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)
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.
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!
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!
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