Some time ago, I told you about the book written by Patrizia Ciava: “GRANDE AMORE AL PRIMO ASCOLTO, Il Volo, A Fan Tribute”.
This beautiful book, published by the Publishing House: AltrEdizioni, has been printed, for now, only in Italian, and I have already translated for you, the presentation of the Publishing House and the beautiful preface by Marino Bartoletti, in a post, immediately after the publication of the book.
As I have already told you, the first part of the book concerns articles written by the talented Patrizia Ciava, while the second part gathers stories of fans from all over the world, of how they got to know Il Volo.
Since the English edition has not yet been made, I asked Patrizia Ciava and the Publishing House for permission to translate the first of the fan stories. Kindly, both gave me their permission, and I thank them very much. So today, I propose you, the translation of the first fan story: LA FAVOLA DE IL VOLO E IAIA.
What I am about to tell you is a fairy tale, delicate and full of small and large daily gestures, of those lived with discretion and affection, in which the destiny of a little girl is intertwined at some point with that of three exceptional boys, three princes: Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio.
The fairy tale is about Ilaria, for many Iaia, a little girl with beautiful ringlets, graceful features, a naturally delicate and elegant gesture and two dark eyes, deep and penetrating, ready to light up with sweetness or shine with pride and courage.
A little girl apparently like many, but special for those who, like me, her mother and life partner, had the honor and privilege of knowing her.
It all began in late 2014, when Iaia was 5 years old and an important past behind her: at just 3½ her life had been marked by the discovery of a rare and serious oncology pathology.
Our fantastic family raised funds to give her hope and make her dream of life come true: destination, New York! My cousin Maria, contacted Il Volo and Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio immediately supported the fundraising, with personal gestures of solidarity, dedicating an evening in Abruzzo (presented by dear Francesca Martinelli, in the “Parco dei Principi” of Cellino Attanasio) and making an appeal to their fans.
The story of Iaia, crossed the borders of Italy and from all over the world, the fans responded with enthusiasm and affection.
At that time, our family had created a loving shell of discretion, to allow us to be able to live peacefully, the time available with her, but the fantastic family of Il Volo, with delicacy, wanted to know the little girl.
Initially the contacts were by telephone and there was no lack of occasion, in which they sent audio and video messages of greetings and encouragement; they even sent a video message to the New York doctor!
We did not imagine that boys, taken from such a dizzyingly fast and demanding life, could be so close to us!
I observed Ilaria, and I saw in her gaze, surprise and joy, every time a message came from them.
She was a difficult child to conquer, but they, slowly slowly, entered her heart. So many memories!
I remember the first time the boys participated in the Sanremo Festival, we had just arrived in New York, and we had organized ourselves to follow them in streaming.
The day before the start of the event, Ila wanted to give him a good luck and sing “Happy Birthday” to Gianluca for his birthday.
How much emotion in that sweet little voice and how much tenderness in Gianluca’s response, who promised her to dedicate to her with all his heart, the song they would sing.
There were many emotions on her face: surprise, pleasure and joy. She was overjoyed, she felt deeply flattered.
I remember that she started dancing on the bed from happiness.
This delicate correspondence between the boys and Ilaria continued over time and, returning from a trip to America, a surprise awaited us!
In fact, dear Francesco Di Donato, mayor of Roccaraso, told us that the guys from Il Volo wanted us at the opening concert of their Italian tour, which started right there. Ilaria and her brother, Alessandro, jumped literally with joy.
The big day came and we organized a dinner to give Ilaria the chance to meet them before the concert.
She had personally chosen the dress to wear that evening: candy pink tulle, which highlighted her small slender figure.
She was happy, but the closer the time came to meet them, the more tense she became! She was a girl with a very strong character, sometimes very lively, but when her most intimate emotions were involved, she closed herself up in silence.
