Personally Speaking~Close Encounters of the Best Kind~ by Mary and Jane

What are Ilvolover’s fondest desires?  To see Gianluca, Piero, and Ignazio in concert….yes…to see them face to face and get a hug at a M&G…..absolutely….to have some real time mingling, visiting, touching, looking into those dark Italian eyes, and watching them interact to our hearts’ content?…..dare we hope?

Well, it happened to Mary and Jane (and  a few others) last Sunday. They pledged their contribution to the Public Television Station in St. Paul, Minnesota, and got $120 worth of heavenly time with our favorite guys.  We were fortunate enough to arrive at the station a bit early and got a great table in the room where we would have  precious time with THEM.  But the best was that we were there to see them come through the door to the lobby with Barbara.  Of course Mary had to rush out and greet them….it was the polite thing to do, right?  Piero didn’t seem to mind that she immediately enveloped him in a hug (you have to grab those opportunities when they pop up).  Mary gave him a poem that she had written for him, knowing full well that finding time to read it was probably not going to happen.  Someone from the station came and took them away, paying no attention to Jane and Mary who were saying, “come back, come back.”  Oh well, we knew that they would return and we would have our time.

Time for that first hug!


So, back to the meeting room to wait.  Other people were arriving, and we were glad that we had grabbed a table when we did.  There were lovely appetizers to munch on and wine and soft drinks.  We visited a bit with some of the other guests.  One couple and their daughter had come from Ohio just for this event.  It seems that the daughter had been Piero’s “Maria” in Tennessee when they brought girls up on stage to sing to while doing that song.

TPT Reception Room 


Joyce and Bonnie


Anne and Mary (Daughter-Mother)


Jane and Mary


Suzy, Allene and Joyce


Aubrianna, (Tennessee Maria) her father and mother


And then, a hush came over the room as we saw our darlings coming through the door.  They were dressed very casually and giving us big smiles as if they were glad to be there in spite of just having come from delightfully tropic Miami to the frozen northland.  Ignazio wasn’t feeling well.  We know that he suffers the most from jet lag.  Barbara told us that he had a touch of the flu, and he left shortly to have a rest before the filming.  But Gianluca and Piero were in good spirits and kept us very well entertained.  Some people were there who spoke fluent Italian and they had a great time talking to the guys.  Jane and Mary wished they had  boned up on that language, but as we all know, GG and Piero are well versed in English and we were able to visit with them and stare into those gorgeous dark eyes. 

While the line was forming to speak to the guys, Mary and Jane took the opportunity to have a chat with Barbara.  After hearing Jane tell her where she had recently traveled in Italy, Barbara said that she has not even seen some of those places!  She said that now she is traveling the world over, but someday when she is through seeing the world she will see the sights in Italy that she has never seen before!  When asked if they wake up in the morning at their hotels and wonder what city they are in, she said, yes, indeed that happens.  That it is a hard thing to do to travel so much, but they all love it.

A little blurry, but you get the picture!


Autographing snowing in Minneapolis photo  for Maryphoto

Joyce, you know who and Mary


Signing autograph


Allene in Seventh Heaven!  (How adorable is this?)


Audrey with handsome three!


Suzy in the midst of Italian utopia!


Joyce surrounded by Italian charm!


They thought it was humorous as Jane was describing the “narrow roads of Naro!”  


Joyce showed the guys a picture of her little dog named “The Queen of Naro.”  Ignazio says, “why not Queen of Marsala?’  Joyce said she would work on that and has since posted a photo on Facebook saying in December her little dog would now be called the Queen of Marsala with surprises coming in January!

What was so totally unique about this evening was that there were only 30 guests there.  That’s it…30 of us… with 8 of the total, representing the Minnesota Flight Crew ,with the guys all to ourselves.  Never have the odds been so GOOD and  never have we been to an event where everything was so relaxed and not rush-rush!  When the guys finished getting photos with each guest they (excluding Ignazio) hung around, snacked on the goodies and  mingled with us even more!  We kept looking at each other saying, “I don’t believe this!”  

Of course when  that part of the program was over ( all too soon), they left us blissfully satisfied by what we had been given.  The guys were taken into another room for the filming of the program that was to be shown live in  the Twin Cities area.  The station had provided a huge screen in the visitor’s room so that those of us who wanted to stay could watch the 1 1/2 hour program.  Of course we wanted to stay and stay we did until we were the last ones left and the station people were cleaning up around us.

The Minnesota ladies staying until the final moment!


To say that it was a wonderful evening would be an understatement .  To have that much time close to the ones that we admire and adore was Nirvana.  And now we still have the concert in March to look forward to….our “cup runneth over.”


Mary’s Poem



When I first saw you in Milwaukee,

All bushy haired and kind of gawky,

I fell in love.  Yes, I’ll admit it.

‘Twas your youthful exuberance that did it.

And something else got my attention.

They gave your face a great dimension….

