~ Personally Speaking ~ Notable Quotes


I  recently came across several quotes that jumped off the page at me, making me think of none other than our three guys and the charming, alluring country they come from.

See if you agree…


“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” – Truman Capote, American writer.










“My favorite thing about Milan is that you see these guys, and it’s as if a spaceship came out of the most attractive planet invented and just dropped them off all across the city.” – Brad Goreski, Canadian stylist.


Tennis Meets Fashion At The Milano Gala Dinner Benefitting The Novak Djokovic Foundation Presented By Giorgio Armani












“Rome, the city of visible history.” – George Eliot, English writer.










“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer.

1491898767_Dolomites Robert J Heath

“In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine.” – Robin Leach, English writer.


“And that is … how they are. So terribly physically all over one another. They pour themselves one over the other like so much melted butter over parsnips. They catch each other under the chin, with a tender caress of the hand, and they smile with sunny melting tenderness into each other’s face.” – D.H. Lawrence, English novelist.


The last one sums it up so perfectly.   The young men of Il Volo show their love and affection for each other and all those around them so easily.  They love having us complete strangers, give them hugs, kisses, and gifts!  We as fans love being close to them as much as they love being close to us!   Are we lucky or what?  



Credit to all owners of photos.



23 Sicilian Dishes to Die For…courtesy of Ann Cruise

This great little link was sent to us by Ann!  For me, you can leave out the sardines, eggplant, and ricotta, but several of the desserts sound awesome, like the 7-layer chocolate cake!  The actual article is from 2014, but food never goes out of date!

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

14 hrs · 

Happy #FoodieFriday! Which of these Sicilian dishes is your favorite?



However, surprise, surprise, no Chicken Marsala?    Here is my favorite chicken marsala recipe, based on Ignazio’s!

Jana’s Chicken Marsala

Take your pounded thin skinless chicken breasts and pat them in a mixture of 3 parts flour, and 1 part cocoa, and about a tablespoon of cinnamon.  Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. Saute them in a mixture of about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil and half stick of butter.  And can’t forget the freshly sliced/chopped whole clove of garlic, or leave the little cloves whole, and another tablespoon of cinnamon.  🙂 After getting crispy on both sides, add in about a cup of Marsala wine, use the darker sweet version.  I also  make another pan of the Marsala wine with more butter and olive oil and add my mushrooms to that.  There never seems to be enough!  Thicken the sauce if you like.  Take out the chicken, spoon the mushroom sauce over chicken, garnish with freshly chopped Italian parsley, and serve immediately with your favorite pasta, and vegetable.  Although, it seems common to serve with little roasted potatoes in Italy.  Why not try it with a blood orange salad, also popular in Sicily?  I found this recipe here:


And who can forget the famous and cute little video of Ignazio teaching us how to cook chicken Scalloppine alla Marsala!  We’ve posted it before, but ever so cute!!  (although, someone needs to tell him you really don’t want to use cooking Marsala…you want the real stuff!)





I’d yell, you’d yell, we’d all yell for, Gelato? ~ Ann Cruise/Pat Ward

Ok, so it’s not quite the same as the “you scream, I scream, ice cream,” but it’s the closest I could get!  Lol!  However, if you pronounce it with the really bad grammar of “dj” sound with the “I’d and you’d”…. well, I claim poetic license here. 🙂

Anyhow, Ann Cruise sent in this little article on gelato and nearing the end of summer for gelato 1most, thought we’d throw it in, so we could catch the last few rays of the season, while enjoying a cool and creamy, Italian treat.

Luckily, these days, we don’t have to travel all the way to Italy to enjoy delicious gelato.  There are quite a few good brands you can buy in your grocer’s freezer section, and at least around the Detroit area, several local eateries have the stuff home-made right on site!  We have two in Detroit area that I’m aware of (although I’m sure there are more)…one being Antonio’s (of the Antonio’s restaurant chain who sponsored the guys), located at their Canton location.  They have a gelato bar!  The other place, a little further north of there in Plymouth, is Cantoro’s, where they also have an gelato 2awesome assortment  in the midst of their Italian specialty food market.

