Scrolling through various publications, I found this post by Maura Pucci really very funny and particular and, of course, she talks about Gianluca!!
I am in the beautiful garden of Santa Severa, a seaside town near Rome, with my historical friends from my holidays, engaged in pleasant conversations. I have my tablet with me, hoping to give it a peek from time to time …
As my most assiduous Facebook friends may have noticed, I have not been present on the internet very much this month of August. Luckily, in a moment in which speeches languish, I have the possibility and I immediately go to Instagram and the screen lights up …. immensely!
It appears to me immediately, the last photo of Gianluca at the sea, as always a dazzling image of Italic and Mediterranean beauty.
I’m used to his breathtaking images that I have by the dozen by now. Personally, I don’t like to talk too much about his beauty.
Everything that could be said about him in this regard has been said by others, even that he resembles a Greek divinity, or Michelangelo’s David ….
I have always preferred to speak of his voice, even if, immodestly, I consider myself sufficiently expert and rational to evaluate CLEARLY, that is with the brain and not with the heart, both one and the other.
These are my premises to get to tell you how it ended …. In a few seconds I decided to seize an unrepeatable opportunity for fun. My friends know Il Volo well, because I’ve been talking to them for years. They follow Il Volo, when they appear on TV (and they automatically think of me: inevitable!).
But they have always rightly seen Gianluca in other clothes, elegant or casual, but never …. without clothes, that is in the version of a “mermaid” 😁😁
I want to amaze them, with … special effects, let’s call them that, and see closely the effect it does ..! 😂😂
I extend to Agnese, the closest friend, my tablet with the beautiful photo. She opens her eyes wide and says, “Damn! And who is this ACTOR??” She looks at me.
I don’t answer, assuming a Sphinx-like expression.
The others interrupt the chatter and look at us curiously. Agnese resumes the exam and adds: “Do you know who remembers me vaguely? Your “Gianluca from Il Volo!”
I don’t understand if the photo really reminds her vaguely, or if she guessed it and jokes, slyly, knowing my weakness ..
Is it him? Of course, it’s him!
My tablet passes into other hands and the general conclusion is this:
He is WASTED TO BE A SINGER.
Perhaps in the future he could be enticed from singing to acting … A request has already been received and rejected due to too many commitments. But if he had to face this new experience, stopping singing, it makes me think that he would be WASTED TO BE AN ACTOR.
Time will tell…..
I laughed, reading this story by Maura, imagining the scene, of her proudly showing the photo of Gianluca!!
Grandma Maura, you are really cool!!😘
And here is my opinion.
I don’t see anything wrong if Gian were to do some part as an actor, but it has to be a decent film, not necessarily a film where there are songs.
However, this must not affect the Il Volo trio. Il Volo is the priority and remains. All three have always stated that there may be small single projects, but the group remains intact.
I also think it really wasted that such a beautiful voice, like Gianluca’s, is silenced for an acting career.
Both things can coexist !! (such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra …. and more).😉
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 to 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 FLEWoff 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 us 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 asphalt 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. 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 beautiful 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. 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 late 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 share 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. 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 Saro” 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 of 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 on 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!
(Ciao a tutti! – Just about 4 years ago (February 20, 2015), I wrote this poem after receiving the Sanremo version of Grande Amore. It is clear I was very excited – to say the least. At the time, this post got 81 comments and something like over 500 views on the site. Marie also chose it to go into the book we gave the guys, way back when, and I felt very honored. I thought I’d post it again, just for fun. I did write a new poem for the new Musica album, that I got yesterday, which is awesome – the album by the way. However, I don’t think I could top this poem. 🙂 But I will post it as well in a few days. – Enjoy, again!)
We knew it was coming, but when would that be?
We waited, and waited, then shouted with glee!
It was coming soon, but not til after Sanremo;
How long could I last, without a new song from Il Volo?
We then heard the news, it was on Amazon.IT!
There I went with my visa, to order it quickly!
I wanted it now, so express shipping I paid;
Hoping and praying, it would not be delayed!
Three weeks and counting, how much more can I bear?
I kept watch on my email, when would it be there?
The contest had started and Il Volo appeared;
Singing their hearts out, while everyone cheered!
But on Friday the 13th, not bad luck for me,
I read in my mail; the CD would be early!
