A year without our guys in Taormina is like a year without sunshine. More than any other concert, the die-hard fans look forward to Taormina. Taormina is that laid back place where we can walk around meet all the other fans and certainly bump into the guys along the way.
Taormina is the heart of Il Volo. I know professionally Verona would probably come out on top but, if you asked the guys what is your favorite place to perform, I think they will say it is “Taormina.” I think this is because they are at home in Taormina. Their families join them, and they enjoy the beauty of one of the most amazing Arenas in the world.
Last year I wrote a story called, “Il Volo Land” because Taormina truly belongs to IL Volo. The restaurants and shopkeepers look forward to Il Volo fans arriving and taking over the city. By the end of the concerts, the shopkeepers and restaurants need a rest. It is nonstop for at least a week! If you truly want to have the full experience of Il Volo you must see a concert at Taormina.
Until then I am missing Taormina as I know many of you are. So today I am going to remind you of all the beauty and love that was shared in June 2022 and how things are When the Guys Go to Taormina.
Taormina is one of those places you never forget! From her position on a hilltop, she looks down over the beautiful Ionian Sea and she constantly witnesses the eruptions of Mount Etna. In the evening the glow from Etna adds to her beauty and thrills us with a fiery display.
Tourist season in Taormina is almost year-round. The magnificent resort lures the jet set with its elegant hotels and spas. In the evening the streets are lined with shoppers who wouldn’t dream of leaving Taormina without one of her treasures. Perhaps a trinket from one of the many jewelry shops.
Taormina is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is a city where you get lost in your dreams but, it is so much more than a dream….
Every now and then, the tourists go home, and the city becomes a magical place! A place where groups of people come together in total alliance. It’s not about the elegant resorts or the fabulous restaurants. No, it’s so much more! It’s the time when Taormina is transformed into a magical place. Thousands of people in love with three handsome Italian men line the streets waiting for the first sight of their guys…. And then, Taormina becomes Il Volo Land….
Early on Saturday morning, New York time, I got a message from one of the fans that read, “Ignazio has arrived.” She told me the minute Ignazio was spotted, everyone stopped what they were doing, ran out of the shops and went in search of him. I found out that he can clear out every shop along a street in two minutes flat!!! Mr. Personality! Ignazio it seems you were in everyone’s picture and selfie on Instagram and Facebook.
Ignazio held down the fort and entertained the fans until Piero and Gianluca arrived!
When the guys come to town, they turn it upside down!
The guys take one of the most famous tourist spots in the world and turn it into IL Volo Land.
The fans start planning for this event as soon as the date of the concert is posted. Every hotel, guest house and apartment is booked long in advance of the concert.
They start to arrive about five days before the guys. They move around making their plans for how and where they will all meet, what dinners they will share, and they tell stories about past concerts that they have attended.
Many of the videos today are from June 2022 but I have also included some from past concerts.
While the guys were having lunch another member of the Il Volo family was out working the crowd and stealing the heart of the fans.
Luna would not dream of missing an opportunity to meet the fans. She works the streets very well and accepts the loving pats from all of her fans!
Dinner time is the time to meet!
Dinner at La Botte seems to be the one thing everyone can agree on!
So, who gets together? Some are new fans but mostly they are the old die-hard fans. They come back year after year! These are not just fans they are exceptional people who love the guys and have followed them for fourteen years!
But, if you’re a new fan and you don’t know where to go, then take a tip from me!
Go to BAM BAR!
There’s always an interview with the guys and this time it was at BamBar.
Barbara di Palma met Gianluca and Piero and did a very nice interview which was televised on WEEKLY a show that is broadcast on Rai1!
Daniela as always did the translation of the video.
Daniela and I agree that Taorimina is a magical place where in addition to listening to good music you can meet Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca walking through the streets or eating a granita at Bambar.
As always, I advise you to read the interview and then listen to the video:
BARBARA: I moved, I’m in a symbolic place in Taormina. The greatest artists stop here to eat the famous granita, and so I thought, for our first episode, to try to organize a little surprise.
I wanted to do it triple, but in reality I managed to do it double: Gianluca Ginoble and Piero Barone … Il Volo !!
(From the studio there is a voice) “The friends of Il Volo, how wonderful,” and Francesca says, “I do the third. Ignazio’s part!
GIANLUCA: Look at Ignazio how beautiful he is, how Ignazio has changed.
PIERO: Can I ask you a question Ignazio?
