What a Trip! Marie, Leelee and Ineke!

This is not a review of a concert.  It is a love letter, pure and simple.

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If the mere thought of a woman deeply, emphatically, amazingly in love with three young men whose ages added together still do not reach her years on earth, makes you roll your eyes, turn away now and read no further.

How can I tell you how wonderful they really are?  How could I possibly make it clearer than those of you who already know and have written about hearing, seeing, touching and once again falling in love with those Guys this concert season?

Well,  Leelee, Ineke and I fell hard for them in Miami.   What can I say?  They were magnificent!  No… Better than magnificent.. They were astoundingly brilliant!  I don’t know how  their voices could be fuller and richer than the last time I was privileged to experience IL Volo,  but they were.  El Trieste was a surprise and before the second chorus the Guys became blurry and I had to wipe the tears away. 

Their friend and artist,  Fabio was on stage and did a wonderful drawing of the Guys while they were singing.

Note he drew it upside down


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Meet & Greet was quick.  Just a hug, a cheek kiss, a few words and it was over.  The really good part was when Piero looked at me and said,  “Good to see you again.” He remembered me!  I couldn’t get to the car fast enough before the tears came.

 The next night the Guys were  in Tampa.   That’s where Ignazio tripped and hurt his shoulder.  We didn’t attend that one, but we looked at pictures they published when they arrived in Ft.  Myers.  Leelee, being just a fine sleuth,  thought the photo’s looked like the Hyatt.   So we canceled previously made reservations, called the Hyatt and took off from Palm Beach!

Upon arriving we wondered if we had indeed chosen the correct hotel. Well, my “find the Boys” luck held out once again.  As we walked up to the desk there was Mrs. Bochetto and Fabio (the artist) getting change to do some laundry.  We said hello. Actually I said, “Hello my mother-in-law in my next life.”  Fortunately she doesn’t understand English and I was saved by our language differences.  Leelee and Ineke just shook their heads.  I’m sure Fabio told her what the crazy stalker lady said.  Fabio (what a looker!) stood around talking to us and posing for pictures.  We were hungry and was eating when one of the guitar players (Patricio?) came out and spoke with us for a while.

Patricio (?) and Fabio at the Hyatt
Patricio (?) and Fabio at the Hyatt

Man oh man!  Are all Italians that good looking? I think it was he who mentioned rehearsals at the venue soon.  So you can imagine that we weren’t about to leave that lobby/dining area!   In fact we wondered why no other fans had figured out where the Guys were.  Sure enough we soon saw Pappa Barone and said a quick hello.

Fabio & Ineke, Poppa and Leelee
Fabio & Ineke, Poppa and Leelee

Then the band members came to hang out in the lobby.  I asked if we could please take a couple of photo’s.  They seemed pleased to be asked.  Funny thing… The drummer misunderstood my request and tried to move out of my way.  I said,  “No,  you.”  he just beamed.

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Next Piero came out and sat down.  I asked for a photo and he immediately jumped up.  I told him to just stay seated.  He said “No, no” and came over to us.  He looked at me and said,  “I know you.  We met in a gym on the..”   he couldn’t remember the word for treadmill and made the motions..   I said,  “treadmill”  and he said,  “right.”  The only thing he couldn’t remember was where we were.   I told him Milwaukee and he said,  “Right,  it’s cold there.”  I handed Leelee  my camera to take our photo and apparently she wasn’t holding it correctly.  Piero kept giving her instructions on how to use it.  I was hoping the instructions would last a day or two because he was holding on to me the entire time.  I told him that I guessed that by now he knew all there was to know about cameras.   He laughed (Oh what beautiful teeth!) and agreed.  I said I would see him next in Las Vegas and also mentioned the Fan Faire.  

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He was called away by someone and soon Ignazio wandered out with his luggage.

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His arm was in a sling from his injury the night before.  We only said hello and asked how he was feeling.  He said pretty good and that it was only a muscle pull.  Barbara came out and we said hello to her.  Everyone piled into a couple of vans and left.  We wondered why we hasn’t seen Gianluca,  but soon,  trailed by his mom,  out he flew obviously late.  We just nodded to him and received a brilliant smile in return.

