When They Were Children ~ Gianluca’s Story by Susan

Gianluca is very different from Piero and Ignazio. He had a calm and peaceful childhood. He didn’t have the challenges that Ignazio had or the intense classical education that Piero had. No, Gianluca lived a very simple life. Perhaps that explains why Gianluca is a romantic. With him, everything is about passion! Actually, four passions! Family, Country, Music, Soccer! Not necessarily in that order! He takes his passion for Abruzzo around the world with him. On tour he always speaks about Abruzzo. He loves his country and, he wants others to love it too!
So, let’s begin Gianluca’s Story in a small town in Abruzzo…. Montepagano!

My name is Gianluca Ginoble. I was born on February 11, 1995, at the Atri hospital.
I am from the town of Montepagano, Abruzzo. To be precise, I grew up, in Montepagano, on a hill two hundred meters as the crow flies and ten minutes by road from the sea, and Roseto degli Abruzzi.

The accents are beautiful, the dialects are beautiful, but I can say that what I prefer is the Abruzzese? I am, very, proud to be from Abruzzo. I love everything about this region. And I like to bring Abruzzo around the world and keep it high.
I am right at the sea. I’m relaxing, I’m calm! There is a sea breeze and nothing else. It’s Thursday and I am practically alone on the beach. I’m fine, from God! I’m fine because I’m home.
When I come home, I relax and I am calm, as I cannot be anywhere else in the world. And now, I can say I’ve seen a lot of places in the world. Coming home to Abruzzo, I feel like I am on vacation. Montepagano is right on top of the hill facing the sea, it seems to look like a postcard. It is here that I can get away from everything and everyone and stay in peace. Montepagano is a perfect place, a kind of paradise, but what concerns me is I see Abruzzo “emptying.” The boys achieve a diploma and go to study in Bologna or farther. This is not new this is something that I have seen since I was a child.

My life as a child seems so far away. I remember, very, little of my childhood! It’s like twenty years have passed but, only five have passed. I’m not like Ignazio I was born and raised in Montepagano. I was traveling only with dreams. What made me dream? Music naturally.
I had a radio with a knob that turns to find the radio station. What am I looking for? The songs of Andrea Bocelli, my absolute idol. Or Domenico Modugno, or others of this kind. In the summer, I would take the radio along when I went with my friends in what we call la pinetina (the small pine forest), that is a park with wooden games and tables and with lots of green space. Like today I was looking for music, for songs that inspired me and made me dream. My friends would listen to my music but, they liked Eiffel 65 and music from the early 2000s, and so they would tell me, come on, change…! What is this? I liked modern genres, I listened to everything, but what I loved was something else.

In November 2000, when Gianluca was five and a half years old, his brother Ernesto was born.
I was five and a half years old, when I was starting to hum. A year later I started to get interested in Bocelli and Modugno.

So, Ernesto’s is in his cradle and he’s listening to me sing these melodies. The most beautiful thing I remember and, it is a memory that I have printed in my head is when Ernesto was big enough to come to the small pine forest too, I made him listen to these songs that my friends did not appreciate. We sat close together on the ground and I placed the radio on my legs, or I sat on the swing with the radio resting on the ground and we listened to music that was so unusual for our age. I told him my dreams. I do not think I’ve ever had this confidence with anyone, and even today, it’s like that with my brother. The result is Ernesto has a natural talent for music. He has something “musically speaking,” both when he strums the piano in the living room, and when he sings. Who knows…studying? Today I trust him as I do not trust anyone else. After an exhibition I go to him for his opinion. Ernesto, how did I sing? Did you like the performance? He answers, well, yes, maybe you’ve been a little waning there. Ernesto always understands and gives me his opinion. He has never studied music, he has never studied singing, but he always knows how to give me the right advice, the right vision. It’s like when we sing together: I play the melody and he immediately makes harmony. At his age, I did not do that. I think the radio did well by him.

As I grew older, I became more passionate about singing, including the great American classics, first of all Frank Sinatra.

I’ve never studied music, if I have to tell the truth, but the music at home has always been there. My grandfather Ernesto has been a musician since he was a boy. He played the contralto flugelhorn in the band of the town, he toured all of Abruzzo doing performances with the band and has always been a lover of the opera.

My father Ercole, studied music, played drums and sometimes he still does. Let’s say he’s more rock than grandfather!
Dad and mom realized that I had something special in my voice when I started to sing at the age of three or four years. But, as it has always been, they let things take their way without ever forcing me.
Gianluca’s grandfather was the first to think of bringing him closer to music. He had a classic taste, more popularto say, he is one of those gentlemen who fifty years ago listened to Luciano Tajoli, but he is also an opera lover.
So, around the age of eight or ten, I began to listen to classical music, opera, especially Luciano Pavarotti, and some genre of music from the Fifties to the Sixties.

