Category Archives: Personally Speaking

A FRIENDSHIP OF OTHER TIMES by Daniela

This is a tribute to Il Volo in the first decade their career.

Some time ago Valeria Bosch wrote this beautiful article, which talks about true Friendship, the one with a capital F.

Perhaps not all of you have had the opportunity to read these beautiful words, which only Valeria knows how to compose so well, and then I propose to you this beautiful reading.

Friendship 01

1 – Traveling to Rome.

Who knows what was going on in the minds of those three kids while, in the spring of 2009, who on the plane and in the car, headed for Rome. The expected convocation had arrived and now they could hope to be selected for the television show of Antonella Clerici – to perform on the most important national network, to be seen by everyone and return to their towns with an upturned nose, at school with the comrades boasting of having been seen in the magical world contained in the television box, and of having sung just like the most famous stars, in short as they too had become, “VIPs”!

Friendship 02

Not even the unbridled imagination of three thrilled and enthusiastic teenagers could ever remotely imagine what the destiny behind that convocation was concealing for them: it would have taken a magic mirror more powerful than Snow White’s to see inside the journeys, the planes, the thousands of discs sold, prizes, awards, the Radio City Music Hall and the Barclay Center in New York, the Olympia in Paris, the Royal Albert Hall in London and the most prestigious theaters in the world, the thousands of people across the planet  standing to applaud  their every song, the adoring little girls that crowded under the hotels waiting for them, dealing, on equal terms, with the most famous celebrities of the music world.

The story that starts from that journey to Rome could be told in a thousand ways, the songs, the theaters, the people, the prizes, the interviews, the relations with the press. But I would like here instead, and just to honor the ten years of activity of Il Volo, which is equivalent to ten years of life in common, choosing a really personal and delicate button, something that, especially considering the current times, is extraordinary and amazing, and that is friendship, the true friendship that exists between these boys, strengthened more and more over the years, a friendship as used in ancient times, that is made of mutual support, understanding, capacity for forgiveness, of confidence of the most intimate secrets, in short, a feeling that, in certain situations, can prove even more solid and satisfying than love.

Friendship 03

2 – A true friendship

At first it was certainly not a bed of roses: who was that kind of a nuisance that was already talking and singing on the pullman that took them to Rome? and that timid little bit of snobbish, who singing, brought out a powerful voice? and that other one with glasses and command modes, who was nevertheless always ready for a joke and a laugh? Bringing together three males still in full adolescence, tearing them away from their habitual context, home, school, friends, to get them to travel the world, subjecting them to considerable physical and psychological stress, was a daring feat. There is no doubt: at first the thing seemed titanic, but then, over time, something was changed. There was something more in them than the normal vivacity of adolescents, the whims, the desire to have fun: there was a basic solidity, a great loyalty and goodness of character that in the formative years had been shaped in them by three exemplary families, parents and grandparents united, full of intelligence and love, who had managed to convey to them the need to be serious, the beauty of doing their duty, the acceptance of fatigue and sacrifice.

Friendship 04

And so, slowly, they began to look at each other not with mistrust, but with sympathy, not with rivalry, but with a spirit of collaboration. The friendship has been strengthened and has managed to create an understanding between them that, to those who have to observe it during performances, both in concerts and in interviews, can only appear obvious and even incredible: just a nod of one to start (or block) the other, sometimes they touch their shoulders to look for security, they hug each other to welcome the ovations of the audience, they shake hands in a superstitious gesture before each concert. Really three voices and one soul, as is often said.

Friendship 05

The litmus paper of the by now profound mutual affection was, as told in their testimony book An Extraordinary Adventure (Un’avventura straordinaria: La nostra storia), an accident that occurred in Miami in 2013, when during an evening at the disco among friends, Ignazio was unknowingly drugged, beaten and left unconscious on a lawn. The fear felt in not seeing him return, the anxiety of waiting that drove Gian to watch all night in the hotel in the hope that he would appear, and Piero, on a motorbike on the streets of Miami to look for him, cemented them indissolubly, made them understand, how important they were to each other, and urged Ignazio to give a public thanks during a subsequent concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York, without mentioning the incident, but expressing to his friends his affection, his joy of being together and sharing all the experiences with them.