I jumped up and down, how lucky am I?
I’ll have it soon in my hands; I could just cry.
The day finally came, it was arriving today;
I waited and paced, for the delivery all day.
I tracked it online, it came straight from Milan.
On to Bergamo and Brussells, then finally MY town!
I raced home to get it, but it was not there?
DHL had not come yet – how much more could I bear?
I went to the store, to pick up my dinner.
They had til 8pm, then there was a knock at my door!
It was here, finally, at last, it was here!
I’m sorry, but I could not wait to open it, I fear.
I quickly took pictures and then opened it with care;
Staring lovingly at my hand, so wishing they were there!
I listened and listened, and listened again.
Over and over I played it, I did not want it to end.
But bedtime was coming, I so needed my sleep,
I can listen again tomorrow, for I know it will keep.
Il Volo is love, Grand Amore, to be exact!
The heck with all the critics, they are just hacks!
So listen with joy, Il Volovers everywhere;
And know that we give them our tender loving care!
Ok, I thought we might all enjoy a little throwback to the Detroit concert last year, just about a year ago… Some fond memories of the guys and good friends. I miss them so, as I’m sure we all do right now. Impatiently awaiting their new album! Enjoy!
(I have to say, I just reread this myself and was pleasantly surprised, or maybe not, that I had actually forgotten some of this. It’s so amazing we have these archives for us to remember these magical moments!)
This year, we didn’t have to wait quite as long as last time. November 29th could not come quick enough though, as soon as we knew when the pre-sale tickets were going on sale. We were all waiting with fingers and credit cards ready at 10:00am EST to get our hands on the best seats we could. Ten AM hit and we were off. Our fingers flying like a tornado, tearing through all the codes, and commands, and “I’m not a robot” games! Then it was sticker shock for Detroit! $450 each! Ok, you only live once and it was front row. So, trying not to think about the price, we took a quick breath of recovery, and painfully punched in our credit card numbers! There, it was done. Our tax returns were coming soon, right?
Ok, fast forward – after many months of careful planning, the Detroit Il Volo Girls, were joined by a few out-of-towners for a fantastically planned evening. Most of us met at my place in Dearborn and were whisked off by our contracted driver in a Ford Transit to the original “Antonio’s” called Roman Village in South Dearborn. We had 3:30p reservations, as we did not know what kind of traffic we’d run into. We had a lovely meal and left about 5:30p. Due to the construction on I-75, there was a lot of traffic going south, so we just stayed on the side roads and got there in plenty of time; arriving approximately 5:45p. Thankfully, the box office was open, so we got our tickets from will call. We still had to wait a little bit for them to open the doors. I was anxiously waiting for the arrival of Marie and Leelee. As I was looking out the door, I saw them get out of the taxi! It was so good to see them – I had their front row tickets waiting for them. As soon as they got in the door, they were letting us in the lobby. We went through security, then quickly bought our souvenir t-shirt and little furry bag. Awaiting us in our VIP bag were the Il Volo wintergreen mints, another long, fuzzy, black bag with Il Volo on it, and a deck of cards with their picture on the box, and of course, our signed VIP badge for the night.
We were escorted to our seats. I sat on the end in the front row, with a direct view of where Gianluca would be standing. They were only about 5 feet or so from the stage. Our seats were so close, we could touch the stage. We mingled with the others and met up with old friends; making some new friends along the way. It was so great to see so many people you knew and remembered and who remembered you! Before you knew it, it was 7:30p and time to begin. They started pretty much on time.
The lights went down on the theatre, and they went up on the stage, a deep blue light created a reminiscent backdrop of the evening sky in Florence. The smoke machine started to create a subtle breeze in the air. A quiet hush fell over the audience as the orchestra members strolled out onto the stage. The crowd clapped politely. Then the maestro, Joseph Modica, came out; again, the crowed clapped. The lights changed from red, to blue, to purple, to teal, and back again, all night. Very similar to the Florence concert, actually. Joseph raised his hands and the first notes of the violins could be heard resounding over the crowd. That song, that most of us had only heard on the CD or TV, was now playing live, right in front of us. The sing-songy violins spoke and the cellos and bass answered back to them. Soon, it was over. The audience cheered and clapped, knowing that what they were really waiting for was about to appear before our eyes. Seconds later, the notte magica truly began. The guys, dressed elegantly in their velveteen jackets, strolled out onto the stage, amidst what would be the first of many standing ovations that night.