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We couldn’t believe our luck that afternoon.

The concert that night was, of course, wonderful again.  Ignazio’s shoulder gave comic fodder for the other two.  The first thing that happened was someone brought out a black cloth with a crime scene body chalk line (and mustache) on it.  They laid it on the stage where the “crime” happened.  They all cracked up.  Ignazio and the other two were comically cautious with his arm and many funny movements were made during the performance.  He took the sling off while singing “Tonight”, but it was back on after the song.

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They told a story about hiring an Uber car the day before so Piero and Gianluca could go to the beach.  Piero started singing in the back and the driver said he should try and sing an IL Volo song.  They convinced him that they were IL Volo and I guess he lost it. How proud Piero and Gianluca looked relating the story.  They had the Uber driver stand up in the audience and they all gave him a big thumbs up.

Again, a swift Meet & Greet where Ineke held their attention with sweet gifts made by the Zulu people of South Africa.  Gianluca loved it and apparently looked strait into her eyes.  I know that because she has reminded me SEVERAL times since.

I met several Flight Crew Folks at those two concerts.  I even met some really nice members from the Miami Fan Club who upon meeting me said, “IL Volo Flight Crew!  You guys are legend!”

That evenings performance by our Guys was so spectacular we all cried for a while on the way home the next day.

I have to tell you all this little story although I have completely forgotten who told it to me.  The story is that she was speaking with Barbara and told her that she got emotional whenever the Boys sang.   Barbara told her that she has seen them through 400 concerts and still cries every time.   I guess that sums up the power that is IL Volo. 

Ineke and I left Florida and our wonderful friend and host, Leelee.  We flew to my home in Ohio.  Tomorrow we begin the second leg of our journey and venture to new York City.  Ineke’s only request, besides the Guys, was to see the 911 Memorial.  So we will spend a few days there before our train trip to Las Vegas.  The Fan Faire will be topped only by another glorious concert.  Then I’ll take off for home and Ineke for South Africa. 

You have to know that  If I were younger…  If I was one-third my age… I would fight for one of them and I would surely win!  But alas, if they are happy and treated with love and kindness and honesty and understanding then I am happy too.  Be aware,  however,  if not treated exactly as I expect them to be, I have a ready passport. 

After all who among us isn’t anxious to see the next generation IL Volo?   For Gian to see that sweet smile we have always seen on his face repeated.   Will Piero Jr. cry in operatic tones?   Will little Inga continually jump out of his crib?

Soon my darlings, soon you will all be mine again.  I will see you again in two weeks.  Where you will, in a crowded theater, once again, Sing to me and me alone.




62 thoughts on “What a Trip! Marie, Leelee and Ineke!”

  1. Marie greed is a sin. SHARE. I get my turn in a week. Happy you ladies had such a great trip.

    When we share laughter, there’s twice the fun;
    When we share success, we surpass what we’ve done.
    When we share problems, there’s half the pain;
    When we share tears, a rainbow follows rain.

    When we share dreams, they become more real;
    When we share secrets, it’s our hearts we reveal.
    If we share a smile, that’s when our love shows;
    If we share a hug, that’s when our love grows.

    If we share with someone on whom we depend,
    that person is always a very true friend.
    And what draws us closer and makes us all care,
    Is not what we have, but the things we share.
    Today I share this poem with you…
    To show how much I care…
    And to thank for sharing
    Your friendship with me 🙂

      1. Thank you marie and ineke for sharing. How wonderful that you got to see the guys once again, and again and again. Then comes Vegas. I will be sure to get together with many of you while there. Some friends surprised me this week but buying tickets to the concert at the Palms. We will not be sitting together but it’s fine. They just want to hear these three boys sing to see if they’re are as amazing as I have been raving about and to see if I will make a fool of myself when Gianluca start to sing. I’ll try to act ladylike and not stand on my chair. My sister and friends will be having dinner before the concert at “NOVE” restaurant at the Palms and we will meet after my dinner with many of you. Have you all seen the menu? WOW. Does anyone know if the boys will allow pictures to be taken during the concert? The Pearl Theater states that it is up to each individual artist if they will allow it. I hope so. My kids said to get as many as possible. Until Las Vegas my dear friends.

