Jana & Lorna, the Adventure Continues, July 6-8, 2016 – A Walk Through “L’Amore Si Muove!”

Ok, grab your second cup of coffee and settle in to read the last part of our trip, it’s really long!  Enjoy!  (please forgive any typos, grammar, etc. I am exhausted!)  Dani, if you read this – please add anything I may have forgotten!)

Yes, as we neared the mountainous city of Montepagano, the skies were growing more menacing and then splat! splat! splat!!  We had nowhere to go but up, and up, the narrow path they called a road.  Those that have been there, know…. 🙂  On came the wiper blades and up the harrowing hill we went.  Round and round she goes…. Lorna, bravely traversing the road, put the SUV in gear and safely navigated us up the rainy 20160706_160735road.  The rain came down harder and harder and it was difficult to see at times.  To one side of us there was the bit of road, to the other, a 50 foot drop!  There really was no shoulder to go on.  Over too far and it was ciao, ciao, ciao!  The scariest part was when another car was coming from the other direction and they thought they were the only car on the road.  There was scarcely enough room for another car to pass.  We finally made it up the hill, holding our breath with each curve.  At one point, we finally reached some level ground and a bit of a clearing.  The rain was coming down even harder, so Lorna pulled off for about five or ten minutes until the rain finally let up a bit.  We looked around, and not sure how we did it, but we actually passed Montepagano!  Like, there was more than one town on this little mountain?  So, we saw a sign that literally said “Montepagano” with an arrow pointing to where we had already come.  Lucky for us, the rain had almost stopped and was now just a light sprinkle.  We made our way back down the treacherous path and followed the signs to Montepagano.

The streets were actually pretty deserted of people, but there were several cars parked.  It was a Wednesday, so maybe people were at work and it was also raining.  The rain had pretty much come to a stop, as the ancient cobblestones glistened with the dampness.  We were not sure where to go from there, but we followed Dani, with phones/cameras in hand.  We marveled at the beautiful buildings and architecture, of how it has withstood the time and the weather.  We passed the famous clock tower on 20160706_160723the way and ended up in the center of town.  As we got closer to the little café, we noticed a huge banner across with Gian and some words from L’amore Si Muove, although it really wasn’t registering with me yet.  We kind of recognized some of the words, but it still wasn’t clicking.  Dani told us that this was the place Gianluca’s 20160706_154419-1 - Copynonno owned at one time.  There were a few gentlemen outside at a table, even though it was still pretty wet.  Since it was still slightly sprinkling, we decided to go in.  It was not very big, but they sold espressos, I think some gelato and we saw a sign for Nuttella crepes!!  Surely, in honor of their most famous resident, Gianluca!!   So, of course, we had to try some Nuttella crepes and espresso.  I think Dani just had some espresso and we enjoyed our crepes.  I looked out the small window and saw a sign that said San Spirito.  Hmmm….

We finished our crepes and went outside.  Where to next?  We asked Dani if she could find where Gianluca or the Ginobles lived?  So, she just looked them up on her phone in 20160706_160529the Italian White Pages.  Well, of course – where else would they be?  She found the address was on San Spirito.  We wondered where that was.  Wait, that was the sign I saw looking through the window at the café!  I felt like we were in a mystery and had to solve the clues.

We went down and over a few streets, and sure enough, we found it.  We kept walking down to where his address was, but it had a different name on it.  Maybe for us fans, they had different names, so they wouldn’t be bothered!  So, we kept walking, and around another corner, Dani pointed out where nonno lived.  Even though the skies were 20160706_162335cloudy, it was kind of nice and still very beautiful.  As we walked, Dani was pointing out the famous landmarks and then she said, “you know, this is where they filmed part of the video for L’amore Si Muove!”  Of course!!  Now things were looking familiar and THAT’s why they had that big banner with the words from the song on it!  Well, after we realized that Dani brought the video up on her phone and we traipsed around, trying to find all the places we could, in the video.