Here is the link and story from Ann…. (fyi… when you click on the link, it takes you to the newspaper.  It shows the first several paragraphs, then says to click “here” to keep reading.  Please be sure to click “there.”  You do not have to be a member of the paper to finish reading the article.)  🙂

Bloomberg: The World’s in Love With Italian Gelato | Italian Sons and Daughters of America

Italiana Bloomberg: The World’s in Love With Italian Gelato Bloomberg offers some tasty data on this coveted confection. The following article, written by Chiara…

Pat was going to write this article, but was feeling a bit under the weather (almost literally, after the eclipse yesterday, where she lives in Missouri got a torrential downpour of rain!)  But duty bound as she is, she found this clip on Lemon Ginger Gelato…

 Lemon Ginger Gelato


I’m also enclosing a link to You Tube, so you can watch all the videos you want on the history, making, and eating of gelato, the world over!  I watched a few and they are pretty good!



gelato signMangia!!  Careful no brain freezes!  🙂 

(all photo credits/pictures found from Google images)




Here is a lovely story of a trip to Italy submitted by Gina Hanna . . .thank you for sharing it with us!

I have enjoyed (with envy) all the posts by everyone who has made a trip to Italy and had a chance to get to an IL VOLO concert.

I doubt I will be making a trip to Italy AGAIN so I closed my eyes and tried to remember the trip I and my family made to a beach on the ADRIATIC SEA.

Now you must UNDERSTAND we were In the US Army stationed At Bad Kreuznach Germany and on a budget. So this story will not have much glamour.

My friend Anna, who was stationed in Frankfurt, invited her elderly aunt, who had just married, to spend their “honeymoon” in Italy. Then my husband’s young brother decided to come over to Germany and go with us to the beach. My three young children invited one of their good friends.

We had shipped over an OPEN ROAD camper as our transportation during our Army tour so we packed the camper with everything we thought we could not live without, packed the kids, my husband’s brother Rick and picked up Patty on the way to Italy. Anna with her aunt and new uncle drove her car.

About a hundred miles on the road Rick discovered he forgot his passport on the dining room table. Same was discovered with Patty. We knew that Italy would let us in but we might have problems coming back to Germany. Decided to keep going.

I will not describe the trip with four children ages 9 and three 6. “Are we there yet?”, was their favorite conversation.

We had rented two cabins on the beach. One for Anna and one for us. Within seconds the kids found out that the Italian children (girls)  did not wear tops of their bathing suits. Modesty was the conversation but finally settled on the individual’s choice. The group of four was made up of three girls and one boy.

After a group conference it was decided to go to VICENZA to look around and then go to the Army base laundromat to do all the sand-soaked clothes. While there we went to a ceramic factory and “loaded” up on pretty bowls and ceramic chandeliers.  Back to the beach.

Vicenza on Map

Vicenza on Map and website – http://www.comune.vicenza.it/

Città di Vicenza A collage of Vicenza showing: the Villa Capra “La Rotonda”, the classical temple in the Parco Querini, a panorama of the city from the Monte Berico, the Piazza dei Signori and the Renaissance Basilica Palladiana. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicenza

One more group conference and the decision was to go by boat to VENICE. We squeezed on this hot boat and hoped we make it  to see a gondola. The boat stopped right at San Marco’s square. Everyone was hot and thirsty so we sat down at one of the tables on the square and ordered Iced tea. WELL besides busting our budged due the exorbitant prices the “Iced Tea” was warm. “Refreshed” we then made a tour of interests on the square and wound up at a crystal store.

The tourist blood boiling in our bodies we started the shopping. The store had several floors and the higher the more expensive. We shopped on the first floor and again  bought a chandelier. To this day I do not know why the fascination with chandeliers since we were living in base housing and crystal chandeliers did not fit with the “decor”. A year after trying to clean all the tangling crystals I sold it to an unsuspecting newcomer.

St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark's Square overview– St. Mark’s Square overview-

St. Mark's Basilica– St. Mark’s Basilica-

St. Mark's Campanile– St. Mark’s Campanile-

Doge's Palace– Doge’s Palace-

The Basilica of San Marco overlooks one of the most beautiful squares in the world, a real marble salon, the city center for centuries. Next to both the Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, all the most important religious and civil ceremonies have always been held there and now the Piazza San Marco is considered the city’s main symbol and tourist attraction.

This great square overlooking the water is a mixture of spaces, volumes and styles: the Procurator’s residence, the bell tower, the Doge’s Palace and the Sansoviniana Bookshop.

On Ascension Day, the Doge and the city’s most important members got on board and sailed out to the Adriatic, to the Lido port. Here the Doge threw a ring, symbolizing union between Venice and water, into the sea and pronounced the solemn formula: “We wed you oh sea, in the sign of true, eternal dominion“.

