We left Assisi via a cab with Marcello, a friendly Italian, driving us through the countryside to Perugia where we would rent our first car. After nearly two hours of waiting for our car to be ready we were ready to roll. Didn’t mind the wait as we were getting used to the Italian way of doing things…relaxed and at their own pace. Our new best friend, our GPS, was named Missy by Marie. Marie had studied her road signs and Italian rules of driving very well, but there were times when Missy had a mind of her own telling us to turn a sharp left and go directly into a mountain! Missy eventually straightened herself out and quickly became a best friend you never wanted to lose! Marie deserves a gold medal (or a date with Ignazio) for maneuvering her way along the busy autostradas and not being hit off the road by crazy fast drivers! We also never did quite figure out what the warning signal was that kept beeping on our GPS with a little blue camera icon on it. All the other cars were going way faster than we were so we figured we couldn’t have been speeding. Maybe they just like taking pictures of American girls driving Italian cars!
With the help of Missy, we found our way to Montepagano! We drove up a mighty narrow simple road to finally get there. Our B&B was just outside the main street of the little village. The owner, Daniela, greeted us warmly. She spoke little English so out came the translators on our phone and ipad that proved to be of great value during this entire trip.
Marie, Nonno and Jane
Within one hour of our arriving in this picturesque village we were walking to the town square with Daniela who introduced us to Gianluca’s Nonno, who just happened to be coming out of the cafe. We were wearing our Il Volo t-shirts so smiles and recognition came quickly to all who saw us. This dear man opened up an envelope of pictures he had had developed and gave each of us a photo of his precious grandson. What a gift! Nonno graciously allowed us to take his picture with us, we thanked him and moved on. Within 2 more minutes down the street came Ercole right towards us! Daniela introduced him to us as he lit up seeing our t-shirts! Marie handed him a Flight Crew web site card and explained who we were, how many people read the site from how many countries world wide. I thanked him for sharing his son with the world. He smiled as Daniela translated for us and then let us take a photo with him. Such kindness in that family. It’s no wonder they have such wonderful sons! Then Daniela took us to where the guys filmed their video of L amore Si Muove, showing us exactly where certain scenes were shot. I’m sure you will recognize them by the photos as we did.
Jane, Ercole and Marie
Video film site
Video film site
Then Daniela asks us if we’d like to take a passeggiata? Of course we would! So we strolled down the main street and soon came upon another Ginoble! Uncle Dominic! He stopped and chatted with us telling us about the oil boats he used to work on in the United States when he was young. Marie and I were in total awe as we absorbed what was going on around us. It was all too good to be real, but it really WAS happening! Daniela’s daughter, Letizia, had joined us for our passeggiata, too. What a sweet girl. She had pictures of her with her friend, Gianluca, on her phone that she was very proud of. We then returned to our B&B for the night and marveled as to what just took place!
Daniela and Letizia
The next morning Daniela brought a friend of hers, Anna, to visit with us at breakfast as Anna spoke fairly good English. Daniela told us that she had seen Ercole this morning and he had asked her if we had plans on going to Sicily also? We told her we did as that was where we were headed next. She said she would let him know. I wrote a short note to Gianluca on the back of a Flight Crew card and gave it to Daniela to give to him next time she sees him. She happily tucked it into her wallet and said she would be sure he got it.
Daniela and Anna
And so, our first encounter with being Ambassadors of the Flight Crew was a complete success! Oh yes, how could I forget…within 24 hours of us being with his family members, Gianluca then said hello to the Flight Crew, their American Fan Club (!) during their interview in New York! Two very happy ladies headed down the autostrada with Missy, on to their next adventure...Marsala!