Friendship 06

There is no rivalry, there is no envy, there is no jealousy between these three boys: they collaborate in the work of recording in the studio, in the technical preparation of the pieces, in all the activities required of them, and they are sometimes seen together even outside the stage, this is a true sign of sincere understanding. In fact, if they felt annoyed with each other, after work they would immediately split up, to live each their own life.

Friendship-07.png

This is their secret, their spring, their added value: in the DVD that was released after the victory in Sanremo in 2015, one is surprised to hear Ignazio declare that, “Gian is the best boy in the world.”, and Gian reiterating, “We love each other so much.” and Piero, “There are no problems between us because when one is born, we resolve it immediately, where it is born it must die.” No more friends, therefore, but brothers, as they themselves have been declared several times.

Friendship 08

3 – The bench of Montepagano

Even the magic mirror of Snow White, no matter how powerful could tell us if, after this first decade, the guys of Il Volo will still celebrate others together. It is also possible, with the golden voices that can be found in all three, that to someone, and it would be completely legitimate, the desire to probe new ways and to pursue, at least at times, a solo career. But we do not need the mirror of Snow White to be certain that their friendship will be celebrating the 2nd, 3rd, 4th decades, and so on: Ignazio will forever remain an indelible piece of the life of Gian and Gian of Piero and Piero of Ignazio, and vice versa.

Friendship 09

Perhaps, when they are three sprightly old men, without the need for tricks and wigs, they will meet again on the bench of Montepagano, made famous by “L’ amore si muove”. And there, they will still be friends and brothers, it will be enough – a joke, a laugh, a memory, a hug – to find each other as they have been for the whole life, “three men and one soul”.

Friendship 10

What a beautiful story, of an incredible friendship, born by chance, but lasting over time. Certain feelings are connected with time and events.

Valeria you have the gift of finding the most beautiful words to describe this beautiful friendship between Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.

Daniela

Friendship 11

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

Personally Speaking~Though you are grown…

Though You Are Grown

I remember years ago,
you were so young then.
Sometimes,
I can’t help but wish,
that you were small again.
I’ve ached when you’ve faced heartaches,
and saw, that as you grew,
nothing broke your Spirit,
instead it strengthened you.
I’m filled with mixed emotions,
as I hold back all the tears
and, with much pride remember,
back so many years.
When I first saw you
if only I’d have known,
the years would feel like moments,
after you had grown.
You aren’t a child,
though in my eyes,
I guess you’ll always be,
that young boy who changed my life,
and means the world to me.

 

I stumbled across this touching poem that made me think of watching Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca growing up before our very eyes, and of us, their devoted fans.  So many of us have said how finding Il Volo has changed our lives for the better.  Deepening our love of  bel canto,  discovering new friendships, traveling adventures to concerts and for some, to their beautiful Italy, and being witness to three genuine young men who are making the world a better place just by being themselves, have been but a few of the joys these boys have given us.

I wish someone had documented on film little Gianluca standing in the town square singing at the age of 3.  Or the first time Piero’s Nonno heard him sing and asked who that was?  Or  Ignazio banging away on his drums in his bedroom at a tender young age.

I love going back and looking at footage of our boys at young ages as their talents were beginning to be recognized.  Daniela sent me this first video of Ignazio , back in 2007, performing at Marsala Impero Theater in a re-adaptation of Gen Rosso’s musical, STREETLIGHT.  I found the second video filmed during the same performance.  Ignazio knew his way around the spot light way back then.  This boy was meant to be on a stage!

 

 

 

The next video is of Piero singing with Nonno Pietro in what looks like the town piazza.  Note how Piero is directing the children’s choir right behind him.  How adorable!

 

 

And finally we have Gianluca with his younger version of Il Mare Calmo Della Sera.  His voice was so strong and powerful way back then.  Note the sweet quick smile he breaks into when the audience applauds.  I remember in an interview with his parents they stated he was so shy when he was young, he would look upwards the entire song or turn and face the wall, so as not to have to look at people while he sang.  Here he actually sneaks a few glances at the camera.