We found the domed church, and made it up the hill to the famous bench.  We walked along around the edge of the town, facing the sea, wondering which window Leonora took her lovely sunrise and evening pictures from.  I think I took more pictures in Montepagano than anywhere else besides the Florence concert.  It was so beautiful.  We certainly know why Gianluca loves it so!  Up and down we went, over the cobblestone 20160706_171404paths.  It was amazing that people can actually get cars down there.  One or two actually passed us.  It didn’t seem much wider than a few sidewalks put together.  We remembered the one photo in the video where Ignazio is leaning against the wall of a building and the tower and lamppost are looming in the distance.  We tried and tried to find just the right spot and tried to get a photo of me imitating him on the wall.  After 20160706_172518 - Copyalmost half an hour, it seemed, we decided it was nearly impossible to find the right spot, even after we tried to do a screenshot and enlarge the picture.  I finally decided the video may have been edited over later because we could never seem to get the right angle.  We even tried a few different streets!

It was starting to get late and we had been there for several hours by then, so we thought we should be getting back home.  As we rounded the few more blocks and got back to the main part of the little town, Dani pointed out to us a taxi.  Out of the taxi, came Ercole and Alessio!  No, we did not take pictures as not to appear to be too nosy…  Ercole got out and went over to a big, black Volvo SUV, got in and drove away.  We decided they were just coming back from dropping Gianluca at the airport.  That was the day they were on their way to Mexico, to make up the concert that had gotten cancelled previously due to the hurricanes back in April or May?  Ok, that was exciting to see them  – so unexpected.  No, we didn’t run into the family, or nonno, or 20160706_171703anyone else – we weren’t quite as lucky as Jeannette or Jane and Marie, but it was still fun.  It was this magical little adventure in this incredible small town, almost like a fairy tale, that no one had touched in hundreds of years.

We decided to make our way back to our car, we were pretty exhausted by then.  And what to our wondering eyes did appear?  O sole mio!  Yes, as we were leaving, the sun decided to come out!  I snapped a few more pictures under sunny skies and Lorna decided she wanted a picture under the “welcome to Montepagano” sign.  So we both took our pictures under the signs.  We waved arrivederci as we drove on out of the city. I guess we were actually pretty lucky it 20160706_173549was cloudy most of the time we were there, as it was starting to warm up pretty quickly in the short time the sun was out.

The ride down did not seem as scary in the sunshine, although the road was still pretty narrow.  It seems we took the back way down.  We got down to the main road and turned right.  Our Montepagano adventure was over.  We made our way back through the several round-abouts – they didn’t seem so bad in Italy…. I hate the ones here!  We passed a mall on the way and we asked Dani if we could go there.  We wanted to pick up a few things.  Inside the mall was a store like a Target or Walmart that had just about everything from food to clothes.  We picked up a few things and I 20160706_173753got a few boxes of biscotti made in Abruzzo and we got some really cheap Moscato – a whole 3 euros!  We dropped off Dani and then we realized we forgot to give her her CDs.

I wanted to go by the sea again, but we never made it.  We texted Dani that we were coming back.  Not many of you may know this, but Dani’s family has an olive oil factory, called Corneli.  How awesome is that?  We kept trying to ask her to buy some olive oil to take back with us, but she never let us!  However, when we went back to give her the CDs, she came out with two very special bottles of lemon infused olive oil!!  OMG! We were so surprised and tickled!  I admit, I had never had lemon olive oil before.  I could not wait to go home and try it on my salad!  We thanked her and hugged goodbye.

We made it back to our hotel.  We were pretty tired and we had to get up fairly early again, as we had to have the car back to Rome by 10:00am.  Lorna wasn’t really hungry, so our dinner consisted of Moscato, biscotti, and M&Ms that I had brought – they 20160706_181559-1 - Copywere the pretzel ones that I love!  I gave a bag of them to Dani, as well!  🙂  The Moscato was pretty good, too!

Again, we got up early and this time I was up before the sunrise to get ready and leave.  We had packed the night before and we were going to take showers in the morning.  However, sleep won out and we decided to skip the shower.  We went downstairs to pay20160707_060912 the bill.  Unfortunately, Italians do not believe in eating breakfast early, so once again, we missed breakfast!  The only hotels we managed to have breakfast in was the first one!