  2. I can’t top your account, but I will be happy if I can get just one photo of me with Piero. Joanie G

  3. Hi , I have written several times.i never got to see them I had knee surgery a few days before.all I ask is the il volo going to do another concert in the near future,I wanted to see then in new York. Will I have to wait until next year 2017 .please Write me back.rosemary

  4. Dear Marie, I was just going to say Hi Marie, but thought I would get in your good graces by saying Dear Marie. Anyway, as a fellow Ohioan, (Mentor) I want to know if I can walk in your shadow when you talk to the guys. I feel the same way about them that you do. I was at the Tampa M/G, had waited 8 months to see Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, and HE FALLS! OMG, what are the chances of that happening on my one and only time I have seen them live. Thank goodness, he wasn’t seriously injured, his pride mostly I think. He finished the show, walked up and down, shook hands, (it was warm) then left for ER.

    Looking forward to meeting you in Vegas,
    Rose Marie Paliobeis ( we share a name too) (does that get me extra points?} LOL

    1. Wow, amazing account, Rose Marie, of the aftermath of Ignazio’s fall.

      Looking forward to meeting you and many friends in Las Vegas!

  5. Oh, Marie, You are indeed blessed by the Il Volo guardian angels….they have blessed you so richly with your encounters. I would try to stay with you the whole time in Vegas, but I’m sure that you will be besieged with “hangers on” hoping that you will lead them to the boys. You know I love you for yourself and not your contacts….right. Any what will be, will be, and Vegas will be wonderful!!

    1. Good to hear from you, Mary.

      Marie has been generous to reveal to us her secrets, eh?

      Looking forward to Las Vegas and meeting you,

      1. Thanks, Jeanine. Yes, we must look for each other in Vegas. What a treat it will be to meet friends that we know from the blog, but haven’t met yet. Viva Las Vegas!!

  6. You did a beautiful and yet fun loving review of your experience of hunting down and enjoying our guys … Il Volo concerts are the best, but seeing them off the stage and having a moment with them is a life changing experience… You feel their love and devotion to their fans when you meet them like this… Thanks for sharing those moments with us… They just make the three of them more real and more charming to us when we read about these encounters…

    1. Jeannette, I love your photo with Gianluca and Myron. So precious!

      Totally looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

  7. me too ? = I’m from Lakewood,Ohio. and yes – Piero’s hands [ Cleveland concert] were ice cold. The other 2 had warm hands.

    1. Another Rose Marie! We are a rare breed aren’t we? And from the west side of Cleveland. I’m on the other side of the Cuyahoga. Are you coming to Vegas?
      Rose Marie Paliobeis

      1. only heard about Il Volo at Xmas PBS concert so was content with front row center seat at Cleveland State Theater on 2/24.
        Used to live in Euclid and am a Villa Angela grad.

  8. Marie you are a champion! Are you sure its Ignazio and not Piero you lust for? You have amazing talent for connecting with him!… plus he remembers you! I am sure you a re not easy one to forget but just think of all the many fans he has met! Well, maybe he never met one quite like you AND in a gym no less.
    But honestly, your report made me get all teary or else maybe its just my monitor fogs up…maybe its the ocean breezes….darn glasses! In 19 days I shall get to see them and I’m worried my M&G will be a quick hello, a click and off ya go! I should be grateful just to be at the concert but I am greedy and needy.

    Plus, I really truly wish I could be with ALL of you on the 25th

    Dang this monitor I should get it in the shop, fogged up again

    1. Love ya, Pirate!

      Keep thinking of watching Live from Pompeii together. Let me know when you’re to come over.

      Will be thinking of you on the 24th and 25th!

  9. Well Marie it seems you had success meeting the guys before & after the concert & especially our personal sweetheart. I am glad for you that Piero has recognized you from a couple of years ago. It is a good feeling being recognized especially from an entertainer. That is the way I felt last year when Ignazio said he knew I am from Toronto. How can they remember faces when they see so many different ones. I hope you have more of a success & maybe a personal time with Ignazio for a couple of minutes. From my experience it was amazing. He is truly special. Have a wonderful time at Vegas Marie & may all your dreams come true.

