Tag Archives: Deborah Georgini

A Trip of a Lifetime ~ Part VI ~ Maria, Madeline, Joan and Deborah

The Final Chapter or “Oh, go home already!  Haven’t you had enough magic happen?” ~Marie

May 22: Excelsior Palace Hotel, Taormina  

Before we went to Taormina we took Maria to her brother Gaetano’s house in Catania, where she was to stay another 2 weeks! Her brother was very happy to see Maria after all these years! He invited us into his beautiful home where we met his wife and toured their apartment which was just lovely and filled with all kinds of beautiful decorative items.

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Maria’s sister-in-law, Cettina, invited us into her kitchen and fed us in the true Italian custom, course after course! After about 2 or more hours we said goodbye to Maria and left her with her brother and sister-in-law.

From there, the remaining trio and our guide went to Mt. Etna, 6,000 feet up the mountain; the other 4,000 feet could only be traveled by cable car, and they were not running that day because of the wind. There was lots of lava rock on the hillside which depleted any vegetation where it formed. We walked part way up to one of the craters and Ciro & Deborah went up further. The wind was so strong Deborah felt she would be blown off the mountain!! The view from Etna is breathtaking!

We finally arrived at our hotel in Taormina late afternoon. We did the necessary check-in and put our luggage in our rooms. Once checked in, we then headed out on foot to the beautiful city of Taormina.

Taormina is a very touristy town; in fact, it was the first tourist city in Sicily. A German writer went there to write and that attracted other Germans to vacation there and take photographs which led to businesses opening up in the city. The first establishment was a German Bar.

May 23:

We went to the Teatro Grecco, the theater where Il Volo performed their very first concert in Italy, July 20, 2014, and because it sold out so quickly, they added the next day, July 21, to the schedule. We sat on the concrete seats that surround the theater and watched workmen prepare the stage for upcoming events (an opera was going to be performed there soon).

After touring we went to town again, which was right outside of our hotel. We went through the three arches which separate one part of Taormina from another part – the old and the new. We went into shops and just walked the beautiful street. At the square we took pictures of the seascape and noticed small padlocks along the railing. Ciro explained that it was a sign of true love. Many years ago a young couple vowed their lifelong love for each other by putting the lock on the railing and tossing the key into the sea below. Ever since, many couples perform the same ritual along that railing.

Ciro told us we would stop somewhere special to have the best granite ever!! When we arrived there, Deborah said “Look where we are!! BamBar!! Ciro said, “you know this place?” and we said “of course, this was on our list of places to see, and Il Volo was here last year!!” We sat outside and Saretto (Saro) Bambara, the owner of BamBar, came to our table and talked to us for quite a while about the boys. We enjoyed every bit of the granite, and every minute of our conversation with Saro. Saro is very close to the boys and he took a selfie with all of us and sent it to Gianluca!

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SARO

The inside of BamBar is filled with pictures of famous people who have been there… Il Volo, Michael Douglas & Antonio Banderas, Rosario Fiorello, etc.

We went back to the hotel and showered and dressed in our Il Volo shirts, then we went to Castelmole, an artists town way up in the mountains. We stopped at Turrisi Bar, which is famous for its penises! Yes, you read right – penises!! We had a drink there – Limoncello – as we admired all the, let’s say, figurines and artifacts!! It overlooks the sea and of course there are beautiful views. This bar is 4 stories high and we stayed on the second story and took pictures of the beautiful view while enjoying our drinks.

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When we finished our sightseeing of the outskirts of Taormina, we went back to the town center for dinner. Ciro dropped us off at the edge of the other side of town and told us where he would meet us for dinner, but we couldn’t find the restaurant (thanks to the Limoncello!!) and Ciro was already there, curious as to our whereabouts (and even a little worried we think), when we finally found it. There are so many little alleyways (for lack of a better word) along the main street with so many restaurants that we couldn’t find the one we were looking for.

When we finally sat down at our table, all 3 of us in our IL Volo 2014 tour shirts, people throughout the restaurant noticed us. Three young girls at the table next to us started a conversation about our shirts and Il Volo and, of course, it went on the entire evening.

The best part of the night (for us Sicilians) was when the street singers appeared. We were so elated to have heard them coming our way, and when they got to the top of the street where we were seated, they saw our IL Volo shirts and came to our table.