Part Two – All Roads Lead to Rome (or so they say….)

We had to get some gas and Dani had pointed out to us a self-serve place for us to go in the morning.  Ok, we got there shortly after 7a and it was pretty deserted.  We found the pump and even the somewhat English directions.  Ok, how hard could this be?  After several attempts, we were ready to give up.  We got as far as putting in our card, after we figured out it only took MasterCard, but couldn’t figure out where to put how many gallons or money that we wanted.

I spotted a guy a few pumps over and I told Lorna to move to a different one and I was going to go over and ask him.  Now this was brave – lol!  He looked to be middle-aged, and hopefully a nice guy.  I went over to him and asked him, in English, very slowly, if he spoke English.   He said, “no!”  I said, “little bit?”  He said, si.  He was pumping his gas and I was all excited that he understood some English.  I looked at the pump, looked at him, 20160707_080517and gestured with my hands a “how to” expression and said, “come?”  I guess I was being a bit anxious and he almost shouts, “aspettero!”  Huh, what?  Oh, “wait!”  Ok.  🙂  Ah, we can thank Il Volo for their song “Aspettero!” – I knew what he meant!  I shut up and waited until he was done.  When he was finished, he walked over to us and showed us how to pump the gas.  We thanked him politely and we were soon on our way again – about 30 minutes later!!  So much for stopping for breakfast anywhere.  We did take a bit of a snack type of cake from the hotel to eat, as that was all they had sitting out so early when we left.  But not even any coffee!

We left Silvi and Montepagano and tearfully said goodbye…this was it, our final leg of our tour of Italy.  All we had left was Rome and then, home from there.  It was a beautiful and sunny day.  A gorgeous ride on the highway.  Lorna and I were amazed at how little traffic there really seemed to be.  But we quickly found out that all the traffic was in Rome!  Lol!

We made our way down the lonesome road, passing the beautiful Apenine mountains and low-hanging clouds, amid the blue sunny skies.  The traffic picked up a bit as we neared Rome.  We didn’t seem to get much gas at that gas station, so we stopped at a roadside little pit stop.  That, I have to say was the coolest thing ever!  Wish we had those20160705_141159 at home.  You literally just pulled off to the side of the road, they filled your tank and you were on your merry way!  Which is what we did – almost!  (ok, this was over a year ago, so we can laugh about it now.  I was not even going to put this in there, but it makes for an interesting ending to our adventure!)

As many of you know and I had mentioned, Roma traffic is crazy!  There are two lanes, but three lanes of traffic!  We were kind of on a boulevard street and trying to get back into traffic.  It was awful… we went a little ways and we were still on the right side of the road.  As Lorna was inching nearer the street, the closer and closer the edge of the back of the truck came to our vehicle!  Of course, it was on my side – I’ve been in accidents before and knew the awful anxiety and anticipation of knowing at any second your vehicle was going to collide with something else!  “You’re going to hit the truck, 20160705_143151you’re going to hit the truck!”   I screamed, or I thought I did?  Sure enough, rr-iii-pp, screech, crack!  Oh no!  First thing I said, “you got the insurance, right”  “Yep,” she said.  Ok, whew!   🙂   I was afraid to get out of the car.  I got out and looked.  What we collided with was the – not sure how to describe this, but the truck was a medium-sized delivery type truck with the elevator type mechanism that would go up and down and we hit like the side bracket of it.  It tore a slit into the front quarter panel of the SUV just like it was opening up a zipper.  Looked pretty bad, but car was still drivable, thank goodness!

Quickly, two screaming Italian men came out after hearing the noise.   We could not understand them, but we got the meaning!  lol!  We waved the car rental papers and said we were Americans.  There was, of course, no damage to their truck, so thankfully, they just shook their heads and waved us on.  Ok, we were a bit stressed out by then.  We had nearly made it back without a scratch and now this!  Ok, Lorna had the insurance, so we should be ok.  We were just a few miles away from the parking garage.  It was just about 10:00am by now.  We should be ok.