  10. Pirate I thought you said you are going to Vegas. I am sad to know that you will not be there I was looking forward to meeting you. Hopefully we can connect some other time. Hope the meet & greet & concert is spectacular for you & you get some personal time with the guys & your favourite.

    1. Loretta, I was more than ready to go to Vegas until I realized the concert was on Good Friday and that is part of the busiest time of the year for me in my work. So I went for San Diego instead…all by my lonesome. You have no idea how badly I wanted to be with all the Flight Crew gang and see how many I could shanghai…uh,, MEET, yeah that’s it, meet all of you. You will have to talk to Jeanine, she has seen the real me. You will all be in my thoughts and my prayers while you are all in Las Vegas having the best time of your life!

      1. And ask Elaine, too. Great day in San Francisco, Elaine (2014)!

        I think you’re the best, Pirate!
        They’ll have to find out in person next year. Though you’ve got a few from the Flight Crew going to San Diego. Hope you guys meet up!

        Wonderful memories, Pirate, of an amazing road trip, dinner with Flight Crew folks, and an unbelievably fantastic concert! After being essentially in the first row, I’ll never be satisfied again with Dress Circle. Having the guys look me in the eye while performing… No words for that experience!

        And next year… it’s time for IL VOLO in Portland (Oregon)!

        Take care, my friends!

  11. Thank you, I really enjoyed reading your story ♥ My wonder boys, they steal hearts of the women of any age, they’re magic! I read the story of the cold hands from some of you, I don’t if you say so in other places of the world, in Italy we say “mani fredde, cuore caldo” that means “cold hands, warm heart” 🙂

  12. Marie, I’m sorry I did not get to meet you in Ft Myers. I had a hard time walking it was so crowded and people were tripping over my cane.

    I have a 4 1/2″ doll that looks like Gianluca that I wanted to show you.

    When the guys first came on stage I said OMG they are beautiful. I thought the concert was more than fantastic. All of the people around me loved the concert. We had great seats, Row K (Row 9) on the aisle. In fact, Ignazio came down the ramp next to the row we were sitting in, when he was trying to sit on the stage. The music was a little loud but the guys sang above the music. They have the power.

    This was the second concert my cousin has seen and she could not believe how great it was. She is slowly becoming Il Volo crazy like me.

    Marie you are one lucky person. I have all ready told my family that the next time I want Meet & Greet tickets.

    Alice in Florida

  13. I’m in California and know the boys will be in San Jose this year, but just can’t get there. I will be 90 this year!!! And I love those three boys’ singing! Maybe next year. Audrey

  14. Hi Marie. Thank you so much for relating your “life and times” in Ft Myers. You certainly had a great time and good fortune to join in with the guys, their family and team. A wonderful experience never to be forgotten. I hope the Las Vegas trip is all that you wish for and so look forward to your coming report, on this event. I just wish I could be there to hear their voices again and again and again, I could listen to them all night !! . Oh wishful thinking !! When is their next tour ??

  15. Marie

    My compliments for a wonderfully vivid piece of writing! In a few years from now, I will swear that I was there with you; and I will be able to recount so much detail that no one will be able to contradict me!

    Seriously, though, I am so pleased for you. You have had yet another “live” il Volo experience and I am still looking forward to my first one – even though I have seen them perform “live” on Italian television so many times.

    Once again, I am indebted to so many of the “Flight Crew” for the superb descriptions of the concerts in the USA and the various video recordings. I am already polishing my Spanish so that I can enjoy the reports from South America. But there is no need to get ahead of myself; there is still a lot of reporting to be done before the US part of their tour has run its full course.

    I hope that everyone else has just as wonderful an experience as LeeLee, Lineke and you all had.

    Thank-you; and goodnight, to the whole Crew, from England!


  16. Marie, thanks for your story and personal experience with guys, their band and team. Certainly it was another memorable moment for you. 🙂 You can be happy,that you are unforgettable person, it means that you have charm and charisma ! Wishing you another nice experiences in the next concert. 🙂 As big, devoted, loyal,loving fan, you deserve all beautiful interactions with boys. Good luck and all the best.

