Falling for Il Volo ~ My Story ~ Denise (deecatmomma)

It was a few years back, I was channel surfing and this voice just grabbed me. At the time I would listen to Il Divo off and on but this wasn’t Il Divo!!!  No, this voice had more power.  I looked up and saw this kid with spiked hair and red glasses!!!!  Yes, it was our beloved Piero, then Ignazio and the smooth baritone voice of Gianluca…. they were singing Il Mundo from Detroit and I was forever hooked.

Since then to say Il Volo impacted every area of my life would be a huge understatement. I’m a registered nurse, on disability for quite a few problems. I currently do some part time work to keep my license and try to make ends meet. I work with an agency and do home visits with infants that have been born premature or born to mothers on drugs. I like to think I’ve got the best job, because of the amazing nurses I work with these babies can safely come home and still be watched carefully by us and we report any issues to the Dr, including feeding issues, weight loss or signs of narcotics withdrawal to name a few. I travel the lower half of the state of Delaware and love it because I listen to Il Volo and yes, I’m one of those crazy people that sings in their car thinking (wishing) I was with them.

I also did cat rescue for about 8 years. I loved the pregnant mommas and the orphaned bottle babies. I had one little special needs kitty, Timmy, we named him after Timmy in Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”.  He had a curved spine, one back leg shorter than the other and a bent tail. Timmy’s love was Il Volo. If you were putting it on TV or listening on your phone all you had to do is say “Timmy, I’m putting the boys on!!!” And he would come running from wherever he was and sit next to you so he could hear them.  I also found that if my furbabies are agitated (yes I have 13 cats and one dog) just put Il Volo on and within 15 minutes they would be calm.

My Simba watching "Notte Magica "
My Simba watching “Notte Magica “

During this time my younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. We would have to make 3 hour trips, each way, to get to Johns Hopkins to see her surgeon. Donna couldn’t believe how calming our guys voices are. By the end of a day of visits she would be in pain. I would give her a pain pill and put Il Volo on. In no time she was comfortable and sleep the whole ride home. Donna passed away 7/19/15. She was my only sibling and when she passed away, half of me went with her. A few months later my 2 best friends, girls I’ve known for 45 years, came to see me. We had a good visit, but nothing took the pain of losing my sister away. My one friend was born in Palermo, Sicily and when she was in my car and heard the guys she started to tear up. When they were singing it reminded her of her mother working in the house and singing these same songs.

A tshirt I made myself for my birthday. This is the back. Their picture is on the front from the concert I attended
A tshirt I made myself for my birthday. This is the back. Their picture is on the front from the concert I attended
Well that brings us to 2/13/16. It was absolutely freezing outside. I met my friend at her condo and off we went. When she told me she was able to get tickets it didn’t seem true, but there we were at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Was it real??? Was I dreaming??? We had seats up in the risers and wouldn’t you know I developed cellulitis in my leg and my Dr said I could still go but had to stay off it and take my antibiotics. I rented a scooter that night and when we saw where our seats were my friend (Rita) went to an usher and explained our situation. She took our tickets and said “follow me”. She kept walking…. all the way to the 2nd row!!!! Oh my goodness no!!!! She moved the chair so my scooter could fit there and I could stay in it. It was real !!!! My first time seeing them and I was on the right side, second row!!!!!! We sat and talked to others around us then ………. it got dark, Giampero started playing “Grande Amore” then silence. That smooth baritone voice……. Gianluca!!!! He started singing Volare, then Piero, then my heart skipped….. Ignazio!!!!! I could almost reach them. Rita said at that point I was no longer there… she’s right, I was in Italy with Il Volo. What an amazing night.
Christmas gift from Rita
Christmas gift from Rita

Story would be great if it ended there, but there is more. I jokingly texted Rita and said I was looking at the concert in Exton, PA but no good seats :(.  Well she texted me a while later and said we had tickets to the Hershey, PA concert. Whaaaaattt!!!! She said that she hadn’t seen me smile like that since Donna died and she would pay anything to see it again. It was another awesome concert. We even road the hotel shuttle and we all had been to the AC concert and now this one!! That is the magic of Il Volo. In the audience were people of all ages and we were all singing along with them, nothing like the rock concerts of my youth.

As I learned more about Il Volo it sparked the desire in me to reconnect with my family in Abruzzi. My great grandparents were from there, my dad says we are descendants of Prince Colonna (I will attach a picture of our Coat of Arms). I have been messaging a fellow Il Volo fan that lives in Abruzzi and she is going to try to help me locate them. So as you can see, Il Volo has given me so much joy, happiness and yes, peace since I first heard Piero’s voice. Sad to say I will not make it to see Il Volo this year. Financially it is not possible plus I’m caring for my mom (70 and fellow Il Volo fan) and my grandmother (92). Plus I can’t leave my furbabies. 2 of my cats are on steroids for asthma and the other for inflammatory bowel. And my dog is on quite a few meds for arthritis. Mom barely made it with me being gone one night last year to go to the concerts. Since Donna passed away it’s just the 3 of us and we are there for each other. Reading daily emails from the Flight Crew and watching you tube and DVDs will get me through another year and I’m going to save every penny I can to be able to go to the concert AND do the M&G. I’m so grateful to all of my Il Volo family, you are truly mia famiglia. Buona Notte!!