We managed to somehow find the parking garage – thanks again to Google maps. I still want to send them a note one day and tell them they saved our behinds many times 20160707_080632 - Copywhile in Italy!!  Anyhow – we were in the final stretch.  Up the levels we went – almost as harrowing as the road up to Montepagano, but at least it wasn’t raining.  However, these were hairpin turns getting level to level.  We had just made it up to the fifth level and had just made it around the final turn – almost!  What happened next you ask?  Well….how about – SCREECH and CRUNCH!  You are thinking, “No….!”  Oh, YES!!  Lorna was driving very slowly and carefully, but it was just that final turn she misjudged a bit.  Luckily, or unluckily, the guys that were from our rental place saw it happen!  Lorna tried to back up, which started the scraping sound again.  On my side again, also!!

Quickly, the guys run over to her and yell “stop, stop!!  We will take it from here!”  Oh boy – so, I stayed in the car, while the guy jumped in and expertly backed out and maneuvered the car around the corner to safety.  He parked and I got out, and went to meet Lorna and gather the bags.  I was truly afraid to look.  It looked positively awful.  The zipper rip in the front quarter panel was nothing compared to the almost completely scraped side of the vehicle.  As I think about it now, I was lucky I could get out of the door.  I took one look at the car, and it must have been out of sheer nerves and stress, but I burst out laughing!  This was no laughing matter, but I could not control my obvious hysteria.

I was losing track of time by then, but nearly an hour later, it seemed, we were finally out of there and walking back to the train station.  We were starved and I remembered a McDonald’s was near there.  It was shortly after noon by then and McDonald’s was packed!  We managed to find 2 stools open in the bar-like area.  I left Lorna with the bags and went to get in line for lunch.  We had booked the tour to see the Basilica and were supposed to be by the steps of them by about 1:30p/1:45p.  It was nearly 1p by then.  We tried to get Uber to take us to our hotel, unfortunately this time, the driver spoke no English and we never connected.  Lorna asked where the hotel was and I had no idea.  We looked it up and realized we were within walking distance.  Ok, good thing for us!  So, we walked the few blocks.

When we got there, we encountered the only screw-up I had through the whole trip!  Somehow I had booked the previous night for the hotel!  Oh no, we were so tired and exhausted by this point.  “Do you have a room?”  Luckily, they did.  Awesome!  She said it’s on the 6th floor and oh so pretty, but the elevator only goes to the 5th floor, so we would have to take our luggage up the stairs.  “No, no more stairs.  You have to find us something else.”  I think she found us the smallest room they had, but it was on the 2nd floor, so we took it.  This was the tiniest room ever.  As I look at it now, I don’t think it was much bigger than my current bedroom!  It barely fit a double bed and dresser.  The bathroom was around the corner and not much bigger than a closet.  We both flopped on the bed in sheer exhaustion!  It had to be the worst and lumpiest bed ever!  I looked at the clock, about 1:15p, and I looked at her.  The tour was pre-paid, but I said, “I’m ok with skipping the Basilica, if you are.”  She agreed and we collapsed on the bed for a long nap!

As we lay on the bed, I remember calling Marie, almost in tears and said, “I want to come home!”  We had been through Rome twice and never saw any of it!  And not because we had a bad trip, it was incredible, but that last day just did us in.  After about a 2 -3 hour nap, we woke up and decided we should at least go and find dinner somewhere.  After20160707_190416 walking up and down our street where the hotel was, we decided it probably wasn’t the greatest of neighborhoods, so we ended up eating at this almost, only restaurant, across the street from our hotel.  Lorna had a pizza and I had the special which was 3 courses and dessert.  We each had a glass of wine.  I had pasta, and then chicken and roasted potatoes.  It was pretty good.

We went back to our room and got ready for bed.  I think I took my shower that night.  As we got ready for bed, we realized we both left some of our bathroom items in Silvi!  I also left my one and only sweater!  We both decided it must mean we have to go back one day to get them.  🙂

The bathroom – as you can tell from pictures, I’m not a small person.  Lorna is about half my size!  However, the tiny corner shower stall was so small, I literally had to go in sideways to get in and then I had to squeeze this body in.  Ok, the pasta, pizza, and gelato, must have caught up with me!  But Lorna agreed, it was a pretty tight fit, even for her.