Now to the highlight of the trip. A RIDE IN A GONDOLA. We found an empty gondola and asked how much? The price was astronomical so we went into the bargaining mode.  This poor gondolier gave in and took 8 of us for one price and then got yelled at by the other gondoliers for taking so many and and not sharing.  We had a “wild” ride thru some canals and were happy to get back on solid ground. Where was Ignazio singing “O Sole Mio”? Not born yet since this was 1975.  All the movies presented a different picture of a gondola ride.


A Practical Boat for Romantic Venice

The gondola originated in Venice, Italy, that magical city situated on a series of six islands at the edge of the Adriatic Sea. The “streets” of Venice are waterways, making boats the official transportation choice.

Of all the differing watercrafts in Venice, the gondola is the most well-known. It is an ancient row boat, evolving over the last 1,000 years to become the sleek, graceful shape you see today. Its unique, asymmetrical design allows just one oarsman to navigate the narrow Venetian waterways using a single oar. http://www.gondolaromantica.com/gondolas

Time to go back to Germany. Problem Rick’s lack of a passport. After checking we were told that he had to go to Trieste and get the papers to get back home. He went on his own and came back with the right papers. We hid Patty in the camper’s bathroom.

We packed, loaded all our purchases in every space we could find and hoped no one would stop us and ask why we had all these chandeliers. Anna left her purchases with us.

As it turned out no one asked us for passports at the German border and no one checked the van for the chandeliers.


We loved every minute of the trip and started talking where to go next.


Credit to all owners of photos, websites and videos.

Are You A True Italian?

I’m sure almost all of us here at the Flight Crew would like to feel a certain kinship to Italy and the boys of IL VOLO. Whether we are Italian by blood or by desire, the feelings are still there and grow stronger as we watch them mature and take on new projects.

My church choir got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity 10 years ago to travel to ROME, sing three times in two different churches (including St. Peter’s for Pope Benedict at the New Year’s Day Mass 2008), visit many of the famous landmarks, walk along the little side streets and eat Italian food! It was not only a moving experience for me because of my faith, but I also felt like I belonged there. I was so at home and never wanted to leave!

I do a lot of genealogy research for my family so I thought I should do the DNA test. I knew I would have a lot of Eastern European in me from my Mother’s Polish roots –  I am 55% Eastern European. And my Father was mostly Irish/Welsh/English –  I am 27% Irish and 12% English. There are four other trace regions listed and one of them is 2% Italy/Greece! I knew it! It’s not much, but it’s there!

So in that spirit here is an Italian quiz idea from Ann Cruise. Grazie Ann! I took the quiz and, without cheating, got 80% Italian! Not bad for someone with only a smidge of Italian ancestry! 😉

Give it a try! It’s fun! And you might learn something new!

Italian Quiz

Click this image to take the quiz.

Credit to Brainfall.com

Jana & Lorna, the Adventure Continues (about a year later!) The Road to Silvi, July 5, 2016



Let’s recap a bit, shall we? I know it’s been a while. I can’t believe it’s been over a year now.  I guess I’ve just been a bit busy?

We started in Florence, then Venice, and Verona. We are now on our way from Verona to Rome….

We caught our train from Verona to Rome, a 3-hour trip, and were looking forward to the long ride to get a little shut eye, as our train LEFT at 7am. We safely arrived in Rome; again, enjoying a little prosecco on the way. We had reserved a car at the train station and it was in Lorna’s name, since she was driving. I could not drive a manual transmission. We managed to find our way to the main street and waited in line for the taxi. I had the address, but could not figure out where it was from the train station. We 20160705_141159did not see any signs for auto anywhere. After the nearly 30 minute wait for the taxi, in the hot sun, we we finally get in and show the driver the address. He says, “that is around the block!” Ok, then take us around the block. He still charged us 10 euros to go around the block. He dropped us off and I still did not see any signs for cars.  I walked inside. There were tons of crowds. I figured we had to take a number and there were different ones for each rental company. I told Lorna to go in, since the car was in her name and I’d watch the bags. By now it was nearly 11am. Our train got there on time at 10am.

After about an hour, it was finally her turn. There were only 2 or 3 people ahead of us, but it took forever! About 20 minutes later, we had our paperwork and out the door we went. Lorna said it was out the door, a few turns down the block and the garage was on our right and the car on the 6th level. We walked in circles and could not find it. I went back to the car place and asked again where it was. The address was on the back of the paperwork – duh! Ok, Google maps, once again, to our rescue! As we were walking, we ran into a Swedish couple, also looking for this same garage. We finally found it and the elevator and rode to the 6th floor. We finally make it! By now, it’s about 12:30p or so. I had reserved the car for 10:30a. We were tired and hungry. We go get the car and all they had left was a Peugeot SUV! Not the size car you want to drive around in Rome! When we finally got on the road, it was about 1:00pm – nearly 3 hours later!

