Category Archives: Flashback

IL VOLO ON THE ROAD TO PBS by SUSAN

Nine years ago, PBS introduced America to three teenage Italian boys, Il Volo.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca grew up on PBS. From their first concert on October 27, 2011 at the Detroit Opera House, they won the admiration of the American people. These three teenagers stole the hearts of the American people and they continue to do so today. They have done 6 concerts with PBS over the past 10 years. Their last concert in 2019 in Matera, Italy was to celebrate their ten years together as Il Volo.
They introduced America to a new style of music. Operatic pop and classical music! A very different kind of music for teenagers. Il Volo’s aim was to show young people how good this music is. They won over the children, parents and grandparents. They were an immediate sensation. America fell in love with them.
On the Ninth Anniversary of Il Volo’s concerts on PBS, let’s look back at how they started on this road.
Over the last year I have shared Il Volo’s life story with you, their fans. Now it’s time to go back and see how they landed on this road. Let’s travel back in time to where it all began in Naro, Bologna and Montepagano!
Piero’s best memories as a child were his Sunday dinners with his family which included every family member from his great grandmother, Lina, all the way down to his cousins who were more like brothers and sisters. And he recalls summers in the countryside with his entire family. Piero says, “I swear they were perhaps the most beautiful days of my life, and I will never forget them.”
Let’s take a closer look at one of these stories.
Discovering Piero!
Piero’s discovery starts in the Garden of Pietro Ognibene’s (Piero’s Grandfather) house.  
As was his custom, Piero’s grandfather Pietro, would come out on the terrace every morning and find a cool place to sit. Pietro always had a recorder with him. He has been blind for many years and he uses the recorder to record music, recite poetry and compose songs. Piero says, “When I think back to the first images I have of him, he is sitting on the terrace in the country with a stereo in his hands.”
On this morning Piero is the garden on the Altalena, an old fashioned swing that is hanging from a mulberry tree, and on the terrace, Pietro is preparing to record a song. It’s just a little song. The song is only two lines and it is pure Sicilian. Pietro begins to sing. E lu suli talia, talia, talia. Sopra ‘sta petra luci ci duna, that is and, the sun, look, look, look, to this stone gives the light.
Piero recalls, “I was swinging on the swing, I was about four or five years old, I was really, very small. I listened to him a little and at a certain point, when he stopped singing, I started: E lu suli, talia, talia, talia. Sopra ‘sta pedra luci ci duna. What can I tell you? It just came out like that.”
His grandfather turned off the recorder and called his wife. Rina came out on the terrace and he asked her, “Unni è Piero?” (Where is Piero?)
She replied, “In Altalena” (He is on the swing)
Pietro asked, “Ma cu cantava? Iddru?” (But who was singing? He?)
She replied, “Eh, si.” (yes)
He told Rina to call him.
So, Piero got up and went to his grandfather. Pietro lifted him up and put him on the table next to the recorder and told him to “sing the song again.” Piero sang the song exactly as his grandfather sang it. He listened to Piero sing the song and then he made the decision to go to his friend Antonio’s house to record it.
Antonio a friend of Pietro had in his home what was called at that time a “recording studio”. It was not very big but, it did have a bigger stereo and a microphone. So, that afternoon they recorded Piero singing his grandfather’s song in Sicilian. But it didn’t stop there!
The meeting with Mimmo Riolo, in the Garden of the Riolo House.
The next day Pietro and Piero went to the countryside to the Riolo’s house. Piero’s grandparents had a country house and the Riolos were their neighbors. Pietro had a good relationship with Mr. Riolo, they were family friends. At the Riolo house, they all sat together under a carob tree because the air was always fresh under that tree. While the men talked, Piero ate prickly pears.
Pietro said to his old friend, “You know, Mimmo, yesterday I discovered that my grandson has a nice voice.”
Mimmo thought about it for a moment and came up with an idea. “I want Piero to listen to one of my favorite singers.”
Piero recalls, “And this is how I listened for the first time to Un Amore Così Grande by Mario del Monaco. And I learned it right away, but right away. My grandfather was very proud. And something told me the next day we would go to record Un Amore Così Grande at Antonio’s house.”
The day after they visited Mr. Riolo, they went to Anotonio’s house to record Un Amore Così Grande.
That evening the family met for dinner in the countryside, as was their custom, in the summertime.
In the Garden of Piero’s Grandparents House
This evening would be the beginning of Piero’s journey to stardom. After dinner all the kids played soccer while the adults went outside to chat and enjoy the cool of the evening on the terrace. But this evening would be a little different.
On the Terrace of Piero’s Grandparents House