 

 

Yes, Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio…you will always be…the young boys who changed our lives and mean the world to us.

~~~~~~~~~~

Credit to all owners of videos.

Poem author: Cynthia A. Sieving

~Personally Speaking ~ Perfect…Perfetto!

Gianluca and two of his friends singing Ed Sheeran’s mesmerizing song,  “Perfect.”  Mr. Sheeran sure has an all time gem of a song here.

 

I know a lot of you have probably seen this as it was posted on FB, but it’s worth repeating here.

These three sound very good together, but I can only IMAGINE how divine this song would be coming from the hearts of IL VOLO!  It is the grace of the lyrics and gentle melody that make it so beautiful.  I saw Ed Sheeran singing this with Andrea Bocelli also.  Another gorgeous version.  Yet hearing Gianluca’s amazing baritone voice in this song makes me long to hear our beloved three sing this song on their own.

I can’t stop listening to this.  It keeps me coming back over and over.  So beautiful…Perfetto for Il Volo!

 

~~~~~~~~~~

Credit to owner of video.

Personally Speaking~Me oh my, which one do I want?

Do you ever stand there staring like a deer in headlights when looking at the vast displays of olive oil to choose from?  I know how to tell if it’s from Italy, but beyond that I am clueless.   Well, I admit I was until I came across this great article that explains what to look for!  Felice per la cottura!  (Happy cooking!)

 

When it comes to quality olive oil, Italy certainly holds the world’s first place. Yet, do we really know how to recognize a truly good olive oil from a mediocre one?

 

Here are some simple rules to recognize a quality extra virgin olive oil.

dreamstime_m_35563150

First of allalways go for dark bottles that protect their content from light and avoid its oxidation

 

Labels should give us basic information:

The olives’ geographical origin

Their type

Where they have been pressed

Where the oil has been bottled.

 

olive-web1

 

Checkmate to bad olive oil: here are some simple rules to recognize a quality extra virgin oil.

 

Acidity should always be lower than 3%.

Olives should always be cold pressed, which means the process should take place at less than 27 degree Celsius to keep flavors intact.

Color and clearness are important parameters to recognize a quality extra virgin oil.

It shouldn’t be too liquid, as it would mean it contains high quantities of  polyunsaturated fats.

It should smell fresh, with hints of freshly cut grass, tomato peels, almonds, and artichoke leaves.

It should taste bitter and tangy, that is, rich in polyphenols!

  

olive-web3

 

 Make sure its expiration date isn’t over 18 months from production and that price isn’t lower than 18 USD per litre (15 Euro). 

If all these parameters are met, than you got yourself a great bottle of extra virgin olive oil! Try it also to fry: it’ll surprise you. 

And of course, always check the label says 100% Italian. 

 

Article credit to L’Italio Americano,  and Varinia Cappelletti.

~Personally Speaking~ Il Sasso School of Italian Language ~

One is never too old to learn.  How did I miss this amazing looking school along my life’s journey?  I want to become a student once again and study at this incredible looking place!  My dream/wish is that  a group of Flight Crew people would all go over together and immerse ourselves in this beautiful culture,  language, and people.  To sit at tables on a beautiful patio, surrounded by flowers and country side where you view rolling hills and cypress trees as far as the eye can see, while sharing wine and our life stories with each other.  To go to the market together and choose fresh ingredients,  then  gather around a small table in a warm Italian kitchen and learn the art of making true Italian pasta.  To study and  have fun learning as a group their beautiful romantic language.    I may be a dreamer, but it’s a beautiful thought.

 Chianti near Florence

FOR OVER 30 YEARS, Il SASSO ITALIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOL …

has been running courses in Montepulciano, in the heart of Tuscany. The school offers Italian courses for speakers of other languages studying in small groups and individually. There are six different levels, corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Il Sasso also runs art history, wine, cookery, literature and current affairs mini-courses, as well as courses to prepare students for the CELI and CILS exams. The school is recognised by the Italian Education Ministry and certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards. It is a medium sized school with a reputation for excellence, and is open all year round. Students of all ages come to study here from all over the world.

 

Enjoy this fun video.  

 

 

Article excerpt and video credits to L’Italo-Americano Newspaper

Photo of Tuscany countryside from Tuscanyphotos.com