THEY WERE THE SAME MUSICIANS/SINGERS THAT APPEARED WITH IL VOLO AT THEIR FIRST CONCERT IN TAORMINA IN 2014!!! This group serenaded us for quite a while, singing one of Ignazio’s songs, Quando L’Amore Diventa Poesia, and a few others!

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After a superb evening, we went back to the hotel to watch the Eurovision contest. On our walk back, people on the street kept pointing at us and saying “IL VOLO.”

Because the lounge in our hotel had a large screen TV, we sat there to watch the contest instead of going to one of our rooms to watch it. Even though our sweet, talented young men didn’t win first place (everyone knows it was fixed) they are in first place in our hearts!!!

When the show was over, around midnight, Deborah, Joan, and Madeline hashed over the contest and finally went to our rooms.

May 24:

This was a bittersweet day because we had to leave Sicily to go back to Rome for our last night; however we still had one more stop to make!

Hotel Monte Tauro – where the boys stayed last year for the Taormina concerts. It is a 5 star hotel with a phenomenal view of the sea! The hotel clerk allowed us to take pictures in the lobby and she even took photos of us sitting on the couches where the boys sat last year! This hotel is truly befitting our exquisite, classy young men!

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Against our will, we drove to the Catania Airport for our flight to Rome. After going through security, Joan and Madeline headed up the escalator for the terminal. They couldn’t figure out where Deborah got to, when suddenly they saw commotion below them in the glass elevator, only to see that Deborah was stuck in the elevator!!… she couldn’t get the UP button to move and the door wouldn’t open for her to get out! It took 2 employees about 5 minutes to extricate her! While we felt bad for Deborah, we couldn’t help but laugh!

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Once we landed in Rome we took a shuttle to the Marriott Park Hotel, which was beautifully appointed; everything there was elegant. Because Deborah is a Marriott Gold Elite member, the three of us were able to sit in the lounge and have drinks and food on the house, thus eliminating the need for dinner. (With Deborah’s VIP status, Joan and Madeline were able to enjoy other upgrades as well). Deborah, Joan, and Madeline sat around in the lounge eating, drinking, facebooking, and talking about the wonderful experiences we had on this trip.

May 25: The Party’s Over

After a wonderful complementary full breakfast, Madeline and Joan bid goodbye to Deborah to go to the airport for the flight back to Philadelphia. Deborah was taking a later flight back to Pisa to catch her flight to Elba d’Isola where she was meeting one of her sons, his wife and her 4 grandchildren for yet another beautiful vacation.

This was truly the trip of a lifetime, and as our guide, Ciro, titled it – “The Four Beautiful American Ladies for Il Volo 2015 Tour.”

We hope you enjoyed reading about our visit to Italy. For more information or additional photos please send a private FB message to Madeline, Deborah, Maria or Joan. Grazie!

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Your trip was of what dreams are made.  Thank You Maddie, Deborah, Joanie and Maria for allowing us to enjoy your fabulous adventure as you lived it!  Like Gale Wall said yesterday, “.. You made the land and it’s people come to life for us..” ~Marie

A Trip of a Lifetime ~ Part V ~ Maria, Madeline, Joan and Deborah

In part IV we left them listening to Il Volo while riding through the picturesque Sicilian countryside.  Don’t dislike them for it.  At least not yet. ~Marie

May 18: Naro

Today we went to Naro to meet Piero’s mother, Eleonora Ognibene.

As we were getting out of the car in the square, two young girls were walking by with huge posters of IL Volo and the Eurovision contest! We stopped and spoke with them about our love for Il Volo; they were kind enough to give each one of us a poster. As it turned out, they were the girls who run the Naro IL Volo fan club!

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For the rest of the day they were our companions, Wendalina Licata and Alessia Bruccoleri. They came to meet Piero’s mother with us, as they know her very well. They joined us in having our pictures taken with Mrs. Ognibene and with the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Naro. Piero’s mother posed for individual pictures with us, and then she took a video of us and sent it to Piero! Photos that we see on facebook do not do Eleonora justice! She is absolutely beautiful; stunning would be a better word.

Mrs. Ognibene and the Vice Mayor of Naro

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“When we left Mrs. Ognibene we went to Castello di Chiaramonte in Naro that was opened that day just for us, so we had the entire castle to ourselves! Someone (perhaps Piero’s mother or the Vice Mayor), had a local guide take us to some points of interest.  Below is a photo outside of the Castello di Chiaramonte with our beautiful guide in Naro, Francesca Maria Dainotto, with the lovely ladies of the Il Volo Naro Fan Club, Alessia Bruccoleri and Wendalina Licata.