When they finished dinner, Pietro called his wife. “Rina, get the recorder.” Rina brought in the recorder and placed it in front of Pietro. The recorder was already prepared with the cassette. Pietro turns to Piero’s dad and says, “Listen to this voice, Gaetano.” He pushes play and starts the recording of Un Amore Così Grande.
Gaetano is amazed, like he has just heard a good thing, and he says, “It’s beautiful, who is it Daddy?” (he calls his father-in-law Daddy.)
Pietro says, “Piero.”
Silence.
Gaetano has a questioning looking on his face “How did Piero?”
Pietro says, “So”.
On that night Piero’s life changed!
In Ignazio’s story, I found out that he is an excellent writer. He is the only one who wrote his story. Ignazio is very articulate. His words just fly off the page. Ignazio’s mother says and I agree, “Ignazio is very serious and responsible.”
Let’s see how Ignazio views this time in his life.
Il Volo with Jim Masters and Lee Newton
Discovering Ignazio
Ignazio says, “My story is not a fictional story even if it seems to be one of those dreams that you never want to wake up from.”
Ignazio learns to play Nina’s piano
Ignazio remembers, “When I was three or four years old – I played with the piano my parents had given my sister, Nina. My mother says I was one years old when I played. Nina taught me to play Happy Birthday with one finger.”
Ignazio’s School in Bologna
Ignazio says, “I do not remember the first day of school, but I certainly did not take long to get noticed. If you’re thinking of scenes of me being put in the middle of the class to sing, forget it. I had a passion for music but, I had an even greater passion for pranks. I tell you, since I started talking and walking, mine was an escalation of agitation.”
Ignazio Joins the School Choir
With the passage of time, I found something good to do at school, that is, an activity that was able to hold my interest enough to prevent me from slipping into some disaster. I joined the school choir. I always liked to sing, to be ‘in the middle’ of the music. And more and more passionately I began to understand how to make better use of Nina’s famous pianola. I learned how to start the musical bases and flip through them. And that’s when I discovered La Donna È Mobile. I liked it so much that I sang with the base and invented words. I don’t remember the words but, it certainly was a song about Pavarotti. Having seen Pavarotti on TV, I knew he always had a big handkerchief so I would invent text and sing on the air La Donna È Mobile.
In 2004 at the age of 10, Ignazio’s family moved back to Marsala and opened a Pizzeria.
While the pizzeria grew, a passion grew within Ignazio. It was a passion for electronics and music.
Ignazio’s mother opens Pizzeria dei Desideri in front of their house.
In 2005 Pizzeria dei Desideri was completed and, within a few months Caterina already had regular customers and since the pizzeria was right in front of the house, when Ignazio sang, the customers heard him.
One day a gentleman said to Caterina, “You know, my daughter is studying singing, why don’t you come with your son once? Even just to try.”
Ignazio’s Meeting with Lilliana Andreanò in Marsala
Ignazio recalls, “I remember it as if it were yesterday…. I was eleven. I wore a yellow shirt with green stripes, fashion was never my strong point. Arianna, the daughter of the pizzeria customer, who had heard me sing, and her mother and I waited in front of the school for more than twenty minutes for Liliana Andreanò, the singing teacher. Lilliana Adreanò, arrived in a grey Opel Astra. She got out of the car and immediately entered the school.
Ignazio says: “I was worried, almost embarrassed. Hard to believe, right? Even as a child I’ve never been the type to be speechless. Lilliana begins to talk about music, what kind of songs I like to sing. It was already a strange thing because usually I just sang, no one asked me why and how. You know, Liliana I like to sing Giorgia’s songs.”
Lilliana said: “Strange for a kid to sing this kind of song.” She asked, “And which song of Giorgia would you like to make me listen to?”
Gocce Di Memoria (Drops of Memory), Ignazio said. “I didn’t even have a doubt. I start singing and Liliana was amazed by my extension but asks me to try a male song too. I thought a little bit and then I said to her: sometimes I even sing Con Te Partirò by Andrea Bocelli. I started singing and, when I finished Liliana told me: ‘Ignazio, this is your musical direction’.”
Ignazio continues: “From that first lesson I began to study songs like Il Mare Calmo Della Sera, Un Amore Così Grande and all those that came to mind, and I liked it. It approached that genre that was not lyrical, it was modern music but with something classic. With Liliana I found myself, very comfortable. We understood each other immediately because she is a sociable person, simple, as are all of us in my family.”
After several lessons, Lilliana proposed that Ignazio take part in a bullfight (competition) organized in Paolini.
Ignazio says: “I wasn’t completely convinced that I wanted to get on a stage. Until that moment I had only thought about singing, but I had never seriously thought that all that singing one day could bring me into the spotlight.”
Ignazio performs in his first Competition in Paolini