BARBARA (she imitates Ignazio’s voice): Tell me Piero, tell me.
PIERO: For 10 years I have seen you with a goatee, you are more beautiful without a goatee.
BARBARA: This morning I took off my goatee to be younger, because I’m growing up (laughter)
GIANLUCA: Good morning from Taormina, from the wonderful Taormina.
WOMAN: (voice from the studio) Hi guys, what a nice surprise!
BARBARA: Tonight, and tomorrow night they have to sing, cheer the whole audience of the Greek Theater of Taormina, and you don’t know what’s behind the cameras, then I’ll show you (she refers that behind the cameras there are all the fans who are waiting).
PIERO: We weren’t ready for the unexpected, it was something suddenly …… (Piero jokes to make it clear that they knew the interview was there)
BARBARA: In fact, we came to eat a granita ….
PIERO: …. I go out in the morning wearing this (he shows the earphone to his ear, Gianluca has it too, precisely because there was the interview).
You got it, I feel comfortable wearing this!
GIANLUCA: You from the studio and you from home, for those who are watching us, what a surprise, look how wonderful ….. (Saretto del Bambar’s daughter arrives and brings them the slushes).
BARBARA: The famous granita. So, Federica, at this moment I am Ignazio. What’s your favorite flavor?
FEDERICA: Ignazio prefers peach and raspberry.
BARBARA: And they (Gian and Piero)
FEDERICA: They prefer almond and strawberry.
BARBARA: By now they are like little brothers to you.
FEDERICA: Of course, we have known them for many years.
GIANLUCA: We also greet the father, Saretto, who is watching us.
PIERO: Do you know what her father Saretto did?
One day for my birthday in Naro, two hours from here, he came as a surprise with the trolley of slushes, we were celebrating 4 or 5 years ago, and he arrived with the trolley of slushes. Saretto, a huge kiss (he sends a kiss).
GIANLUCA: We love you!
BARBARA: Taormina, you really have it in your heart, because it was also the first great theater that welcomed you, before the great success of Sanremo.
GIANLUCA: Yes, we were here in July 2014 (they won Sanremo in 2015), it was the first Italian concert, while our career started in 2009. Then, after the victory of the festival they started to know us also here in Italy, but it was weird for us.
BARBARA: The Greek Theater of Taormina believed in you, before the others!
GIANLUCA: Then, our musical genre is suitable for these prestigious and beautiful places like the Theater of Taormina, like the Arena of Verona. It’s always a pleasure to be able to sing and maybe represent our music, in such places ….. beautiful, let’s say.
BARBARA: In fact it is a curiosity that I had, that is, when you sing at the Arena of Verona or at the Greek Theater of Taormina, which have a truly unique setting, when you interpret the songs, does it give you an extra boost compared to a normal stage?
PIERO: It is clear, having the awareness of singing in a prestigious place, makes us feel privileged, sharing our music in these beautiful places, especially in Italy, but also in other places, in America, in Japan, we try not to lose never that emotion, that desire to be amazed and perhaps this, after 13 years of career, is the reason why, when we go on stage, we always feel the same sensation.
BARBARA: Instead you see here, your audience on the street following you … tell me Carolina (the woman from the studio)
CAROLINA: I was actually listening to the stories about the various tours and I was wondering what was the stage that they didn’t do, but that they would like to do …. where?
PIERO: In Italia?
CAROLINA: Even abroad, all over the world.
GIANLUCA: Look, there is a place where we would love to sing and it is the Baths of Caracalla (in Rome, where the concert of the 3 tenors was performed), and therefore it is not very far and it is a magical place ….
MAN: (from the studio) and then you come here to Weekly ….
GIANLUCA: Absolutely, then we come to you, but we invite you to one of our concerts, let us know where you want to come, it would be nice …
CAROLINA: Where can we come?
PIERO: Let’s start from Italy, we will sing in Taormina, Agrigento in the Valley of the Temples, Torre del Lago, and many other concerts. Then we move to America, Japan and after 10 years, we will finally return to Australia.
We had two and a half years off, finally it seems that everything is back to normal.
After two and a half years we have planned a tour of around 100 concerts and so we are loaded.
BARBARA: I don’t know if you have heard, but the people behind us speak the languages of half the world.
BARBARA: Two women from Brazil came to Taormina for their concert.
MAN: (from the studio) I wanted to ask Piero and Gianluca something, a hot comment, Ignazio is good though, is he getting along as a correspondent? (He means Barbara in the part of Ignazio)
GIANLUCA: Ignazio gets away with it, yes.