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Francesca was called on at the last minute to take us on a tour of Naro and she did an excellent job! The Castle was built in the 12th Century and is 2000 ft above sea level. A princess had lived there; some of the clothing of that era was preserved and on display – beautiful dresses and hats, plus some men’s clothing. We toured the Castle for at least an hour and took some great pictures both inside and out. At one time in history, the castle held prisoners who carved their names on the walls; those names remain to this day.

When we left the Castle we went to Tenuta Vitanza, the Agriturismo owned by Piero’s Zio Gino. He and his beautiful niece, Anna, showed us around and we were just amazed. The house was made of stone and at least 700 years old. There were lemon and orange trees, and we were given fruits right off the trees; we saw animals – a kangaroo, a zebra, pheasants, chickens, rabbits, dogs, horses and beautiful peacocks strutting around with their feathers flared out. There are acres and acres and acres of vineyards and olive groves on the property. We will stay here on our next trip!

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Anna and Zio Gina

A reporter, Paolo Picone, joined us at Tenuta Vitanza and interviewed us; a few days later there was an article in the Naro newspaper about us and our trip to see the places where the boys were raised!

a trip Naro News Article

May 19: Best Western Dioscuri Bay Palace Hotel, San Leone

We moved out of Hotel Amici after 2 nights and stayed in San Leone (near Agrigento), another privately owned Best Western. This hotel was beautiful and near the ocean; it also had a pool.

After switching hotels we went to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. It took more than an hour to go through the ruins. We all had our photos taken just like the one Piero posted on facebook some time ago. We did a lot of walking around the grounds and we all took off in different directions for a bit to take pictures.

From Agrigento we went to the town of Madeline’s ancestors, Casteltermini, high up in the mountains. When we approached the town she started to get choked up and it got the best of her. She could not control her emotions because her mother, who was born in the US, always wanted to visit there but passed away before she had the opportunity. The town was preparing for the Feast of The Holy Cross, which is always held the last Sunday in May. They were putting up arches with lights that spread from one side of the street to the other. The festivities start on Friday and end with a procession on Sunday. Madeline was able to go into the main church, although there was a ceremony of some sort going on. She would have liked to light a candle for her mother… next time, to be sure!

We had a nice lunch in Casteltermini at Ristorante i di Mike.

Having had a late lunch, we passed on dinner and opted to go out for gelato. When we got back to the hotel we went to the lounge for a drink and to check out FB posts. Suddenly, people who were all dressed to the nines, including some children, started coming in and sat around the lounge for a while. There was a band playing on the upper level of the hotel and we thought it may have been a club of some sort but… not for little kids! Finally we realized it was a wedding reception that was going to be held in the restaurant on the upper level, and we had a clear view of some of the tables through the glass walls. Once the guests were seated at their tables, the bride and groom came through the lounge and up the steps to the reception. This was all taking place at 22:00, and on a Tuesday night! It was the first of three weddings that we saw in Sicily.

About an hour later we headed to our rooms and sat out on our own big patios and enjoyed the evening air and the beautiful scenery, while finishing our coffee liqueur.

May 20: Mediterranean Palace, Ragusa

We left Agrigento and drove to Ragusa. There was beautiful scenery all the way, with acres and acres of strawberry fields (for which Ragusa is noted), olive groves, and vineyards. There was a situation on the way to Ragusa that forced us to detour and as a result we traveled through the town of Vittoria. There we stopped at a deli for lunch (the first deli we had seen in all of Italy), where they had all the Italian meats, cheeses, and olives, among other delicious looking items too numerous to mention. We all got sandwiches or platters of ham, prosciutto, provolone, olives, etc. Joan bought a bag of tomato flavored potato chips; they were delicious!

When we arrived in Ragusa, Ciro explained that there were two parts to the city, Ibla, the old and baroque part of Ragusa, and the new, lower part. Ragusa is a UNESCO city. There is so much to see here that we didn’t have time to take it all in.

From Ragusa we went to Modica, the Chocolate Capital of the World. The shops all had chocolate tastings – so many kinds of chocolate! – and some also had wine tastings, which we thoroughly enjoyed. There are quaint stone walls and homes built in Modica and surrounding areas that were erected with no cement to hold them together; they were just layered like a jigsaw puzzle. We had a fabulous dinner in Modica, including tripe, which was the first time we had seen it on a menu anywhere in our travels and Madeline, having eaten it throughout her life, was elated to have found it in this restaurant.

