Writing about Gianluca is always a delight! He’s lived a very simple life. He is very laid back and he spent his early years just being a child and enjoying his childhood. 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, he lived a simple life, in a tiny town overlooking the Adriatic Sea, where everybody knows everybody, and life is…. simple! In fact, the simplicity of his life is what leads me to say he is Simply Gianluca. No fanfare just calm peaceful days with walks in the Pinetta with his friends and, above all, sharing phenomenal moments with his brother, Ernesto! Together they listened to and felt music. Music that would become one of Gianluca’s greatest passions.  
Perhaps this explains why Gianluca is a romantic. With him, everything is about passion! Like his passion for Abruzzo which he takes around the world. On tour he always speaks about Abruzzo. He loves his country, and he wants others to love it too! I agree with Gianluca, Abruzzo is an amazing place. My maternal grandparents were from Abruzzo!

Gianluca’s life began in the small town of Montepagano where he lived a simple life but, when he emerged, he began a journey that would take him around the world and through his amazing voice would leave his mark in every corner of that world.
Let’s listen to how Gianluca describes the town he grew up in:
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 Gianluca goes home to Abruzzo, he feels like he is on vacation. Montepagano is a very beautiful town. It sits at the top of a hill facing the Adriatic Sea. It is like a picture-perfect postcard!  It’s no wonder Gianluca is at peace here. Montepagano is Gianluca’s paradise.
If you ask Gianluca about this paradise and how he spent his childhood there he will tell you, 
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.
And, so, we come to perhaps Gianluca’s greatest passion, Music! Or let’s say our greatest passion for Gianluca, his music!

As you know, Gianluca’s mother worked, so, he went to after-school session with the nuns. He had a teacher named Gabriella. One afternoon, while Gianluca was doing homework, he suddenly got up and started singing “Time to Say Goodbye.” The teacher was speechless. “What a voice you have, what a wonderful voice,” she told Gianluca. “But do you know Andrea Bocelli?” She could not believe how it was possible for such a small child to have such a voice and to know a singer of that kind. “Of course, I know him,” Gianluca said, “he’s my idol, my favorite singer,” Gianluca said this with a certain pride. “Only I do not have his CD yet.” “I’ll bring it to you tomorrow, I’ll gift it to you” was the teacher’s answer. “I was seven, maybe eight years old and thanks to Gabriella I was able to start listening to Andrea Bocelli as often as I wanted.”
Yes, this was Gianluca’s passion as a young boy to sing Bocelli songs. And he sang them all the time. But it was music itself that motived Gianluca.  In an interview with the “Rosetana Star” Gianluca said: “Music for me is the oxygen of my life.”

And it wasn’t just Bocelli as Gianluca will tell you. “As I grew older, I became more passionate about singing, including the great American classics, first of all Frank Sinatra.”
So, let’s turn to the Voice! Sinatra was known as the Voice. But I think Sinatra would be in awe of Gianluca. Love you Frank but Gianluca’s got this one!
Gianluca is known as the Velvet Voice!
I don’t know who coined the phrase but, that is right on. Let’s use our senses to understand what that means. Take a piece of velvet and hold it in your hand. Now take your other hand and gently pass your hand across the velvet. What do you feel? You feel a smooth even surface that is crisp with no breaks in it. The sensation is so good that you automatically go back and do it again. And every time it’s the same. It’s pleasing!
Now take Gianluca’s voice, let the notes pass into your ears, what do you hear? A crisp, smooth, even voice with no breaks in it. The note barely passes into your ear and, you are going back for the next note. It’s always pleasing!

Gianluca is a lyrical baritone. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range. Most baritones are limited in range. Gianluca’s voice is huge. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice.
A baritone’s voice is very romantic, very pleasing to listen to and is always inviting. Most songs are written for baritones. Gianluca starts, almost, every song. Why? In order for a song to be received well you must draw your audience into it. Gianluca’s voice draws you in in a romantic way and you hang on to every note. He can mesmerize you with songs like “Mi Mancherai” where he reaches into the depth of his being and yours. His interpretation of “Surrender” is electrifying. But, when Gianluca sings, “She’s Always a Woman”, he takes your breath away. The highs, the lows, the emotion, the expression. His voice expands like nothing I ever heard before. He has total command of the song. You walk away with your senses lifted to another level.

So, let’s turn to how Gianluca got to where he is today! To do this I need to introduce you to the Zecchino d’oro .
The Zecchino d’oro is the festival of the little ones. In fact, if the Sanremo Festival is aimed at adult audiences and the songs are interpreted by adults, the Zecchino d’oro is made for children, with songs tailored for children.
The Zecchino d’oro is an Italian tradition. It is an event for kids, and it is dedicated to them and to all the adults who still feel like kids.
This show is presented every year between late November and the beginning of December.
In Italy there are magical days, when it starts to get cold, and children stay in their warm homes. It’s not Christmas, but the period that precedes it when the famous Zecchino d’oro TV show is broadcast. It has been broadcast every year, for decades.