PIERO: Can I tell the truth?
PIERO: I called Ignazio, and he answered the third call and I said: “Igna, where are you? Maybe we need to do an interview, there is a live broadcast on RAI1”
And he: “You do it, I’m sleeping.”This is reality! (laughs).
GIANLUCA: It’s not true, he’s kidding!
PIERO: He went to sleep late, tonight he has to sing, he also has to rest.
BARBARA: I haven’t tasted the granita yet. Good, peach and raspberry.
CAROLINA: Next stop?
BARBARA: This evening and tomorrow evening the Greek Theater of Taormina.
PIERO: Do you know what the next step is?
In a week we will have the honor of singing for Pope Francis at the world meeting of families on June 22nd. So, see you on June 22nd.
BARBARA: And a few days ago, you interpreted our hymn in a way that always excites us a lot, with the celebration of June 2nd, and we have a little piece, right Carolina and Fabio?
CAROLINA: Sure, let’s watch it, let’s watch this video of June 2nd with you protagonists. Thanks to the friends of Il Volo.
How well do the guys know Saretto the owner of BAM BAR. This is a picture from 2018.
After the interview, the guys walked around met fans and just enjoyed themselves until it was time for the concert!
When night falls, the Concert begins.
The magnificence of Taormina becomes even more apparent at night fall! The ruins are lit, and the fans are in line waiting to enter the Ancient Greek Theater. The main attraction in Taormina is the Ancient Greek Theater. Built for the most part of brick it seems more likely that it is Roman rather than Greek. The plan and arrangement are in accordance with the Greek style rather than Roman. It is most likely that the present structure was rebuilt over the foundations of an older theatre of the Greek period.
The theater is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts. The greater part of the original seats have disappeared, but the wall which surrounded the whole cavea is preserved. In most ancient theatres only traces of the original remain but here they are preserved in an uncommon state of integrity. From the fragments of architectural decorations, we learn that it was of the Corinthian order, and richly ornamented. Some portions of a temple that are visible were converted into the church of San Pancrazio.
There are many Festivals that take place in this theater. One you will remember is the Taormina Film Fest in which Il Volo performed in 2021.
The fans have arrived and assembled, and the concert begins.
The guy’s solos are always a major part of the concerts! People try to guess what they will sing but most times they’re wrong. For this World Tour the guys chose three different songs. Let’s say we were all surprised by the choices. But, without a doubt, they were magnificent choices and fabulous solos!
You may not be aware of it, but Piero has been studying the opera Cavalleria Rusticana for the last two years and he made his debut performance in this concert with the aria “Mamma, quel vino è generoso.” The fact that he chose to sing it in Sicily does not escape me. The opera is set in Sicily. Pietro Mascagni, is the Composer. The Italian libretto is by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci.
Ignazio always thinks long and hard about what he will sing. For him every solo has a deep meaning. “All By Myself” is a song that Ignazio sang during quarantine. Loved it then love now!
Gianluca’s choice of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” needs no explanation. Gianluca said it all before he sang it. He dedicated it to someone special in the audience. Wanna guess who?
Two beautiful songs from the concert….
After the concert, it was back on the streets. Most of the fans went to BAM BAR for Granita!
Some fans like sisters Sabrina and Jessica went to La Botte for dinner and ran into Ignazio and Piero.
In the afternoon Gianluca ran into the girls and asked them if they were twins! No, they’re not twins. But they are very lovely Sicilian girls!
The next day everyone was back on the street, and it started all over again!
For some it was time to look around and to shop!
For others is was about the beauty of the city!
As you can see this story was about the fans, the images and the music! The guys love the fans! The fans are legendary! They will go down in history alongside Il Volo because of their dedication to them. There were two performances which I’m sure they all attended. As I’m sure they attended Sound Check and Meet & Greet!.
As to the interview, it was Gianluca and Piero’s interview. Ignazio didn’t take part in the interview because he was too tired from meeting all the fans while Gianluca and Piero were sleeping!
You’ve gotta sleep sometimes!
For now, it’s over but the fans will wait for the next announcement that the guys will be in Taormina and the process will start all over again. See you all next time in Il Volo Land When the Guys Go to Taormina!.
Hey guys we’re always waiting for you at Taorrmina!
As always, Daniela did the translation of the video. And it certainly was beautiful. Thank you Daniela!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
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Credit to the owners of photos and videos.