May 21:

At 10:00am we were on our way to Noto and Siracusa. There was fragrant oleander growing wild along all the roads. Again, the scenery in Sicily is outrageously beautiful!

In Noto we walked the main road which is closed to vehicular traffic. It was a beautiful tile-lined street, and once we went through the arch we were in the shopping and dining areas. The main church in Noto was beautiful baroque style. Ciro explained that the dome was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1990s but was restored to its original state on the outside; unfortunately the inside frescos were not able to be duplicated.

Siracusa was the next town we visited. The city is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

We toured the city and had lunch at a restaurant by the sea. It was a perfect day for that kind of venue.

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Tomorrow meet Maria’s brother who lives in Taormina!  Finally even these fortunate ladies have to return to the U.S.A. ~Marie

A Trip of a Lifetime ~ Part IV ~ Maria, Madeline, Joan and Deborah

I want to meet Buddy.  I want to cuddle Buddy.  I want to live where Buddy lives.  I want to sleep where…  Oh… the Italy Trip.  Here you go… ~Marie

That evening we went to Pizzeria dei Desideri where we met Nina Boschetto and Buddy.

Ignazio’s friend, Dario Piccolo, met us there as well. When we walked in, Nina asked us if we were the ladies from America! She came from behind the counter and gave us all hugs and kisses. Nina is a lot like Ignazio – very bubbly and loving! We talked for a while, then we all ordered individual pizzas or calzones, beers and sodas. Madeline’s pizza was called “Ignazio” (of course… what else would she order!) and all the other pizzas had names as well. We took pictures with Nina and when Madeline asked Nina to tell Ignazio we were sorry we missed him, she picked up her phone and did a video of us and immediately sent it to Ignazio! We were just overwhelmed with joy!  (aaakkk ~Marie)

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There is a wall in the restaurant with postcards from all over the world where the boys had travelled (see photo below). There was also a picture with all of the boys on one half and just Ignazio on the other half; riveting! Many other Il Volo Pictures were posted too.

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May 16:

This morning we went to a local park to a meeting of the Vespa Club of Marsala (we had been invited). Ignazio is an honorary member of the club since he refurbished a Vespa for his own use. The club members greeted us with open arms and allowed us to take pictures of them and their machines, which they allowed us to sit on as well. We were able to take a picture of Dario standing on the steps of the same cinema where he did a video to Ignazio on the L’Arena show (Massimo Gilletti). The cinema is across the street from the park where the meeting was held!

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After the Vespa meeting we headed for Trapani and lunch at Cantina Siciliana. The chef and owner, Pino Maggiori, who is very famous throughout Italy, prepared dishes for us (no menu) and gave us a tour of his wine cellar and the Sicilian puppets that are part of the Sicilian culture. We toured some of Trapani on foot and by car for a while. It was a very enjoyable afternoon (as were all our days of this magical vacation!)

On the way back to Marsala we stopped in Dattilo for a connolo tasting at a place where they make the best cannoli in the world! These cannolis are shipped all over the world and now we know why!

Late that afternoon we headed to Agrigento and the Hotel Amici.

So let’s talk about Hotel Amici!! Now this was one of our longer stays of 3 nights. 

This hotel did not meet up to our expectations.  We all looked at each other and said “I don’t think so”!!  At least it was clean, so we ended up staying 2 of the 3 nights and were able to move to a very nice hotel on the 3rd night (thanks to Ciro), which was much better!!  So 1 out of 8 hotels is not bad odds! Ironically enough, 3 out of 4 of us had the best night’s sleep at Amici!

May 17

Ciro picked us up at our hotel bright and early and we took off for parts unknown (to us). Ciro has a Bose amplifier in his vehicle and we listened to the beautiful music of Il Volo as we rode throughout Sicily every day!

We drove through some beautiful countryside; again, lots of olive groves and vineyards no matter where you looked! We saw some vineyards that were covered with white plastic, making the countryside look like it had snowed in that area, but Ciro explained that the covered vineyards are for table grapes, while the uncovered ones are for wine.

We went to the quaint little town of Sciacca (pronounced Shakka), famous for its ceramics and thermal spring water. We stopped at a shop where the owner was actually hand painting a ceramic piece and we talked with him for a while and bought some of his smaller pieces. Too bad our suitcases had a weight limit or we would have bought large platters or bowls – they were all so beautiful!