Though you may not know this show in America, you can relate to one of the characters, Topo Gigio, the puppet created by Maria Perego. Topo Gigio landed in America many years ago on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show. For those of you who are not old enough to remember Topo Gigio, let me say people waited every week for his appearance on the show. For kids and adults, he became a household name. Seems hard to believe that this little mouse stole the hearts of the American people.
So where does Gianluca fit into all of this? If it wasn’t for the Piccolo Choir of Roses which was inspired by the Zecchino d’oro, Gianluca may not have been discovered.

Gianluca was a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses, which is one of the local branches of this choir. The Mago Zurlì, who was the presenter of the event when Gianluca was in the Choir, was Gianluca’s father, Ercole Ginoble.
But, let me let Gianluca tell you how this all came to be….
When I sing, I don’t forget instinct.  What does that mean? As I said, I have never studied singing. I learned to “use” my voice only thanks to my musical ear. I listened to the music and it transmits everything I know. And I especially thank the Little Choir of Roses.
When I was about eight or nine, all those who knew my voice gave me the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo. They sang the songs of the ‘Zecchino d’oro’ or other famous songs with arrangements in that style, with music for children. The Mago Zurlì, that was the presenter of the event, was my father. He had been for a couple of seasons.
This is where I started. It was nice because we studied the songs throughout the winter season, not the technique of singing, the songs. It was different, because we did not study the notes and how to do them, rather we studied instinctively, following what the teacher said and what our ear heard.
Then, in the summer, we demonstrated our work in the Municipality of Roseto. We sang in the squares during the local festivals, in the lidos, in the bathing establishments, around the whole of Abruzzo, all these tiny villages.

During the performances with the choir, besides the repertoire of the Zecchino d’oro, we sang the songs of Bocelli: Misere, Il Mare Calmo Della Sera, La Voce Del SilenzIo.

Of course, the greatest achievement for Gianluca and the guys was winning Sanremo!

We know that it was Gianluca who convinced the guys to go to Sanremo! Or rather Gianluca convinced Piero who convinced Ignazio. And, in the end, Gianluca sums up Sanremo and the events that follow in this way!
The truth is that I was right from the beginning and no one has ever listened to me, ever. I believed it so much that, if you notice, maybe I’m the one with the least surprised look when Carlo Conti announces the winner. Then, of those moments, one remembers little, there is great confusion, emotion. It was a dream to be able to shout, ‘Thank you, Italy!’ from that stage. I looked at Sanremo as a child, when there was Pippo Baudo, and I was there and have won because people were on our side and it was a dream, I repeat even if I have already said. The emotion was only when my grandfather told me almost in tears: ‘Who would have told me that in my life I would see Modugno win at the Festival and then I see you win.’
On Sunday evening, when I returned to Montepagano, I found the whole village in a party, not just my grandfather: my countrymen were waiting for me from the morning to celebrate. There really was everyone, including the mayor. And then, the journalists, the local TV and a crowd of people who we could not count.
Another of the beautiful things that came after Sanremo was the chance to meet the children of the Agbe, the Association of Parents of the Emopatic Children, of Pescara. 
It is a reality born in 2000 from the idea of a group of parents, in fact, with children from the hemopaths treated at the Santo Spirito hospital in the city. The purpose of the association is to give support in every way to the children and families during and after the period of treatment. An initiative that, for those like me and very sensitive to the problems of health of children, and really beautiful.

The thing that honors me a lot and that, inspired by my story with Ti Lascio Una Canzone, they thought to have the children dedicate themselves to singing, so they organize a Christmas show every year that keeps them very busy and also a lot of fun. But at Agbe they would never have thought we would meet.
Instead, after the Festival I went to see them, all young patients from 4 to 15 years, and I invited them to our concert of Il Volo Live 2015 in Chieti because I knew that Piero and Ignazio would have been happy to meet them. And, so, it was: they came, they had fun and we spent time together taking pictures and signing autographs.

Gianluca is a very kind and gentle person. This is evident in the following story.
When I titled this story Simply Gianluca, I didn’t realize that Daniela had written a story with that title. So, I decided to include excerpts from that story here!  
Daniela writes about the thoughts of a girl who met Gianluca on the beach of Roseto.  Her name is Valeria Tirelli and her favorite is Gianluca.

Valeria wrote:
With his warm, velvety voice, he caresses the soul’s cords.
With his sweetness, with his kindness, with his generosity in wanting to give you a smile, a word, a hug, he steals your heart.
I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to meet Gianluca Ginoble.
Because I did not meet the famous singer, but he, Gianluca, the “normal” guy, the one who did not change (and I hope will never change) from the huge, well-deserved success achieved along with the other guys from Il Volo.