We checked out and the hotel called us a cab to the airport.  We safely got to the airport and looked around at the passing scenery as much as we could, as that was all we would see of Rome…

After we checked in, we had breakfast.  We then stopped in an Armani store – they were having a sale.  Ha, ha!   We managed to find a sale corner and Lorna bought me a 20160708_085145souvenir t-shirt that said Armani on, similar to one Ignazio wore.  She bought one for herself as well.  It was the biggest one they had and it “almost” fit.  Let’s just say I won’t be wearing it in public for a really long time!

It was time to board….we happily thought of the guys, every time they said “il volo” and smiled.  Arrivederci, Roma!  It was a long flight and thankfully, uneventful.  We arrived on time and made it easily through customs and found our bags in the baggage area, just the other side of customs.  We could have had the guys in our luggage and they never would have known.  They just asked what we brought back and I said souvenirs.  Ok, would have been 3 very large souvenirs, but definitely souvenirs, wouldn’t you say?  🙂

Ah, home, at last!  Ginny picked us up from the airport and then dropped Lorna off.  She came by my place a little while later, but I felt bad because I think I fell asleep!  We were pretty tired.

We came back on Saturday, so I had one day to recover before going back to work on Monday.

41 thoughts on “Jana & Lorna, the Adventure Continues, July 6-8, 2016 – A Walk Through “L’Amore Si Muove!”

  1. All I can say is, God must have blessed you👌. Thanks for sharing your fantastic, unforgettable adventure with us. I could almost feel the car 🚗 scraping the wall and hitting the truck lift. But, you made unscathed. A really memorable trip.

  2. Your bravery to even consider driving a rented vehicle in a foreign country is astounding. My husband and I drove from Milan to Lake Como. When we got there “I” was shaken and exhausted on flat roads. He drove. Your visit sounded lovely and to be able to visit where Gianluca lives is wonderful.. Happy you both made it home safely and thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • The main highways are just like any other, but it’s those big cities that get you. Actually, Silvi was not too bad.

  3. I loved your story. What a great adventure that I am sure was a trip you will remember forever. And hopefully leaving some belongings behind does mean you will be back in Italy, maybe for the next Il Volo tour. We were in Italy for 3 weeks this last May and we were enchanted especially by the smaller towns with less commotion. Would love to see Montepagano, Naro and Marsalla someday. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    • Yes, Lorna wanted to go to Sicily, but we just did not have the time. I only had limited vacation and had to go back to work! The bad thing is that everywhere you go, you want to go back again, but you have to see something new, instead.

  4. Wonderful story Jana! I loved every word as it brought back many similar memories! You write so beautifully, as if you take us there with you. I give you and Lorna so much credit for your bravery in driving in Roma!! You had a trip of a lifetime! I am so happy for you!! Thanks for sharing it all with us!!

    • Yes, but you drove in Sicily!! That seemed even scarier, up those really narrow roads…. Luckily, we were pretty close to the main highway there from the train station, but it was definitely an experience!

  5. Grazie for sharing your adventure! Those unforeseen mishaps make for some unforgettable stories !! On your next trip, you will forever keep in mind those dos & don’t! Love your story❤️

    • Yes, would have been a bit of a boring story if everything went according to plan? 🙂 It does make things a bit more exciting! Expect the unexpected!

  6. What a marathon! You guys had a memorable trip–everyone goes to Rome, but you went to places that are off the beaten path. You will never forget this amazing trip! Kudos to you and Lorna, and thanks for sharing it all with us.

    • Yes, I loved our itinerary – it changed several times, which is how I messed up the Rome hotel – we were supposed to be there the previous night, but we added the Verona concert, so it threw everything off a day! Sometimes you have more fun in the planning, I really did have a ball. Looking at all the tours, choosing our hotels and really only going by pictures an reviews!

      • Isn’t it great when things live up to or surpass their advancing billing? I love when you go to a place thinking that you are going to like such and such and once you get there you find more interesting things that you never expected.