Glasses of red!  A bit disarming,

But on your face completely charming.

They neatly framed your gorgeous eyes,

And so it came as no surprise

That you captured me in just a second.

Red glasses reached out to me and beckoned,

“Take another look and you will find

He’s not the ordinary kind.

His future bright still lies before him,

Thousands of fans will soon adore him.”

Red glasses you were right it seems..

You were there when he followed his dreams.

Glasses of red became his trademark,

Giving him a special bright spark.

Now that he’s maturing will we find

That red glasses  will be left behind?

Giving place to current fashion,

Forgetting that red was once his passion?

Piero remember how the masses

Adored you in your brave red glasses ?

Oh, yes, we’ll love you in any color.

You’re just as handsome in any other.

But the red ones have a special place

That time and style cannot erase.

Please keep them close and once in a while

Wear them again, ignoring style.

Reminding us of the beginning

When hearts of fans you first were winning.

You’re famous now, but as time passes,

Don’t forget your old friends–the RED GLASSES!


~~Mary and Jane~~


56 thoughts on “Personally Speaking~Close Encounters of the Best Kind~ by Mary and Jane”

  1. Oh, how delightful and lucky you Minnesota gals were! All of you in heaven at the same time! For me, photos Of Mary and Piero are always among my favorites…however…this time…Allene takes the cake! Too sweet!

  2. Oh I just love reading your wonderful evening with the guys. Allene, you “little” hussy. I can’t stop smiling seeing your picture and adoringly looking up at Ignazio and he looking down at you so sweetly. Marie, wasn’t that cute? You ladies had a night all right. Oh what a night. I love the poem also. Yes they are now very famous and let’s pray that they stay grounded and never forget where and how they got there. I hope to be well enough this coming year to attend one of their concerts. They were in S.F. the other day. Only 30 minutes from me and was thrilled to hear from some fans of their adventures downtown. I would love to see them once again in Vegas or San Jose which is 30 minutes south of me. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

  3. Mary, I forgot to mention your wonderful poem. I feel the same way. I always do and always will look for those red glasses. You spelled it out so beautifully for us! Thank you.

  4. Such a beautiful poem . It expresses my thoughts also and I hope Piero reads it and cherushes it forever. Thanks

  5. What a wonderful experience Jane and Mary and everyone else. It seemed like the best possible way to actually be with and spend time with Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca. And not to be rushed and have the opportunity to really talk to them. You can tell from the pictures how happy and relaxed everyone looks! Love the poem Mary and agree even though Piero’s other glasses look great, it would be nice to see him occasionally in red again. I also miss seeing his crucifix that he always wore that I believe he said his grandmother gave him.

  6. What a wonderful evening you all had with our precious guys !!!! I know how you feel about that evening becauseI I am happy to say we had the same experience in Miami at the PBS Station. Three hours of non-stop Gianluca,Ignazio and Piero !!!!!! It was a party that I will remember for the rest of my life !!! Our guys were charming,sweet, talkative and funny all night !! Even poor Ignazio who was really sick that night rose to the occasion and was hilarious !! Of course Barbara was there too and I had a lovely conversation with her too. Without a doubt it was the best “M&G” imaginable !!!!! I know you all must still be floating around on Cloud Nine !!! I know I am !!!

    1. lease tell us more about that, joanie… and if you have some pics from that evening to share… would love to hear about it… thank you

  7. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww……
    And Jane! You actually got to share a bit with Piero and the guys about your trip to Naro and your experience with Naro’s narrow roads…. and Marsala and Montepagano and the other parts of Italy!!!! How lovely!

    And that you had a nice, relaxed, unhurried time with them…. them hanging around, snacking and mingling with you all…. Awwwwwwwwwwww……. How heartwarming…..

    And Mary, your poem! Awwwwwwwwwwww…. I too, like those red glasses…… and wish he will wear them from time to time….

    1. Thanks Cynthia !! I have a couple of photos but I don’t know how to post them here !!! The only thing I can add is that when I passed in front of Ignazio stand next to Gianluca for our photos to be taken Ignazio said No !! No!! No !! and pulled me over to him !!! It was a funny moment !!! They are all soadorable !!!

      1. Joanie, send me pictures. I’ll post them. Send them to our site email ( or to my personal email. I think you have that address.

    2. Cynthia, it really was fun sharing about being in their hometowns. They all seemed to enjoy knowing we had been there.

      1. Jane, i think that really “wraps it up” — you travel to Italy, have a spectacular time, share it with us here, make a keepsake book for Marie, THEN GET TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH THE GUYS!….
        how cool is that!….. it frames your picture complete!

      2. Jane, i mean, not only travel to Italy, but specifically go to each of their hometowns and meet with some family/friends….. and get to share that with them … and sooooooooo soon after, at that!