  17. Hey Marie all I can say is WOW WEE How lucky you are to actually run into them again. You’re amazing. I loved your story and I know what you mean about loving these three guys even though they are so young but how can you not love them they are so incredible not just their voices it’s there there glorious personalties that captured my heart especially my Piero. I can’t wait till Las Vegas and I tell you I’m going to be patrolling that hotel all morning of the 25 to try and find out where they will be coming in from. Once again what a great post and can’t wait to meet you in Vegas.

  18. Thank you, Marie, for your wonderful posting. I thought I couldn’t possibly get ay more excited waiting for Las Vegas,, but after reading your words, I am positively vibrating with excitement. Can’t wait to see Piero, Gianluca, and Ignazio again. I am so proud of those three young men, and I, too, love them dearly – especially Piero. See you in Vegas!

  19. has anyone else besides me seen how Ignazio came to Gianluca’s predicament in Argentina 2013. G. sang first two lines of song and then totally forgot the words = Ignazio realizing what happened immediately started singing for Gianluca and he then went over to hug Gianluca and went back to his spot on stage/staircase. Gianluca recovered and joined back in singing with Piero and Ignazio. Ignazio even went so far as to start coming down wrong side of steps and did an obvious show of correcting his downward step on the correct side = showing the audience that he too could make a mistake ! He is such a caring person !!! The site to watch this is :Luna Escondida= IL volo= Gran Rex Nov.[Gian olvida letro emociando ]. it is an Il Volo Mundial Oficial site and it is 11/1/2013 [Nov. 1, 2013].

    1. Rosemarie, thanks for the info. I have not seen this clip before, just watched it, they are so thoughtful of one another.
      Rose Marie Paliobeis

    2. Yes Rosemarie I saw that also. Ignazio is very attuned to others & what is going on around him & if someone makes a mistake he will make a mistake as well. Others should be as kind

    3. Thank you marie and ineke for sharing. How wonderful that you got to see the guys once again, and again and again. Then comes Vegas. I will be sure to get together with many of you while there. Some friends surprised me this week but buying tickets to the concert at the Palms. We will not be sitting together but it’s fine. They just want to hear these three boys sing to see if they’re are as amazing as I have been raving about and to see if I will make a fool of myself when Gianluca start to sing. I’ll try to act ladylike and not stand on my chair. My sister and friends will be having dinner before the concert at “NOVE” restaurant at the Palms and we will meet after my dinner with many of you. Have you all seen the menu? WOW. Does anyone know if the boys will allow pictures to be taken during the concert? The Pearl Theater states that it is up to each individual artist if they will allow it. I hope so. My kids said to get as many as possible. Until Las Vegas my dear friends.

  20. Thanks Marie for sharing your “love letter” with us. I think so many of us feel the same way. The concerts sounded great and it was wonderful that with some investigative skills, you managed to stay in the same hotel! How lovely that you met so many of the Il Volo “team” and Ignazio’s talented friend Fabio. And then to have Piero remember you was pretty amazing but it must be that you are so memorable! And to think you will be seeing them again soon.

  21. Marie, this was awesome! I love the energy I feel when reading your love letter. And the photos are fantastic.

    So, I got a little wild and crazy with all the replies and finally thought to cool my jets. But… Love and anticipation to ALL of you! See you in Las Vegas with a big smile on my face. (Remembering the night of Radio City Music Hall when it felt like my face would break, I was smiling so hard!)

    Today I received a reply from one of the sharing-the-love folks here, and it brought tears of joy. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to meet many of you in less than 2 weeks, and to spend quality time with the guys, not to mention enjoying the concert from the 2nd row!

    Anema e Core,

  22. Marie,

    Great story, great writing. Your passion, your love, they really shine through with every post. There is so much negativity in this world that spending some time with my Flight Crew family is becoming the highlight of my day; where else can we bounce around so much joy and emotion and even tears and all thanks to this great group of guys from Italia!