Ignazio says, “I was about to get on the bullfight stage. My legs were trembling, the butterflies in my stomach were no longer butterflies but crazy swallows.
I decided to participate with the song by Bocelli Con Te Partirò (Time to Say Goodbye), a song that I had studied and re-studied with Liliana, but as soon as the music started I had a terrible fear of forgetting the words. So, what did I do? I looked down all the time. So, the audience, the place, what happened around me while I was singing, it’s not that I do not remember anything, I just do not know because I only saw the tips of my feet.
Fortunately, however, I remembered all the words and it is not so obvious because sometimes it happens that I forget the words even today now that I have become professional, the emotion continues to take us despite everything and.… I came in third.”
Once the ice was broken and the stage panic was over, that ended up being just the first of many competitions for Ignazio.
As to Gianluca I was surprised to find out he was such a romantic. Everything that is important to him is a passion. He invests himself in what he loves and believes in: Family, Music, Country and Soccer! Above all, Gianluca loved to sing. Music was his whole life! Gianluca said, “Singing makes me feel good.”
Discovering Gianluca
Garden of Gianluca’s house facing the beach of Roseto degli Abruzzo.
Gianluca says, “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.”
Gianluca continues, “My life as a child seems so far away. I remember very little of my childhood! I’m not like Ignazio I was born and raised in Montepagano. I was traveling only with dreams. What made me dream? Music naturally. 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.
Town Square of Montepagano
My parents tell me 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.”
Gianluca continues, “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.” (Since this statement, Gianluca has studied piano and now he plays quite well.)
While his grandfather made him listen to classical music, Pavarotti and music from the Fifties-Sixties, his father made him feel Fabrizio De Andrè, Francesco De Gregori, Giorgio Gaber, Antonello Venditti and, as he grew older, he became more passionate about singing, including the great American classics, first of all, Frank Sinatra.
Gianluca says, “I never, never would have thought that…. I could make music my life. I only sang because it made me feel good. Then what happened? I do not know exactly, because everything happened very quickly.”
The phone call that changed it all!
“It was 2008 when my father received a call from Licia Giunco.”
Who is Licia Giunco. She’s an incredible woman, known throughout Italy for being the creator of an annual event called Sport for Life, a great international ice-skating gala. For the gala, skating champions come from all over Europe to participate. The reason for Mrs. Giunco’s phone call was Gianluca’s performances with the choir.
“We have a great talent here in Roseto,” Mrs. Guinco told Mr. Ginoble. I would like to bring him to RAI (Italian TV Station).”
Gianluca says, “My father had never thought about it. My parents had never even imagined that I would participate in competitions, let alone send me for an audition for television.”
“Let’s try,” Mr. Ginoble replied, “It would be a great opportunity.”
Each boy has now been set on the road to PBS so where did they go from here?
Over the years, each boy approached his musical education in a different way.
After his discovery in the garden, Piero embarked on a classical music education.  He began piano lessons at the age of 8. At 10 years old he joined the Little Singers of the Philharmonic Association – Santa Cecilia of Agrigento. And then he began the competitions around Sicily.
Ignazio continued his singing lessons moving on to other teachers as he progressed. He took three years of piano lessons. His relationship with Lilliana Andreanò continued. She advised him every step of the way right up to his audition at Ti Lascio Una Canzone which she convinced him to do. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Gianluca, unlike Piero and Ignazio, never had a singing lesson or piano lesson. Gianluca joined the Piccolo Choir of Roses. At one of their events, he was discovered.
As you know, the three teenage boys came together on the Ariston Stage in Ti Lascio Una Canzone for the performance of O Sole Mio and stepped off the stage and embarked on the road to stardom.
They came in first, second and third. Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero. But the biggest prize was becoming Il Volo.
They signed a contract with Universal and recorded their first album.
In 2010 when they arrived in America, they took it by storm. After their performance on American Idol, they sky rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts.
What happened next? And, so, we arrive at PBS. But let me turn the story over to the guys. They will tell you about what happened after Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
“Spotlight” Producer Paul Larson just minutes before going on stage at Place des Arts in Montreal, Quebec spoke with the guys about their career after their performance on PBS. So, I invite you to watch this amazing video and listen to what the guys have to say about their beginnings and their future!