      • true, you can only expect so much from pictures – I do like a good adventure, even though I like a solid plan – I must be in constant conflict with myself! lol! Must be my split Gemini personality! 🙂

  7. Jana, I really liked your visit to Montepagano, it’s really a very small town and the pictures you have made are beautiful, you’re right, you know why Gianluca loves her little country.
    It was a very nice but very hard trip, I do not think it will be enough for a day to resume the forces.
    It was not easy, but you were very good. Compliments.

    • Of course, everywhere we went we wish we had had more time. I’m glad we were in Florence for 3 days, was just about right! Wish I had planned 3 days in Silvi, but I wanted a day to recover at home before I went back to work. Grazie mille!

  8. I enjoyed reading about your adventure to Rome and seeing the sights in Italy. I know you had some puzzling happenings but with the aid of some kind Italians you made it to your destinations. So glad you had fun, it was fun for us to just reading about it. Glad you are home safe and perhaps another trip in the future.

  9. Jana & Lorna congradulations on your successful trip even though some of it was harrowing at times. You will be laughing about a few years from now. Now you can tell Gianluca that you were practically near his front door. Now from this experience you can prepare for your next trip perhaps Ignazio’s & Piero’s homes. Marsala is at the bottom of Italy at water of course & Piero is about an eighth of a distance in the same part of Italy which will be easier. I was looking at an Italian map to find out how far away their homes are from each other. So maybe the next trip will e easier. Glad your trip will be something you will remember forever.

  10. Yes, each trip I take, whether near or far, is very memorable. I went to Germany way back in 1987 and I still remember it well. Germany is very beautiful also! I think I did tell Gianluca we went to Montepagano at one of the meet/greets. I also told Ignazio we had to go all the way to Italy, to hear them sing Per Te Ci Saro – my all time favorite song, after This Time…. and Un Amore Cosi Grande. 🙂

  11. As always, thank you all for your kind and beautiful comments. Yes, this was a trip of a lifetime and it might be a miracle if I ever get to return, so I packed in as much as I could, a little off the beaten path, in as much time as I could spare. Yes, it was a bit daunting to rent a car in an unfamiliar city and country and just take off to the other side of the country! But Italy is really not all that big – kind of like the size of Florida, maybe a bit bigger. And taking the speed trains were the best, they really are quick. It took us over 4 hours to get to Chicago from Detroit and only 3 hours from Verona to Rome!

    I am glad I was able to take you all with me. In case anyone was wondering, Lorna and I got along really well, having never really travelled together anywhere. Of course we joke about her driving now, whenever we go anywhere together. 🙂

    Glad you all enjoyed the trip – no plans for anything in the near future though. Have to save up for the next Il Volo adventure – wherever that may lead us!

    ciao!
    jana

  12. Thank you Jana for sharing your amazing and wonderful trip with us. I really give you and Lorna so much credit for planning and doing so many things on your own. It really was an “extraordinary adventure” and you handled all the difficulties that came your way and managed to enjoy yourselves and have a memorable and never to be forgotten trip!

    • Yes, memorable indeed. I only wish they had the meet/greets last year, like they did this year, but it was still awesome. Both my mother and Lorna’s mother laughed at my itinerary. I literally had everything all typed and printed out – day by day, each tour, with each hotel, address, phone number, trains, car info, etc. Each time I just ripped off a page when the day or event was over. I was pretty organized. 🙂 I had a copy of it printed out for me and for Lorna, it was like over 10 pages of stuff, or at least one page a day or so.

  13. Wow you had quite the adventure of a lifetime! I applaud your bravery and courage to do it the way you did. Even this pirate would have not had the courage to drive on a tight mountain road as you did! Or drive a car in Italy at all! I remember those roads! Scared the bejeebus out of me they did!. I was delighted you found THE BENCH! Beautiful picture of the two of you!
    Oh and you really should try that lemon-oilive oil on some asparagus and roast them. Delish!

    • Ahoy there matey!! 🙂 Have you been hiding away drinking your rum, or has ye parrot been keeping you tied down? 🙂

      Oh, it really was not that brave – lol! Of course, once we got on the mountain, there really was no turning back 🙂 Yes, I think I did forget to mention that Montepagano was my absolute most favorite part of the trip. Just finding those spots from the video, I felt like I was a little kid and about 5 years old, not 50!

