoying our dream trip so much !! Sometimes, because of all the wonderful experiences we had, I really do feel like the trip was a dream !!!

  8. What a lovely trip you four lucky ladies made to Italy, of course
    it was a dream trip. Who would have thought you would get
    to meet so many people associated with Il Volo. I am thrilled
    for you and thank you for sharing your stories with us.
    I can only imagine how thrilled you were to talk to
    Gianluca and his dad. And then meeting Nina, Ignazio’s
    sister. I am looking forward to the next installment of
    your trip after you meet Eleonora, Piero’s mom. I reread
    your installments over and over. It is so good to hear
    about where our angels live and some of their
    everyday life. Thank you again for sharing.

    1. Gale it was truly amazing meeting all of these lovely people and visiting the charming towns where our boys were born and raised by their beautiful and nurturing families. Now I know, more then ever, why they love to go home whenever it’s possible !!!

  9. What a wonderful trip you ladies had. I am just so envious!! Sounds to me that there were some advance connections made,ie. Gianluca and his dad, and Nina etc. I’m curious as to how some of those kinds of events were able to take place. Also how did you find the guides? That was a pretty extensive trip, it must have taken a lot of time to plan it all out. At any rate, thank you for sharing it with us.

  10. I just wrote something but it disappeared! Anyway what I said is that it took many phone calls, e-mails and months of planning (8?) and I did get to brush up on my Italian, a lot! We chose our own, where, when and how long we would stay. Also our own hotels, tours, etc. All the hard work was worth it, as I am sure we all agree.

  11. Hey I just thought of something….what was on the “Ignazio” pizza? I figure whatever it was must have been all the things he likes on his pizza. I’m just curious…actually, …I am curious why Marie didn’t ask this question!

  12. I’ve read all your posts and want to thank each and every one of you for your kind messages to us. Yes, we had a dream vacation, one that took a long time in planning but was worth every minute of it. The many, many phone calls, the skypes, and the chat room we created helped to get us organized. There were so many facets to preparing that we each had a part… from hiring the guides to deciding what clothes to take! Many of our encounters were quite by chance, and some were planned (the Pizzeria – we couldn’t go to Sicily and not go there!). The Ignazio pizza consisted of potatoes, werstel (like a hot dog), spinach, cheeses, and tomato – delicious! As you all have ascertained, the people in Italy are so charming, friendly, and loving!

    Thank you all again for your outpouring of sentiments about our trip!


    1. That has to be one of the more unusual combinations for pizza! The Italians really do seem to think outside the box when it comes to pizza. We americans are so much more mudane. I love that you had the smarts and courage to hire guides and I am sure it made all the difference!

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