PBS Spotlight Video – Click Here

The guys have grown in their music and now they continue to bring their bel canto around the world.
We look forward to their 10th Anniversary with PBS. Stay tuned for more stories about Il Volo and PBS as we approach their 10th year of collaboration!

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

IL VOLO WHAT FUN by Daniela

So many enthusiastic comments on the translation of a speech between one song and another from IL Volo, during the concert in Taormina, that I looked for another video where there was a speech to be translated and I found it.

Enjoy yourselves!

GIAN = (Ignazio speaks to Piero) Anyway, opening the parenthesis, Gianluca told me the “cassate” (silly, meaningless phrases) that you say ….
But do you realize? (many laughs)

GIAN = But I would never allow myself to say these things into the microphone.

IGNA = Saint Gianluca, who are you (referring to Gianluca), the fourteenth apostle?

PIERO = Could I please introduce the next piece?

GIAN = Maybe I’ll do it, also because you two will sing. I’ll be brief, I promise you.

IGNA = But why? Are you leaving?

GIAN = Yes.

IGNA = Ah, the Ave Maria is good for something! (applause and laughter)

GIAN = There are five thousand of you against me tonight, I’m the only one from Abruzzo, is there any Abruzzo here who gives me a hand? ….. Oh thank goodness!

IGNA = But we (meant the Sicilians) do not discriminate against anyone. It is I who discriminate against you.

GIAN = Indeed ….. but it’s not true, we love each other (and they shake their hands)

IGNA = Absolutely !! ❤

PIERO = (to Ignazio) But have you completely forgotten Italian tonight? (Ignazio speaks in Sicilian).

IGNA = I’m in Sicily (lots of laughter and applause) it takes a passport to come here. (Piero laughs a lot).
It is since I moved to Bologna that this thing hasn’t turned out (the dialect of Bologna is very different from Sicilian).

You live here, you go to the baker and say “Will you give me half a kilo of bread?” (Ignazio says the sentence in Sicilian and then repeats the same sentence in Bolognese, the sentence is the same, but the sound result is very different), it’s not the same thing !!!

GIAN = No, it’s not the same …

IGNA = But it’s still beautiful!

GIAN = Come on, am I the presenter?

IGNA = Go!

GIAN = Ladies and Gentlemen, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto, will sing only for you: “O Paese d’o sole” (applause)

These guys are really funny, and I like Ignazio a lot when he speaks the Sicilian dialect.

Gianluca does well the part of being rejected by Ignazio, but it is really clear that they love each other.

And what about this spectacular duet between Ignazio and Piero, this is one of my favorite Neapolitan songs, every time I get goosebumps.

Fantastic trio. ❤️❤️❤️

Daniela

Credit to Alicja L. for the photos, to the owners of the video and music “O paese d’o sole”.

THOSE THREE NICE GUYS by Daniela

Since there is no interesting news on Il Volo, I searched through the old videos, and I found one of June 2017, recorded in Taormina.

The speech that precedes the song is very hilarious, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are really three nice rascals, who know how to entertain us.

I hope that the translation reproduces the nice atmosphere…

GIAN = Here we are! (applause)

IGNA = Sorry I’m late, but tenors pee too. (laughter from the audience)  (he clears his throat)

I wanted to make a serious speech ….. we are fond of Italy, in particular Sicily, two of us are Sicilians, (he sees a white cloud from the audience) … but who smokes? What happened? Is there white smoke for the new Pope? (many laughs)

This cigarette hurts you, throw it away!

GIAN = DO NOT SMOKE!

IGNA = (he resumes the speech interrupted by cigarette smoke). However, we are mainly linked to Taormina. Taormina is very special for us, because we think it is one of the most beautiful towns in the world, (applause) but above all because we met some real friends here.

To name a few, like Saretto Bambar who makes wonderful granitas ….

Piero = Hi Saretto

GIAN = We love you!

IGNA = … then Giovanni of LA BOTTE (restaurant near the Bambar), then all our tennis friends ….

GIAN = Even the Metropole Hotel, who always treat us like royalty.

IGNA = The promise I want to make to the people of Taormina is to spend my summer here in Taormina. (applause) ….. but it’s not that now that you know, this summer everyone come to Taormina !!!!! I come around day 32 …. (lots of laughter)

GIAN = of December !!

Well, let’s move on to the next song.

IGNA = Yes, sorry.

GIAN = Maybe many of you know that our journey, indeed, our flight together, started more than eight years ago.

The first time we sang together was April 25, 2009. The years go by quickly …..

PIERO = Eight years old … you must understand that we spend most of the year together, so when we go home I happen to call my brother or sister, by their names. (Ignazio or Gianluca)

IGNA = It can happen, but one thing worries me, I don’t mean for your brother, but to call your sister by our names ….. (lots of laughter).

PIERO = It can happen, but the real problem is that when Ignazio comes home, he calls his dog, by our names (lots of laughter).