Naturally we stopped for a late lunch and ate at a Ristorante that was right on the sea, where we watched boats sailing around, and just enjoyed the beauty of it all.

When we returned to Agrigento we decided to forego dinner and go out for some wine and snacks (Deborah had to have her gelato instead!) and, walking back to our hotel later, we suddenly heard Grande Amore playing somewhere. Knowing it wasn’t the melodious, beautiful voices of our beloved Il Volo, we ran in the direction of the music to see who was singing their song (the music was from the boys’ recording though); it turned out to be a karaoke bar at a sidewalk café, and a guy was singing to the boys’ music. We went in just in time to hear him sing the last part, and two old men started waiving for us to come in and sit with them! LOL!! We had so much fun! (No, we didn’t stay… as soon as “Grande Amore” was finished we hightailed it out of there!)

May 18: Naro

Today we went to Naro to meet Piero’s mother, Eleonora Ognibene.

Oh, by-the-way, “today we went to meet Piero’s mother.”  Do you notice how casual these women have become after meeting almost every important person in Italy,  not counting two-thirds of Il Volo and the Pope?  The Eleonora meeting next. I still want to live where Buddy lives. ~Marie

A Trip of a Lifetime ~ Part III ~ Maria, Madeline, Joan and Deborah

So far they’ve toured Rome, visited the Vatican and had an Il Volo Pizza made specially for them.  Then they spent quality time with Gianluca and Mr. Ginoble.  They were even made famous in an Abruzzi news article:

a trip Roseto degli Abruzzi 2nd News Article

Read on. ~Marie 

May 13:

We went to Bar BereBene in the morning for coffee, where we met Emiliano again and there was Nonno Ernesto, sitting outside with a group of his friends! Our guide and Maria both speak Italian and told Nonno Ernesto that we had met with Gianluca and Ercole the day before and Ernesto said that Ercole had told him all about us. We stayed a while and had coffee and took pictures with him. Like his son and grandson, he was very accommodating and charming! We talked about his having been to New York and California with Gianluca, and what a sweet boy he is; Nonno said that Gianluca has always been that way very caring and sweet. We expressed our thanks to him for his beautiful family. Nonno thanked us for coming.

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Nonno Ernesto said that if we wanted some good pictures, we should walk down a certain road for a beautiful view of the sea below, from way up on the mountain in Montepagano. You’ve all seen pictures of Gianluca in the same spot! We took photos of the most exquisite view of the sea and towns below us. A man who was fixing up an apartment to sell invited us in to take pictures from his balcony. The apartment was adorable and the views were spectacular.

Once again we were on the road, traveling around Abruzzi. We went to San Benedetto di Tronto in Marche District where we saw buildings that were built into the mountainside in the 16th century. We bought lunch at a small shop on the square and sat outside eating stuffed fried olives, eggplant, and roasted tomatoes. We toured this beautiful region and enjoyed every second of it! We almost hated to leave but we had plans for Sicily!

May 14: Hotel Vecchio Borgo, Palermo

Since our flight to Palermo was postponed from 11:00 to 22:00, our hopes of meeting Ignazio and Piero were snuffed out because they had to leave for Bologna to get ready for Eurovision.

Having time on our hands, we had the opportunity to tour Pescara. What a beautiful city!

From a deck atop a seaside hotel that we wandered into, we took some pictures of the beautiful scenery around Pescara and other interesting sights.

We walked around the town for an hour or so and stopped at a little seaside café where we ate individual pizzas that were served with brown paper wrapped around them; very good, too! We did more touring, then headed to the airport where we said goodbye to Christophe and “dined” at the airport while we waited for our flight!

When we finally landed in Sicily around 23:30, our driver & guide, Ciro Grillo, took us directly to our hotel where Maria tried using her key to get into Madeline’s room… she thought it was her room… okay, so it was late!. Lol!

May 15: Morning

Ciro picked us up and took us through Palermo, where we went to the “Capo” – the open food market where vendors had beautiful fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, etc. At the Capo, half way through the market, there is a baroque style church with mosaics made out of marble. Exquisitely beautiful.

Palermo has three opera houses, one of which is the biggest in Europe – Teatro Massimo

May 15: Stella d’ItaliaMarsala

We checked into our hotel and quickly got ready to be escorted to Marsala City Hall by Alessandro Tarantino, assistant to the Secretary General of Marsala. A Mayor was to be elected at the end of May and the Secretary General took the place of the Mayor until the election. Alessandro walked us to the square where City Hall is located, and we went through the building and saw the room where Ignazio was inducted as Ambassador! Then we met the Secretary General, and Alessandro took our pictures and wrote an article about us which was later posted in the Marsala newspaper!