  23. Wow! I’m trying to step into Marie’s shoes as she travels with Ineke this month, and am not doing such a great job. 🙁 I love to see all the comments here, and know Marie appreciates them all so much. Can’t wait to meet all of you that are coming to Vegas, and maybe one day I’ll win the lottery, quit my job and travel the US “with” the guys to meet you all! lol

  24. Marie, as you know I’ve been away so I just read this today. For everyone else, I went away because I needed a break from Marie and Ineke. They are so into Il Volo. I don’t understand it.

    I would like to add that because I couldn’t get enough, I purchased two tickets the night before the Orlando concert for me and my cousin and I was able to get 4th row seats. Holy cow! What was really exciting was that Fabio was in the lobby and recognized me immediately from Fort Myers. How sweet. When I went in, Fabio and I chatted a little along with Pio (or was it Amedeo?) and then the show was ready to start. For those who don’t know Pio and Amedeo, they are two comedians from Italy and are good friends of Il Volo. They, too, were part of the entourage. These two fellows were so much fun to watch in Miami as they were standing to our side and also are very sweet.

    Hanging out in the lobby was more of a thrill, I think, than the meet and greets, because it was so personal. I know I’ll never forget it. I wish I was going to Vegas with everyone but unless I win the lottery this week, that’s not happening. So I’ll be sitting on the sidelines with some of my very special Flight Crew friends here, such as Rosemary, Pirate, Alice, Audrey, Bernard, John, and anyone else who is unable to attend the concert in Las Vegas, waiting to hear everyone’s stories (and I know there will be stories to tell).

    P.S. – Thanks for the picture showing my fat, stubby self talking to Ignazio. But then again, that’s ME talking to IGNAZIO! OK – I’ll let you slide.

    1. Leelee, I love this! I thought that was you (made me smile), and not a fair description.

      I’ll bet all those not in Vegas will be feeling the vibes and smiling as brightly. We’ll be sending you lots of love!


      1. You are the sweetest, Jeanine. Thank you and everyone in Vegas for sending us those vibes and love. I know we’ll be watching the clock thinking of you all every step of the way.

  25. Thank you for telling your beautiful Il Volo love story Marie !! It was great seeing you and meeting Inke at the Miami and Ft Lauderdale concerts !!! I am still floating around on Cloud 9 from my close encounters with our three angels at the M&G’s. My sweet Gianluca was particularly attentive toward me at each M&G which made my heart go pitter patter in a big way !!! 😍 In Orlando he saw I was upset by the rush act we were getting from security and so he ran up to me as I was walking away and said “Ok guys-group hug !! and all three of them gathered around me and smothered me with hugs !! What a memorable moment that was !! I only wish that someone had taken a photo of it !! They are by far the most talented and endearing young men in the whole world and I will love them until the end of time !!! And Marie !!! Next time they tour here I will attach myself to you like glue !!! You always manage to run into them !!! You lucky duck !!! LOL !!!

    1. Wow, Joanie! I don’t like group hugs (I like individual hugs), but I could get over that real fast with such a beautiful gesture from Gianluca and his IL VOLO brothers!! A-maz-ing! And another affirmation how love-filled and uplifting these guys are!

      Good for you to have been honest with your feelings, as well, Joanie! Such a sweet response.

      Will we be seeing you in Las Vegas, or is that a different Joanie?

      IL VOLO love and {{{hugs}}}

  26. Marie, Marie, Marie….If I regress in age, I would dearly love to go on one of your”flight finding” expoditions!! Right now, at my age, I couldn’t keep up!! You have super “il Volo Radar”…..keep on keeping on!! 4 more days and I’ll really know what all the fuss is about!! Give me strength!!♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

  27. Marie, thanks for your story, you always write great stories, enough to make me jealous, it’s so nice you got to see them and that you still have more to look forward to. I will be looking forward to hear about your experience in Las Vegas

  28. Marie, thanks for the great post, and yes, I’m jealous, too! You do seem to have a talent for these chance meetings…but I can’t believe you didn’t grab any cute Italian butts this time! 😀

    1. Ruth, that’s only because the mamas and the papa were around. I have no doubt if opportunity presented itself, there would have been more Italian pinches from Marie. However, knowing Marie, she would have had me and/or Ineke distract them while she goes in for the grab. LOL.

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