IGNA = It’s details …

PIERO = But I say, have I ever replied “bow wow?”

IGNA = No, but you must know that dogs become like children and …..

GIAN = This is a show of affection!

IGNA = Exactly.

And then Franzino (Franz, Ignazio and Alessandra’s dog), looks a little like you, has your features, look I’m complimenting you.

PIERO = Thank you, what a brother!

IGNA = Maybe even the cut of the eyes, the tuft ..

PIERO = Do you have a dog with a tuft?

IGNA = It’s hairy ..

PIERO = And am I hairy? (he refers that  everybody knows Ignazio to be the hairiest of them three). Hairy me?

IGNA= (At this point, Ignazio speaks in Sicilian dialect. He is the hairiest of the three and I think this causes him a little embarrassment, since the current fashion involves smooth male chests. That summer, Ignazio shaved his chest, but the result was that his skin was not smooth at all, but full of small rashes, I believe that the meaning of the sentence said by Ignazio is this …)

And then, the hair removal must be done only on the legs of the women and not the men on the chest …. then I become a meteorite! 😁😁

Let’s move on. 

GIAN = The first song we sang together that day, you know it true, you remember it, you saw that famous episode (of Ti Lascio Una Canzone).

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll all sing together O SOLE MIO !! (applause)

Did you like their comedy?

They are good singers, good guys, good entertainers, what more do we want.

Attending one of their concerts is a real experience, but now we are in a crisis of withdrawal from concerts.

We hope that the situation will return to normal soon, so that we can once again enjoy your voices, your beauty and even your antics personally.

See you soon guys !!

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

IL VOLO AND THE NEW SANCTUARIES by Daniela

A post published by Maura Pucci made me remember this beautiful feat, made by four very tough women.

Unusual and … amazing aspects of Il Volo’s popularity. 

THE NEW SANCTUARIES

We are in 2015.

Four American ladies, from different States, who met on social networks, animated by a great passion for IL VOLO and enthusiastic about the recent victory of the beloved group in Sanremo, decide to join together to undertake a trip to Italy.

Some new Il Volo fans might think: It’s not new! At their concerts in Verona and Taormina there are many fans from abroad and in particular Americans.

It’s true.

Today the Arena of Verona and the ancient theater of Taormina are places of great appeal for the fans of Il Volo from all over the world, who arrive there in droves, both to attend a concert in scenarios such as only Italy can offer, and to meet the virtual friends, frequented on Facebook.

SANCTUARIES 01

But in the spring of 2015 things were still not exactly like that. And the four ladies embark on an Atlantic flight, for the ONLY purpose of visiting the places of residence of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, with the same spirit with which the romantic young people of Northern Europe, three or four centuries ago, left for the Grand Tour at vault of Italy, to be satisfied with beauty and culture, but at the same time with the same religiosity of those who want to embark on the journey of Santiago de Compostela.

Because, let’s face it, when it comes to doing this, it means that the three characters have already risen to the glory of the altars and that their places of life have become three new Sanctuaries, pilgrimage destinations …

Montepagano, Marsala and Naro, three small towns in the Italian province have become places of international resonance.

SANCTUARIES 02

Okay, I just wanted to joke around.

But there are still many fans, especially Italian, but also foreigners, who go, or dream of going to Montepagano, favored by its proximity to Rome. And some of them even went as far as Naro.

Unfortunately, after five years, the sanctuary of Marsala today is not very frequent because S. Ignazio moved to Bologna.😂😂

When I read the news of this trip in 2015, I fully understood the attractive power of these extraordinary and unique guys.

Maura

SANCTUARIES 03

That trip, was undertaken by Deborah Georgini Beaupre, Joan Brenin, Madeline Vitella and Maria Lagostini Leps.

In Italy, it was an event, it had never been heard that fans came to get to know the countries of their favorites. Also Sanremo had just ended with the victory and therefore, the local newspapers talked about this trip, here are the articles.

Roseto.com Article – Click Here

FROM AMERICA TO ROSETO, TO SEE THE PLACES OF GIANLUCA GINOBLE

(I translate for you.)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

“I crossed the Atlantic Ocean to see you” is film stuff. Indeed, no?

Because four American ladies have been stronger than exaggerated idioms, making something that even in the best dreams come true: they came from the United States of America to Roseto just to see the places where Gianluca Ginoble, a member of Il Volo, grew up, then headed straight to Sicily and do the same in the native places of Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto.