Together, they enchant audiences around the world with those wonderful voices.  Meeting Gianluca face to face has enchanted me.
Impossible not to be touched by his way of being, so humble, so normal, or by his sweetness, which you perceive in every gesture, in every look, in every smile.
Gianluca is the furthest you can be from how, a bit all of us, we imagine are the famous people.
If, as happened to me, you have the good fortune to meet him outside of the official occasions, you feel on your skin that you have in front of you, a very special boy.  He is kind and helpful, curious and attentive to anyone approaching him to say hello, for a photo or an autograph.

Even if he is in a hurry, he does not deny a few minutes of his time to anyone, ever, going (and it is something that I would like to underline, having lived it in person) far beyond what would be ‘normally’ due to the fans.
So, I thank him for his time, for the photo, for the autograph, for those few minutes in which he spoke with us, treating us in a very exquisite way and giving us a precious moment to put in the album of memories.
I hope I’m lucky enough to meet him again.
I am convinced of one thing: only true great artists, and only those who have the merit of being beautiful souls, like Gianluca, are able to enter people’s hearts in this way.
And once they enter, they stay there forever.
Absolutely beautiful words Valeria. Thank you Daniela for sharing Valeria’s story!

Gianluca is a sweetheart! He always takes the time to speak to people and above all to listen to people. He impressed Valeria just as he has impressed many people worldwide. That’s just how Gianluca is.

So now, let me go back and sum up Gianluca’s musical career! Although Gianluca never studied music he did develop a musical ear and instinct and as a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses and his performances around Abruzzo, he was discovered by Licia Giunco who brought Gianluca to Rome to audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone. The rest of the story is history!
But the greatest part of the story is that Gianluca did not leave behind his life in Abruzzo. No he carried it around the world because he is Simply Gianluca and that is what he does! 
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:]
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at
*Excerpts from Il Volo, Un’avventura straordinaria, La nostra storia.
Credits to the owners of photos and videos.

15 thoughts on “SIMPLY GIANLUCA by Susan”

  1. Csodálatos írás. Köszönöm hogy megírtad, nagy örömöt szereztél vele. További sok ilyen szép írást Köszönöm Marika

  2. Such a beautiful story, Susan, and a testimony to your love of Gianluca. You’ve even included your, and my, favourite songs: “Anema e Core” and “Mi Mancherai”. What a glorious voice this young man has and such an exquisite treat for all who hear him sing. Thank you! Hugs, Dol.

  3. Once again, excellent story – Thank you Susan! It’s very true , once you met these guys, you feel like you know them- so humble and just “normal”. How can you not be proud of him and keep him in your heart? His voice is extraordinary and I, like many others , feel blessed to take part of his journey. Always wishing him all the best! Can’t wait to see what the future brings for him as well as Piero and Ignazio!

  4. Beautiful Susan, always a pleasure to read your story. Look forward to the next one.

  5. I cannot read these stories enough….could over and over! As you know Gian is my favorite also….not to take anything away from our other two! Thank you for including my favorite songs, like you and Do l”Anema e Core” and “Mi Mancherai” are my very favorites and I wish they’d include both in An album! I’m still waiting to meet all three but I’m afraid my mouth might freeze when I see Gian, he is sooo sweet!….a boy any mom or Nonna would be proud of!
    Thank you Susan for a beautiful story of our beautiful Gianluca….the Velvet Voice!!
    Happy belated fourth to you and everyone!🇺🇸💥❤️😘🤗🙏☮️🎼🎤🦋💖💖💖
    God Bless, Carol

  6. thank you for sharing such a beautiful life story of our ci Gianluca . Such a beautiful soul.

    1. In reading this ,I find that Gian lives close to wher my mother was born.StBernadetta, yes or no?
      God Blessed him with a beautiful voice .

  7. Like so many from our group, Mi Mancherai and Anema ‘e Core are my favorites of Gian’s solos, but I had never seen the video of Sempre e Per Sempre before. I loved the low-key, soft style he gave this. Thanks for sharing it and the others.

  8. I never tire of reading about Gianluca Susan – although I have read all about Gianluca – mostly from you & Daniela – I always appreciate the time & effort put into writing about him – he is a beautiful young man – always charming – one can not help but love him for his beautiful human qualities – thank you for your editorial – have a great week – much love.

  9. I don’t know whether you saw Daniela’s posting about Gianluca and my comment about how warm and gracious he was to me at the 2022 Toronto Il Volo concert Meet & Greet when I told him I was celebrating my 90th birthday. He is such a beautiful, thoughtful and caring person, whose true warmth I will always cherish. Hugs, Dol.


  11. If possible, Susan, there was an even more beautiful rendition of Gian singing Mi Mancherai in the posting of Daniela dated September 4, 2019 and it is still available, I think, on YouTube. He is wearing a white shirt and dark trousers. Such glorious vocals and emotions! Dol.

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