I took the tape recorder and put the cassettes in, my parents told me, it seemed like I was immersing myself in those notes.
They tell me that, when I was three years old, I sang O Sole Mio in the town square in front of all the elderly gentlemen friends of my grandfather who, sitting around the bar table, were listening to this little boy with such a particular voice.

This was my first audience but, of course I don’t remember it. My grandfather wanted me to study music, he always told me: “Gianluca, study the piano, study an instrument.” I’ve never done it. It would be a dream to sit down on the piano and start playing and singing. Let’s say it’s one of my next goals: learning to play the piano.
While my grandfather made me listen to classical music, Pavarotti and music from the Fifties-Sixties, my father made me feel Fabrizio De Andrè, Francesco De Gregori, Giorgio Gaber, Antonello Venditti and, as I grew older, I became more passionate about singing, including the great American classics, first of all Frank Sinatra.

So, let’s say that as a child I had a beautiful musical culture. What was left of that period? The classical opera no, because today I do not listen to it, it is not part of me and, I do not feel it particularly mine. The only opera singer I keep listening to is Andrea Bocelli, but I have come to him by another road.

I never liked school. I was a lazy man and I’ve never been a great scholar. But in spite of it, I had good grades. I liked algebra in middle school. But most of all I had always been fascinated by languages: Spanish, French, English. I did not have a hard time studying them, I am naturally inclined to study languages. I remember that when we sang the first songs in English and Spanish, I was the one who took the least time to do the right phrase, with the right pronunciation, because I immediately feel the musicality of foreign languages. I contribute this to listening to Sinatra who had perfect pronunciation and I understood every single word of what he sang. It was a great way to learn the pronunciation and even the songs.

After middle school I did not choose to go to linguistic high school, it was only because I thought that with my work I would travel and, I would learn the languages directly.
In 2009, I enrolled in a classical high school as a privatist to study Greek, Latin and French translations. This is also difficult. I liked Greek more than Latin. Then unfortunately I had to stop in the second year, I could no longer continue because the work was too demanding.

Between the age of eleven and thirteen, Gianluca enjoyed playing soccer, long games with Pokemon cards and, and always music!
Football has always been a great passion of mine. This too, like music, is a family passion.”
My father is a big fan of Pescara, as is my grandfather. They were also big fans of Vialli, no matter which team he played on because he was a myth for my father. And because Vialli also had a name that appealed to both my father and mother, when I was born, they named me Gianluca Vialli. Let’s say that name aside, my father gave me a piece of football culture. I am a big fan of Roma football, before Il Volo, more so. I watched all the games, I did not miss one, and every time Totti beat a penalty, I covered my head with my arms and, if I heard the scream from the television, I screamed from home. But now there are work commitments and that prevents me from following my favorite team. Even now, despite the commitments, I continue to play football as soon as I can.
If I have any regrets about my school years, it’s that I never studied music when I was ten or eleven. But there is still time.

When I go back to Montepagano I always try to organize a game with old friends with whom I trained in the youth teams of Roseto.
How did I play soccer? I was good, come on, I did not like losing, I wanted to score goals by force, I never passed the ball, and when I had the ball, I scored. Let’s say that I was a bit “instinctive” even on the football field.
Once when I was playing in Pescara there was a score of 4 to 4. I had already scored two goals, but the draw was not enough for me, I wanted the win. Only the field was difficult, it had rained, so there was a lot of mud. What happened? I pull, huge slide and I fill myself with mud, from head to toe. What do I do? I start shouting, ‘I got dirty!’ In all this, it must be said that the game was true, even if we were very young. There was the championship, with the ranking and everything else, it’s not that you could take and do what was going on in your head. The referee shouts, ‘Get up, what are you playing ball.’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I’m leaving, I’m all dirty!’ He shouts, ‘get up and go to the locker room.’ Not for nothing, they don’t call me the ‘little Cassano’ (famous Italian soccer player) for nothing. Cassano was so good and, he was so restless!’
Another time we were at the Borghesiana in Rome, at a national tournament. The Roseto was also in series C2 and even in the very young there were good coaches, competent, good, that when they told you one thing, that was that, because they knew what they were talking about. In that game at the Borghesiana, I do not even remember, against who we were, I did not score goals, the coach takes me away from the game. At the beginning I came back on the bench nice quiet, but after a moment they did everything to restrain me. I want to go in! I want to score!I was shouting. I kicked the coach. Now obviously, I would not do it again, even if football is still my passion.
This actually is the end of Gianluca’s childhood story but let’s think about this for a moment. If Gianluca didn’t become a singer, would he have become a soccer player? He was, real, good!
So, I started Gianluca’s story with his passion for country so let’s end with his passion for soccer. I will let Gianluca tell one more soccer story. In this story he is an adult! This was the soccer game that the guys played in for charity.