SANCTUARIES 04

The super fans are Maria Agostini Leps from Pennsylvania, Joan Brenin from Florida, Madeline Vitella from New Jersey and Deborah Georgini Beaupre from Texas, who say: “We met on Facebook in 2014, thanks to an article written by Maria after a concert by Il Volo. Having the same passion, we decided to meet and organize this trip to Italy, to see the places of our three darlings. It was enough for us to have the photo all together with the sign of the name of the three cities, but today a dream has come true.”

The dream was to meet Gianluca Ginoble and it became reality again thanks to Facebook, given that Maria wrote to Ercole, the father of the singer, saying of their presence in Roseto.

SANCTUARIES 05

And since fate sometimes puts a good word on it, chance has meant that Gianluca was in Roseto in these days, before leaving again for the artistic and promotional commitments of Il Volo.

So, at five in the evening, on the Roseto seafront, the meeting of a thousand hugs and smiles, with selfies, dedications on records and photos.

Deborah shows a photo of the license plate of her car in Texas: “IL VOLO”, saying that after the death of her husband the songs of the group gave her strength.

SANCTUARIES 06

Maria confesses that she returned to Italy after 50 years (she left at 9) for this. All four have seen many Il Volo concerts and love the three singers.

Gianluca Ginoble says: “It is such a great thing that I can only thank these splendid ladies, because in the face of such demonstrations of affection there is the risk of getting your head up.” (feeling overly important)

FROM AMERICA TO MARSALA, IN THE LAND OF IGNAZIO BOSCHETTO

(I translate the most interesting parts for you.)

SANCTUARIES 07

SANCTUARIES 08

Comune di Marsala Article – Click Here

They came from the USA to make their dream come true: to visit the places where the members of Il Volo, were born and raised.

In Marsala, in the city of Ignazio Boschetto, the first stop of the four American ladies was the visit to the representative office of the municipal administration which appointed the singer Ignazio “ambassador of Marsala in the world”.

The American ladies will leave tomorrow for Naro, the birthplace of Piero Barone; while in recent days they had already visited Roseto degli Abruzzi, the land of Gianluca Ginoble.

He, Piero and ours Ignazio, meanwhile, are already in Austria to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, where Il Volo is finalist by right with the winning song of Sanremo “Grande Amore”.

 

FROM AMERICA TO NARO, ON THE TRAIL OF PIERO BARONE FROM IL VOLO

SANCTUARIES 09

SANCTUARIES 10

The last stop on the Italian – Sicilian journey was Naro, the city of Piero Barone. Here too the reception of the girls from “Il Volo Naro Fan Club” was warm.

In the town hall the solemn ceremony with the mayor Lillo Cremona, the vice-mayor Lidia Mirabile and the mother of Piero, Eleonora Ognibene. Then a tour to discover the baroque of Naro and its monuments: the Castle, the old C athedral.

The Sicilian tour will end with a visit to the city of Agrigento and then to Taormina. Then the return to Rome for the US.

SANCTUARIES 11

What women!

Admirable. They were the first, but then many others came.

I don’t think I would have had their courage, but I’m happy that they got what they wanted.

I bet that many of us would like to make this nice trip, and maybe be so lucky to be able to meet Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca ……… but sometimes dreams come true!

Daniela

 

Credit to owners of all photos and articles.

Jana & Lorna’s Italian Adventure – July 4, 2016 – Verona! (Reprise…)

Hello folks!  I hope everyone is having a great 4th of July in the USA!  We are having quite the hot summer here in Michigan, with these past few weeks in the low 90s and this week, all 90s!  Thought I would repost our little adventure from July 4, 2016, for all to enjoy again!  🙂  It was certainly the best 4th of July I will ever remember!!  🙂

Everyone please stay safe and wear a mask, the virus seems to be coming back with a vengeance again in the US! 🙁


Ciao!  Yes, it’s been a little while since my last story of adventure…but I continue!