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a trip Marsala News Article

That evening we went to Pizzeria dei Desideri where we met Nina Boschetto and Buddy. Ignazio’s friend, Dario Piccolo, met us there as well.

More?  Of course, they said it was a trip of a lifetime and it’s not over yet!  Lucky dogs!  No offense Buddy. 
~Marie

A Trip of a Lifetime ~ Part II ~ Maria, Madeline, Joan and Deborah

Ok, Ok…Here’s the next part.  Stop with the emails and the begging.  Sheesh. ~Marie

May 12:

THIS IS A DAY WE WILL NEVER FORGET! IT IS ETCHED IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS FOREVER!

This was the day that Gianluca and his father, Ercole, came to the Liberty Hotel to meet with us.

We had no idea if Gianluca would be available that day so we waited with baited breath in the glass enclosed café for the car to pull up. Finally, there it was, and there was a passenger in the front seat too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Madeline had the best view of the road and saw the car first. When she told the rest of us, we had to contain ourselves so as not to jump out of our chairs, although, we believe one of us did!! (not to mention any names, Joan!)

Gianluca, with all his fame, coming to meet 4 old(er) women who just happen to love him immensely! We all know that Gianluca is a sweet, sweet young man, so very humble, but to meet with him and his father in this way was just unbelievable!! Gianluca was so excited that we came all the way from America to see his surroundings and where he grew up and still lives. He and Ercole treated us like WE were the stars! They spent the better part of an hour with us and Gianluca kept hugging and kissing these 4 Granny Groupies (as Deborah labeled us)!!! He signed autographs and hugged and kissed us even more. Gianluca also asked us what we thought about “Grande Amore” (Need he ask!!) and also wanted to know how the Americans liked it. Gianluca loves America and was sorry they did not have a tour there this year. He and his father are so down to earth and treated us like we were long lost relatives. Words cannot describe the experience of meeting this sweet, handsome, talented, and humble young man on his own turf with no other fans vying for his time and attention. He took selfies with each of us, since he said he was the selfie king, and took time with us to discuss little things, like where to have dinner! When they had to leave for another commitment, Gianluca and his father both thanked us again for coming to their part of the world. What a pleasure to meet such wonderful, caring, loving people.

After Gianluca and Ercole drove off in the car, with Gianluca waiving to us and smiling that precious smile, we were all so excited we could barely talk to the reporter, Luca Maggitti, (who arrived about the same time as the Ginobles). Mr. Maggitti interviewed us and then wrote a nice article about us in the Roseto newspaper! As it turned out, Mr. Maggitti included us in a second article about Gianluca on June 6, long after we returned to the US.

FOUR VERY LUCKY LADIES!

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Deborah, Joan, some handsome guy, Madeline and Maria

A DAY TO REMEMBER – ALWAYS!

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That evening we went to Don Franchino’s (Gianluca explained that the ch is pronounced like a k in Italian). When you walk in the door you immediately see pictures of IL Volo throughout the restaurant. Before we even sat down at our table, we spent at least 15 minutes talking to Franco Cardelli (does the name sound familiar?), who was so happy that we came to his establishment all the way from America.

Mr. Cardelli suggested that he make 5 of his most famous pizzas for us; the Pizza Il Volo, with a mayo-type floret, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, broccoli, and thinly sliced cod; the Fossa, with thinly sliced pears and mozzarella then drizzled with honey; another, the Colonnata with strips of grilled zucchini and different cheeses, and the Papa Francesco (the Pope), with mozzarella, thin slices of parmagiano, coated nuts and marmelade onions. Dessert was Ciocori, a pizza topped with grated chocolate, ricotta cheese, and powdered sugar. All were delicious! The best pizzas we ever ate, especially—guess which one!

Pizza Il Volo

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From there we went to Montepagano to see if we could find Bar BereBene. When we approached the square we (by chance) met Ercole Ginoble again and asked if his father was around, but he was not. We thanked him again for meeting with us earlier in the day. We said good night to Ercole and headed toward the bar.

May 13:

We went to Bar BereBene in the morning for coffee, where we met Emiliano again and there was Nonno Ernesto, sitting outside with a group of his friends!

That’s next!  Do not email me for part 3.  I’m in no hurry.  I’ve already read it all!  ~Marie