You cannot imagine the happiness of playing in the ‘Partita del Cuore,’ (Match of the Heart) a Telethon for Charity on June 2, 2015 at Juventus Stadium. The stadium, in fact, made Ignazio happy more than anyone, because he is a huge Juventino (a big fan of Juventus). I was more excited about having been called up for the first time in the National singers and even more for being able to score. The match was against the team of Champions for research, all great sports champions and big names in the show, from Alex Del Piero to Pavel Nedved, from Jorge Lorenzo to Liam Gallagher of Oasis. What a dream it was! The stadium was full of people cheering crazy. My team was losing, when I came in, we were 3 to 4 and not being able to do anything, apart from shouting directions to my team-mates on the pitch, it made me feel even more strained. It’s like, I know how to play football, you see the others, think about what you would do for them and tell them. No, you scream it, otherwise they will not hear you. Ignazio and I shrieked like crazy to Piero, and then Piero and I shrieked like crazy to Ignazio, but ‘my legs are trembling’, I had to run, enter the pitch, I wanted to score.

The coach made me enter in the 83rd minute.

 We were, as I said, under a goal, but I do not like losing football. So, I took the ball and I scored. What magic! The stadium was screaming, the guys ran to hug me, it was almost like winning the Sanremo Festival again.

So, Gianluca has scored not just in soccer but in music. An amazing young man with a tremendous voice. Gianluca’s Story was a simple story about a boy who grew up in a small town and became a Super Star!

Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!  
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com

What I have written here are excerpts from the book the guys wrote about their lives. “Il Volo, Un’avventura Straordinario, La Nostra Storia.” (An Extraordinary Adventure, Our Story) This is just a small piece of each mans’ story. The book is written in Italian. If you can read Italian, I would highly recommend that you read it. It’s wonderful! If not, I can only hope that someday it will be translated into English. Or you can use Google Translate to translate it.

I also recommend you read their second book “IL Volo: Quello Che Porto Nel Cuore” (What I Carry in My Heart).
And let’s not forget the new album. Available on Spotify,  Amazon, and other music media!
Credit to owners of photos and videos.

8 thoughts on “When They Were Children ~ Gianluca’s Story by Susan”

  1. thank you Susan for that look into Gianluca early life ,he loves football and is very competitive ,he doesnt like losing ,he has a great voice but the three have thier own unique voices so it works for them ,so they are not competing against one another plus they all do thier own solos ,i hope he knows how much people love him and his singing ,regards

  2. Tak for historien. Jeg ønsker meget at bogen bliver oversat til engelsk. Jeg vil så gerne læse den. De glemte at lære os italiensk i skolen i Danmark.

  3. We didn’t learn anything about Gianluca’s parents. I love knowing their family context. Can you tell us about them? LOVE reading your stories and LOVE these three guys. They are having such impact in the world. I pray for them and their families for strength, joy, peace during all of this, at this time in history! Thanks for all that you do!!

  4. I’m loving these stories about the guys as individuals! You know Gianluca is my favorite even though I love them all, he’s grabbed my heart…that voice and smile! “Anema e Core” has been one of my favorite songs for a very long time, that and now “Mi Mancherai” is one also. Gian’s delivery of both of them send me somewhere else….pure bliss! It would be nice to know more about Ercole and Eleanora who have done such a beautiful job of raising such a talented, humble and loving young man…….that’s is true of all the parents.
    I’m still so in awe of that little boy with the beautiful, powerful
    and controlled voice at such a young age, it’s no wonder he won the contest!
    Thank you Susan, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the stories but have been waiting for this one! You are so appreciated for all you do to help us to know and appreciate the boys and where they come from, very humble beginnings.
    I’m looking forward to my next concert and maybe seeing you there!
    Blessings and hugs,

  5. Many thanks again for the third lovely background story. I can see the childhood of each of them in the men they have become. I am particularly drawn to Ignazio and the trauma of his childhood and the way he has turned it into such generosity and his enormous and beautiful heart. Looking forward to you next writing x

  6. Such a lovely story about such a special young man! Thanks! Carolorlando and I have the same favourite songs by Gianluca, which keep are older hearts pumping. Igna and Piero have their special devotees, but Gianluca hasn’t been left out in the cold. Quite the opposite!

    Such a gentle soul with such a beautiful voice and those eyes are special, too. Hope his life continues on in the way it has been and he is a happy and content young man. Hugs, Dol

  7. Susan – thank you for sharing this lovely background on Gianluca – he is stunning with people which is a reflection of his impeccable upbringing – Gianluca is gentle & kind & seeing him with young babies & children melts my heart – yes we all agree Gianluca is beautiful to look at – those eyes – oh my!! – thank you Susan once again for the time you have taken to share your love of the boys with us all – I very much appreciate your hard work.

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