Ah, Venice Mestre train station. This was our shortest train ride, only about an hour or so to Verona from Venice. We got to the train station very early, since we were only about 10 minutes away. We got there in plenty of time before our departure of 8:32am. We were able 20160704_073915to have a leisurely breakfast and scout out our train track. The Venice train station was not quite as sophisticated as Florence, so we knew we had to go down and up again to find our train. We looked on the schedule, but could not see our train. There were three trains to Verona, but none that left at our exact time. That seemed strange. So, we made our best guestimate and chose the one track. I was still a bit skeptical, but the time was the closest. I was able to ask a lady, in Italian, and she seemed to think we were on the wrong one, we needed to be a few tracks over and the schedule was on the posted sign. I think it was like a regular commuter train, so it didn’t have a special departure scheduled, which is why it wasn’t posted. I went back to Lorna and we discussed it. It kind of made sense, but we stayed where we were anyway. Ok, here comes our train. We get on where we think our car is, but when we boarded, there were no seat numbers on the seats. We had first class tickets with assigned seating! I said aloud, in English, “But there are no numbers on the seats?” A nice, young lady heard me speaking in English and said, “You are on the wrong train!” “What? Dove?,” I said, and showed her our tickets. She pointed to the other track, same track the other lady told us. I looked at my phone – it was 8:27a! We literally had 5 minutes to get down and back up again, and make it to the other train. We literally FLEW off that train and a nice Italian gentleman hefted our suitcases up the long flight of stairs to the other side. We were literally walking/running as fast as we could toward our train. The conductor saw us and asked if we were on this train, we said yes. We started to get on and he said, no, other car. Then he changed his mind and said to go ahead, and we could walk from there. We literally no sooner got on the train and it took off! It was the last train to Verona for that day! Yes, we almost missed the Verona concert! Ok, “dove” the prosecco that morning!

 

We made it to the Verona train station – again, similar to Venice, we had to once again go down the closet-sized elevator and up the other side. Another long wait for the taxi, but we made it. When we got there, it was still quite early and check-in wasn’t until much later in the afternoon. So, we were able to stow our bags in the reception area. The concierge gave 1-veorna-fus a map of the city and we took off, map and Google Maps in hand on our way to find out where the Arena di Verona was. Looked like it was in walking distance from the hotel, so we set off. It reminded me of “following the yellow brick road” except it was a wide 1-verona-gasphalt running/walking path to the main part of the city. We quickly got off the map we were sort of following and I gave up and got out Google again. We got turned around a few times, but I figured it out. On the way to the Arena, Lorna stopped in a shoe shop and bought these really cool flowered tennis shoes. The sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds and it looked like it might rain. When we neared the Arena, the sun finally decided it was going to stick around.20160704_115104 I took a few pictures as we were in the surroundings of the arena with a plethora of outdoor restaurants/cafes to choose from for lunch. We had worked up quite the appetite by then.

 

We walked to the arena to see exactly where it was and where the entrances were. After that, we perused the various restaurants and picked out a table. It ended up being a 20160704_121205beautiful afternoon and we splurged on our lunch that day. Lorna had some kind of pasta with seafood. I had a Caprese salad and a pizza and we even had a bottle of Moscato.1-verona-a It was a very leisurely lunch and we just chatted and relaxed and wondered where the guys might be? We finally decided it was time to go. On our way, we passed by this one hotel and there were a herd of girls standing outside. Ok, this must be the place! Lol! Yes, apparently the guys were staying at the hotel aptly called “The Gentleman of Verona.” No, we never saw them, although we strolled by and asked the girls if this was where Il Volo was. Of course they said yes. We kept walking and continued our tour of the city, with the sun playing more peek-a-boo with the clouds. With my faithful companion of Google Maps, we took the long way around, but thankfully made it back to the hotel. It was 1-verona-elate enough by then, so we could check in. Another small elevator, but at least we both fit. We got to our room and it was very nice. The sun decided it was going to stay out at last. We had a tiny, enclosed, little balcony with a window you could open. The view from our room was gorgeous and amazing. You could see over the entire city. Took some more pictures and then we decided to relax a little. We took a nap and decided we’d get ready and take a cab to the Arena. I was still trying to hook up with Betty, but we kept missing each other! When we got downstairs we asked the concierge to call us a cab again, to the Arena. She said had just called one for 2 other ladies and maybe we could 1-verona-bshare it? We thought that would be nice, so we went outside and communicated roughly in Italian, and asked if they were going to Il Volo also and could we share the cab. They said yes. We got in and was happily expecting to share the cab fare and they paid the whole thing! Such nice Italian hospitality! We were still a bit full from lunch, but decided we should eat something. So, we went back to the same restaurant where we had lunch. However, we just ordered dessert. Lorna had Tiramisu and espresso, and I had chocolate torte cake. We also ordered another bottle of Moscato. The cake was good, although a bit on the dry side. As previously mentioned, Lorna graciously let me have the 2nd row seat…but as we were sitting at our table, we were watching the crowd get in line – it was over an hour before the concert started.1-verona-c People were everywhere! It was kind of crazy. We knew we had assigned seats, so we thought we’d just sit and watch everyone instead. We finally gave up and decided to fight our way through the crowds. Lorna went first, as she went through a different entrance. I paid the bill and ventured on to the other side of the Arena. I showed my ticket and they let me in. I bought a few souvenir t-shirts and scarves and found my way to the 2nd row seat. My new friends Veronica, Laura, and Daniela, arrived about 15 minutes later. This was exciting. Before the concert began, we heard the orchestra warming up “Per Te Ci Saro” was playing! Oh, yes, I was finally going to hear them sing it live! Since I reviewed the concert already, a few days after it happened, I won’t go into detail again. Yes, you are welcome. Lol! But a quick recap of starting with “Per Te Ci 20160704_213618-1Saro” and ending with their usual 2 of “Surrender” and “Grande Amore” it was pretty awesome. And I swear it happened just that quickly. Again, I was quite surprised they did the Godfather routine…

Insert actual concert review….