    1. I know! The Il Volo goddess has certainly lined up all the stars in my favor recently! Pure luck…pure Il Volo luck!

      1. Yes, Cynthia…it really did “wrap it all up” with this time in St. Paul. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought all of those events would have lined up the way they did! I am so grateful for every moment of it. You are right in that all of that could not have been planned, but pure destiny. I will wish the same for every Flight Crew member to experience it someday!

  8. Wow! what a fantastic time you had Jane and Marie. Your time with our boys just keeps piling up. I am looking forward to March here in L.A. for the concert. Just to be in the same room with them is fantastic. Could I be so lucky as to see them come through my hotel lobby. I can dream can’t I? Joanie G

  9. What a wonderful experience that you had, I’m very happy for you, but also a little jealous.
    Now I understand why when you came in Italy there worried not to see the guys, you have many chances to see them from you and even with very close encounters.
    Magnificent picture of Mary, which I find in good shape and that beautiful poem, congratulations, I think we all have a bit of nostalgia for the red glasses.
    Jane how wonderful to speak with them with no one pushing you to go ahead because the time is up.
    I had seen the pictures that there was Aubrianna, the girl Piero had driven up on stage during Maria, that video I love it and the way Aubrianna tightens Piero is simply delicious and makes me laugh so much at the end when Piero accompanying the girl on the edge of the stage tells his father “I have not touched.” If anyone has not seen this video should see it, it’s too cute.
    Marie I believe that day as you ate all your fingernails from the nervous, Jane could talk in private with Ignazio !!

    1. Daniela, ha ha ha ha ha… Piero actually said that??!?!?!?!!! – “I have not touched” (?!!!!!!) ha ha ha ha ha… soooooo cute….. soooo sweet…..

  10. To begin with, I am so happy youall had this experience! The poem is precious! I can imagine that the in tire group had to be dragged, kicking and screaming from the venue, even after it was over!!! Just sign me “green dot from Texas”♡♡♡

  11. Mary…your beautiful poem is sure to warm Piero’s heart!
    Allene…Sony needs to use your photo on something promotional! It is so darn adorable!

      1. Daniela – those are X-rated words! NOT POSSIBLE! Ignazio already has his heart spoken for! (for Marie!)…. (Allene had a ‘moment’… a lucky, fateful ‘moment’)….. 😉

  12. Oh, come on, Marie. You know Piero has my heart. Although I must say that night I loved all three equally. And Piero, those red glassed are you. Please don’t leave them behind. Thanks Jane and Mary for bringing the memories of that night back to me. I cant wait until March when I will see them again. Ignazio I hope and pray that you are feeling better by now. Time to turn on “Buon Natale”.

  13. Oh my goodness! Such a wonderful event and a chance to actually spend time with the guys and have a real conversation. I think probably that is the dream encounter of everyone on the Flight Crew! Thanks for sharing and letting us be there by association. Also love the poem and I think Piero looks fabulous in those red glasses and would love to see them return as often as possible. I too am eagerly waiting for the March concerts. I already have my tickets to the Las Vegas and San Jose concerts. AND I am lucky enough to be in Italy in May and have tickets to the Arena to see them on May 20. I live in San Francisco and they were just here for 2 days. I only know because they were posting photos on social media, but there were no public appearances or interviews. I think they were filming for our local PBS station for the Notte Magica that will be shown next week. But hopefully they were resting a bit and not having to show up for anything. and it looks like they had some free time to roam around.

  14. I’m so envious!!! Thank you so much for the wonderful story and fantastic pics!! I was hoping to go to Philadelphia in March but can’t leave mom and grandma alone. My heart will be sick knowing that they are this close and I can’t go. I was really hoping to do M&G for the first time this year. Well there’s next year!!! I greatly appreciate all the stories and pics!!!

    1. deecatmomma, bless your heart for taking care of your Mom and Grandma. I will keep my fingers crossed you get to your M&G next year!!

  15. Wow Mary and Jane sounds like a most special time for you two, that would be heaven for me to some day I hope I get my chance with Piero, Mary I only hope I don’t turn into a babbling idiot in front of him how do you remain so calm I would turn to mush and Mary I love your poem to Piero even though he wears different glasses now and he is so gorgeous I miss his red ones hopefully someday he’ll decide to wear them again.

  16. I would guess that Red Glasses don’t go with Nessun Dorma! Love the poem. And what can I say that has not already been said except that I sure wish I could have been there to share the joy of the evening with 3 very special young men! Thanks for sharing the evening.

  17. The guys really do look like they are enjoying themselves in every photo. Their eyes are smiling. How great to be part of that event. Next time I hope to know ahead and I’d be there in a heartbeat! (And you great ladies would make it even more of a great trip). Baci. (How can I send you the wonderful photo of Ailene that I had to do some fun things with? Hope you would enjoy).

  18. Very pleased for you, Mary and Jane ! Good things do happen, don’t they, to those who plant seeds of positive expectation – which is what you and others here have actually been doing right along. Inspirational results. (Thank you!).

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