      The olive oil on the asparagus sounds awesome. I have to say, it didn’t last too long. I shared it with my friends on a few salads, and a little cooking with it and shared the last of it on a salad with my dad and his wife and it was all gone! 😦 It was just like liquid gold!

      • Tisn’t that I be in hiding but that I have been laid low withi a terrible stabbing pain in me back. I went to me doctor to see what scurvy knave left his dagger in my back and the Doctor found none and instead called my agony S-c-a-t-i-c-a. However I be a brave and hardy pirate and have striven to ignore the stabs!

  14. Great finish to the story of your trip, Jana! And I loved all the pictures. I felt like I was right there with you and Lorna! I would like to try driving in Rome! I drove to the Kansas City airport to pick up a tour director that was going to speak to my choir before our Rome trip. One the way he told me I would be a good driver in Rome. I guess I did mention to him how fast I usually drive! LOL

    • Grazie mille Pat!! That is a funny story, but it takes more guts than speed, I think to drive in Rome!! Of course, I didn’t think I could drive in LA, or all the way from Vegas to LA, either and I did!! 🙂

      Lovely conversation last night!!! 🙂

  15. Below is the comment from Dani – our brave tour guide into Montepagano. For some reason, she is not able to access the Word Press to comment, so she IMd me on Facebook and here it is below!!

    hi! I wanted reply to your story on the website of the Flight Crew,, i used to comment through Facebook cause I don’t have wordpress, but it doesn’t work anymore!

    It was nice to read your story, that’s my comment that I wasn’t able to post

    Jana you’re very good at writing about your adventures, but I already knew that! One think that I remember of Montepagano that you didn’t mentioned was that the girl at the café very kind of her, tell us some informations about Gian and his Nonno, of course she spoke in italian so you and Lorna didn’t understand it! I told hee you two were from US and were in Italy for IL Volo’s concerts in Florence and Verona, she was impressed I think! She said that Gianluca wasn’t in Montepagano, but we already knew were he was, Mexico! She also said that his Nonno was in that café every day but that day, maybe because was raining, he didn’t show, “maybe later” she said. She told all this things but we didn’t ask anything, she was so kind 🙂 I must say that Jana & Lorna were very brave ladies, it was a joy to meet them, maybe I am the worst guide they could find but we had fun, for sure!

    • I’m so glad she remembered this!! Yes, was just a bit of poor timing that we did not see anyone, but it was still the best time ever!! 🙂

  16. Ok !! I just finished reading the last two installments of your adventure Jana and after also reading the first ones a year ago my humble opinion is that you should combine them all into a book !! I’m not kidding !! You write so beautifully with so much detail that I felt as if I went on your exciting journey with you and Lorna !!! It would be a Best Seller for sure !! 📚

    • Thanks Joanie – not sure about that and I’m not the only one that has ever been to Italy! I did sort of enter this contest though through that Italian newspaper and was considered in the running, but they chose someone else. I submitted our Siena day trip. Weren’t you part of the granny groupies? At least you guys ran into relatives. We never ran into anyone! I did want to do a memory book though on Shutterfly. It takes a lot of time though.

      • Jana you might not have been the only one that’s gone to Italy but the narration of your trip was like reading a beautiful, descriptive book about Italy and your adventures !! Its fabulous !! I loved reading it !! Yes I am one of the Granny Groupies. We were very fortunate to have met up with Gianluca a lot of relatives and had 6 articles about our trip written up in the newspapers in Italy and Sicily which we never in a million years expected !!! It was memorable !! Now a lot more people have gone over because of the boys and more and more beautiful memories are being made !!

      • That is so sweet of you to say that. It would need a lot more editing! lol! I’ll think about it… Thanks!

        I took the one “post” from the Siena day and REALLY edited it and even rewrote some, just to enter it into that contest. Although, I have to say when I was done, it was nearly a piece of perfection! lol!

        Not sure I could be a full time writer – it takes so much time! lol! Although, several people have told me I should write a book, on varied topics of things I’ve written… 🙂

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