For me, this was the most magical and perfect concert ever.  Not only was it a perfectly beautiful evening weather-wise, I FINALLY got to hear all my favorite songs.  They really picked the best of the best for this finale concert.  The stage and the lighting were magnificent.  They had the monitors and also the videos going for many of the songs.  I thought for sure we were going to be blinded by the lights again, but it was only once or twice.

I finally got my dream come true and into my Il Volo trance I went.  They started with Per te ci saro!!  OMG, I sang the whole thing!  I wanted to stand after every song, but the Italians don’t do that.  They did stand after the solos and duets.  There were few empty seats…Lorna was so awesome, she let me have the 2nd row seat for the entire concert.  I will remember it forever.

Even thought it was second row, we were still quite far from the stage.  Like the orchestra pit area was empty of chairs and unlike the first Verona concert in September last year, the stage did not come out in the middle.

Their voices were of course perfection and Igna added his own to the end of My Piove – a little jazzier riffs and Gian joined him for a few…

Yes, they sang my favorites – Per te, l’more si muove, torne l’amore, canzone per te.  They even did a slight sketch of the Godfather routine.  Igna even sang Allegria and didn’t cry.  No Ancora though….

Gian sang Bridge…and it was incredible.  I remember telling Donna it would get better after we heard it in LA and she said “how could it get better?”  It did!!

I think someone mentioned that they were filming part of that movie where the guys are going to be part of it about opera.  Apparently, the guy who is the star actor was in the front row a few seats down from us. And?!  The guys were cuter!!  Lol!  They did this filming during the concert, but it was no big deal.

The one big shocker was that they did not sing O Sole Mio!  Not disappointed as they left in Surrender!!  Igna and Piero did their thing.

Since I was in the 2nd row, I imagine I’ll be somewhere in the DVD and group shot in the end.  My split second of fame. Lol!  I was in a pink dress to the right of the stage.

I did not see any of the immediate family except for Mary Grace, Piero’s sister and I think Alessio?  Gianluca’s friend.  At the end, Igna went over and gave this older guy a bear hug and picked him up, but no clue who he was.  He looked a little like one of his uncles.

If people want to know what to give Igna at the next m/g I would suggest a belt.  He was pulling up his pants the entire night!

I took some pictures and taped a few songs, but my phone camera and the lights were not friends.

By the time you read this, pictures will be all over everywhere, as well as videos.

Did I say how incredibly awesome it was????  Igna was also playing the piano and a few other instruments.  Gian was wearing tennis shoes and racing across the stage every so often.

Don’t get me wrong, the tenor concert was awesome also, but this was more special and magical for me, as I have been waiting to hear these songs live for as long as most of you!

It was all in Italian except Igna said Thank You.  I did not quite catch what was going on, but something about studying their speech for the next song, etc.  I also had my friend Veronica to translate a few things for me!

I’m still trying to realize I’m in Italy!  I’ve seen the guys 5 times now this year.  You just keep thinking when is the next time?  They are planning another tenor tribute concert in the arena next May 17, but you know, nothing is ever as special as the first time!  My guess is that they might incorporate a few of those songs into their regular concerts next tour.

Ok, it is now a little after 2am!  I really need some sleep if I can, that is.

They really outdid themselves with this one!!

Part of my mission to the Verona concert was to take a few little presents to 2 friends of Sharon’s. They were sitting in the front row, but on the other side. Unfortunately, security would not let me leave my seat, even though it was just a row up. Fortunately, I was able to text her and Veronica communicated in Italian 1-verona-3of my plight. Luckily, we were able to connect after the concert. Lorna and I also quickly met up afterward and Veronica took our pictures. We then made our way to the taxi line and got back to our hotel. I was determined I did not want to forget a thing, so I stayed up til about 2am finishing my post! Was the shortest night on1-verona-d record.   We had to be at the train station very early, as we had a 7a train to Rome and it was a 3-hour trip. After what I believe was about a 3-4 hour “nap” I dragged myself out of bed about 5:30a to take a shower and we were out of there. Again, missing breakfast at the hotel!  Next stop – Roma and the Adriatic Sea!