Getting out of Rome was a little harrowing, but we made it to the highway and we were on our way. I texted Dani to let her know we had finally left Rome. Silvi was about 2.5 hours due east of Rome. I told her if we weren’t there by 4:00pm to send out the guard!

The road to Silvi was gorgeous.  I had brought our solos/duets CDs to give to Dani and we played them on our way.  Ah, what could be better than being serenaded by our guys on our way to the sea?  It was a sunny day with blue skies and big, puffy clouds and the 20160707_090845.jpgmountains – oh so bella!! About 3:30p, Dani texted back and asked us if we were there yet. We took a slight detour, but got back on the main road again. We were getting pretty close and started seeing signs for Pescara. By about 4p, we finally made it to our hotel. We saw glimpses of the Adriatic Sea – it was breathtaking!

Our hotel was on a high hill! Lorna put it in gear and up we went. Good thing she was driving. It was probably about 4:30pm or so by the time we got settled into our room. I 20160707_065720.jpgtexted Dani and told her we had finally arrived. We decided to meet at Murphy’s Irish Pub, on the beach, at 6pm. Ok, here we were in Italy and we were eating at an Irish Pub – the irony!! We had a short nap and then made our way down to the beach and restaurant.

Down the hill we went, and down the street, down another, hang a left and then a right, and there we were! I had seen pictures of Dani, so I had an idea of what she looked like and she, me. I think she spotted us first.

We decided to stroll the beach, first, while it was still light outside and I took a few pictures. I took my shoes off and was walking in the sea. The water was warm, just like bathwater. We sat down for a little bit, taking in the sights. The beach was pretty20160705_195855 deserted by that time in the evening. I picked up a few shells for souvenirs. We were getting really hungry by then, so we went back to the restaurant.

We looked at the menu and it was full of various pizzas and calzones and appetizers. We decided on the famous arrosticini to try. I couldn’t resist passing up a calzone called “Boschetto,” which consisted of spinach, mushrooms, cheese, and sausage. Italians don’t seem to be as much into tomato sauce as Americans.  Lorna opted for a hamburger and fries. Dani had a pizza with just cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. We all loved the arrosticini, as you can see from our picture! 😊

Of course, everything was delicious and the conversation lovely. Dani speaks very good English, so it was easy for us to understand her. Before the evening was over, we decided 20160705_212047to meet the next morning and go into Montepagano to see if we could find where Gianluca and his family were…

We went back to our hotel, completely exhausted and fell into bed. We slept so long, we literally slept through our breakfast time, but it was the first time in 4 days that we didn’t have to get up before the crack of dawn! However, I did get up at the crack of dawn, so I could take a few pictures of the sunrise. Very similar to many 20160707_054121-1 - Copythat Leonora posts! After I took my pictures, I promptly went back to sleep!

We called Dani when we finally woke up and agreed to meet at the bottom of the hill where our hotel was. Dani did not drive, so her sister dropped her off. We then went to lunch at one of the restaurants on the beach. On the way, we went down this fairly narrow, one-way street. The street dipped and there was this really low overpass. We had no choice, we had to get to the road that ran with the sea, and we couldn’t really turn around. So, we forged ahead and as we went under20160706_131635 the overpass, all we heard was this frightful rumbling sound as we drove, very slowly, ahead. Lorna and I were fearful of what we might find when we got out, imagining the whole roof of the car being scraped! Cautiously, we got out and held our breath and looked.   Nothing! We realized it was just the antenna that was hitting the top of the overpass. Whew! Escaped that one!!

Dani asked us what we wanted and she ordered for us. I had some penne with tomato sauce and some prosciutto with melon. Dani had some kind of pasta with clams or some type of seafood with these little shells and I think Lorna just had prosciutto and melon. The wine and pop were so cheap. I think I drank a whole bottle of frizzante though! After lunch, our adventure to Montepagano awaited. When we left that morning and were getting closer to the restaurant, the skies looked a bit 20160706_140229threatening, but it was pretty far off. As we left the restaurant, it was getting closer and closer, as we drove toward the little mountainous town. As soon as we hit the street that went uphill, these big splats of rain, bombed our windshield…. TO BE CONTINUED….. Next – A stroll through L’Amore Si Muove!  🙂