Denise Spinelli-Mattern 


19 thoughts on “Falling for Il Volo ~ My Story ~ Denise (deecatmomma)”

  1. Oh Dee, what a moving story! BUT what a common theme. Those Boys seem to pop up when we (or the cats) really need them. Exactly how fortunate are we all? Thank you for your story. I slipped a couple Flight Crew Badges in the mail to you so you can be ready for that concert next year. We will all bring stories of this year’s concert to you and your large family. You will think you are there!

  2. Dee your story has brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful and caring person you are. i am so glad that the boys of Il Volo help you through your day. They truly bring happiness to all who know of them, Who would have thought, all those years ago at a talent show ,that they would have affected so many lives , of people of all ages, and still continue to do so. Thank you so much Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero. Dee, continue to enjoy their voices.

  3. Dee your story is very emotional and brought tears to my eyes. After all the sadness you have been through I am so very happy that our precious boys have brought a smile to your face and joy to your heart. They have many gifts and lifting our spirits when we are down is one of their very special gifts. The sweet memories of seeing them at the concerts this past year will carry you through this year and next year god willing you will be able to go see them again. There will be lots of videos from the concerts this year so in the meantime keep looking at their gorgeous faces, listening to their magnificent voices, feeling their tender loving hearts and for sure that smile will stay planted on your face !!

  4. Dear Dee, your beautiful story brought many tears to my eyes. So sorry for the loss of your Sister. Our Boys weave their musical magic for all of us when Life throws a curve ball!!! If they knew your sadness & had time to come to you, they would be there with hugs & light kisses plus encouragement!!! Beautiful young men!!! Love that Il Volo music is calming to your fur babies & they watch videos. I will keep you in my prayers. Flight Crew friends are the best people in the world & we will help you thru your days from now on! Our precious Trio & their music will keep you smiling!!! Sending love & hugs to you.

  5. Dee I too loved your story. I recently lost my sister and I know how good it feels to listen to Il Volo. They take away the sadness and you dont feel alone . They do have a way of calming a person. I have been to 1 concert last year in Ft. Myers, Florida. It was amazing. Your are a wonderful person.
    Alice White in Florida

  6. Denise such a great story. Thanks for sharing. My youngest daughter is a nurse.
    She worked in Antepartum with critical patients for years. I also have three kitties and one at age 12 developed allergies to regular food. Pixie now is on a vet diet.
    My oldest daughter is taking my 82 year old sister in law and myself to Las Vegas to see the boys on March 25th. Like you I have a problem leaving three kitties,two dogs and a handicapped husband. But my kids said be adventurous and go.
    It probably will be my last ‘long’ trip so Il Volo will have to come back to Texas.

    1. Gina it is all worth it. Those 2 days last year we the most special in my life!!! Have a great time!!

  7. Denise, I love your story, and have a similar one. I used to be a nurse, but hurt my back and had to retire from that. I have a female cat(Bella) who loves Gianluca. I was watching the DVD Live From Pompeii one night and Gianluca was singing “Eternally”, my cat walked into the living room, stopped in front of the tv, and watched him until he finished . Then she looked at me like “who was that” I replied yes, he’s cute is’nt he!
    I also rescue Ferrel cats and try to socialize them, so they can be adopted.
    Because of experiences I have had in my life I know that your sister watches over you, and hears you when you speak to her.
    God bless you for being the caring person that you are.🐾❤️

  8. Your story has deeply moved mee Dee, I’m so glad you found a way to lift your days listening to our beloved boys, because they know how to give serenity, their voices are an injection of optimism and give us the impetus to face the day.
    You must know that you are not alone, here in the crew have many friends with whom to share your joys, and unfortunately even pain.
    We are all happy to be in your virtual family.
    I’ll try to get some information on your family.
    A long hug from Italy

    1. Thank you Daniela!!!! That story only touches the surface of the love for our guys!!! Their voices and music have brought me through so much!!

  9. Dear Dee I loved reading your IL Volo story sounds like what most of us felt like when we first heard and then saw IL Volo for our first time on tv, , then seeing that first live concert, they just get into your heart and soul and become a healing part of your life’s. I know ever since I first saw them on PBS they have just added so much joy to my life and I will always love them.

  10. Dear Dee, I loved your story and it also had me in tears. It is amazing to hear of the same effect these boys of Il Volo have on all of us! Their music and their voices seem to have healing qualities for our souls. I hope that the pain of losing your sister eases a bit as time goes on and I hope you find your family in Abruzzi. Looking forward to my first Il Volo concert in March!

  11. Hello ladies, your comments have shown me that complete strangers can have so much in common. Some of us have shared the loss of a loved one but the young men of Il Volo have brought us together to this blog where we have gained new friends. It’s a pleasure to have met you all here. I’m looking forward to meeting you in March. The anticipation is building.

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