That evening, Ilaria went down the restaurant stairs, like a radiant and excited Princess. The boys came up to her and hugged her gently. I perfectly remember the delicacy of their gestures and their looks ….. they treated her like a delicate flower.
Piero, Gianluca Ignazio and their whole family were discreet and sweet.
At one point, Gianluca went to where the children were playing and started drawing with them.
What surprised faces, Ilaria and Alessandro made! Both of them were excited and happy. We were already happy like this, we seemed to have received much more than what these fantastic guys could give, but promises are promises.
On the day of the concert, Iaia was sitting in the front row and looking at me agitated: she was not used to being the center of attention and it was not easy for her.
When Il Volo arrived on stage, she ran away. I went over to reassure her and the boys reassured her with their eyes, until, relaxed, she could enjoy that magnificent gift. How nice to hear her sing their songs and see her happy!
The moment of GRANDE AMORE arrived, the most magical moment of the evening. The boys kept their promise: they dedicated the concert to her and Gianluca dedicated the song to her.
Once again, surprised and flattered, Ilaria had shiny eyes. The emotions that showed through her eyes were strong and she sang,very excited, the song. The boys had given her a unique and special moment, unrepeatable and indescribable emotions.
After the concert, we said goodbye with the promise to meet again.
From that day four years have passed, years in which the boys of Il Volo have never stopped showing their affection to Ilaria, in various moments of her short life: birthdays, small and big daily hits, and also her First Communion.
Their affection has always struck us, they have given her a lot and they were in her thoughts. She often listened to their songs and sang them around the house with her dad, creating an alchemy of joy and happiness.
Unfortunately, this beautiful fairy tale had an ending that none of us wanted. In spring 2018, Ilaria’s conditions worsened, despite her desire to make the most of her days.
She had also decided to do something to help other children and for some time she had felt ready to sing in public. So in May, she decided to attend a charity concert, led by the hospital’s music teacher, Bianca.
On that occasion, she should have sung solo, a lullaby written for her. I remember that moment very well, it was May 30, when, during the last rehearsals, the teacher and Ilaria jokingly talked about beautiful songs, and Ilaria said: “But Bianca, now I’ll make you listen to GRANDE AMORE of IL VOLO!” So she started singing, proud and excited.
It was her last song!
The last time I heard her splendid voice singing, it caressed my heart.
Unfortunately, a few days later, Ilaria left us to become a beautiful angel.
In our hearts, the words that she wrote a short time before, to little cousin Greta, for her birthday, are always alive; in six words, the synthesis of her existence: “Life is beautiful, live it well!”
This is one of the most beautiful teachings that Ilaria has left to all of us, together with the affection and generosity that her dear friends of Il Volo continue to show us!
A heartfelt thanks to Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero and to all the Il Volo family.
The part of the book ends here, but I go further and I want to tell you that when Iaia left, the parents made the sad announcement and the boys made these statements: (taken from the article below)
“We hoped until the end that Ilaria could win her battle against the evil that had plagued her for years. We hoped she could do it. But this did not happen. We have always been in contact with her parents to learn about the evolution of the situation. Relationships never stopped and unfortunately we were aware that the girl’s condition had suddenly worsened. Nevertheless, we continued to pray for her, never abandoning the hope that a miracle could happen,” explains Ginoble himself together with the other members of the group, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto.
“On this day of mourning and sadness – the three say in a statement to Ansa (National Press Agency) – we feel even closer to the parents and little brother, convinced that Iaia from the top of the sky can guide us in the battle for a better world, especially for the more young.”
Iaia’s parents, founded a charity to help sick children, is called IL SOGNO DI IAIA, and is also on Facebook.
How sad, a little angel has gone to be among the hosts of paradise.
Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, had hoped until the end that she could stay, but God wanted her with him !!
Sleep peacefully, little Iaia. ❤️
Credit to owners of all photos. Thanks to Patrizia Ciava and the Publishing House, AltrEdizioni, for permission to translate the story of Iaia.