Ah, it began…. Gianluca with his first note of Nessun Dorman…..his velvet voice caressing our ears and his gorgeous eyes, penetrating our very souls. After their first song, everyone in the first 5 rows stood up and gave them glorious cheers, whoops, and applause! Then came Granada. Ignazio stood with a devilish grin on his face, with his hands tightly clasped behind his back, just waiting, as Piero held that now famous long note. The crowd cheered, and then Ignazio began his part.
Soon, it was time for their solos. Ignazio was first with Una Furtiva Lacrima…. To see him sing that with such passion, power, and anguish, was truly an incredible experience. He has such a soft voice when you talk to him. You would never believe something so powerful could escape those lips. Standing ovations from all! More whoops, and cheers! Especially from the first 2 rows!
Then came La Danza, with Gianluca. Again, flawlessly executed. How he gets all those notes in there is pure magic, that is for sure! Another standing “O!” Then it was Piero with No Puede Ser, I believe. I have to say, that is one my favorites by him. Piero does seem to always be the crowd favorite with thunderous applause and cheers. Still, Ignazio is my favorite!
I was fearful that the concert would be a little on the stiff and boring side, but I was pleasantly surprised, as the guys were joking and laughing in between each song, and fooling around as much as they dared; standing in relatively one spot all night. They did take a few breaks and let the orchestra play. What was also nice was that they would come out to center stage to take a few bows after their songs, so everyone was able to see them. Of course, those of us on the left or right side of the stage, could still not see them well to get any good pictures. However, I was able to get some good shots from my vantage point, although many were close to just profile views.
I loved their one little joke about Piero and Ignazio calling their siblings, or in Ignazio’s case, his dog; the others’ names! Piero admitted to sometimes calling his brother and sister Igna or Gian. But then he said it was worse that Igna called his dog, Franz, by THEIR names – Piero, or Gian. Ignazio said, with his cute accent, “it happens….”And I can see how it can, for I called my own cat by my other cat’s name! Comes out Kam-ari (for Kamina and Mari). Lol!
When it came to O Sole Mio, Gianluca did a little intro saying that many artists recorded this song and the different versions. He mentioned liking the Elvis version and Ignazio says “ELvis!”in his deep voice, and does a little hip movement. (of course being polite here, but it was pretty slight…) Yep, can’t get away from that one!
As mentioned in previous reviews, they did Grande Amore and the awesome new Ave Maria, which Gianluca says was written for them and they want to sing to the Pope one day. It was hauntingly beautiful and amazing to hear them sing it in person, since that was not part of the Florence concert.
Our group and the first several rows stood and clapped after every song. All too soon, the notte magica quickly came to an end. In their reprise of Nessun Dorma, the whole theatre was on its feet, with cheers and more thunderous applause! They did not take a break, and it ended just about 9:30pm.
MEET AND GREET
Yes, one part of the magical night was over, but we were still anticipating the real finale of the evening where we could touch these angelic creatures with these heavenly voices! Unlike last year, things moved pretty quickly. It was a little confusing at first, but they directed us to the elevator to the 2nd floor. Good, much better than last year. We ended up on the 2nd floor, near the mezzanine area, I believe. It was a nice area and much bigger and better than last year. It was very pretty and a nice open area, overlooking the downstairs lobby. When we got up there, we saw where the guys would be. Shortly, the OMGVIP guy came out and gave us the usual “lecture” but he was very nice and told us how things were going to go. They were very organized and had tables so we could set our belongings on them. Everything was pretty orderly. We waited maybe a little over half an hour. Shortly after 10p or so, out came the guys through the velvet curtains. Before it began, there were like two groups – one to the side and one to the front of where the guys would be. The OMGVIP guy actually said – just come on up here and you guys decide who wants to go next! Wow, that was cool! No pushing, no shoving, etc. There were also nice chairs scattered around the perimeter if you wanted to sit down. Like a total 360 from last year’s cattle call!So, by the time the guys came out, everyone was relaxed. Barbara and Alessandra came out first and we were able to chat with them if we wanted to. Leonora came out also, but then hid back in the wings – I guess she didn’t want to join us that night. Gaetano was on the sidelines as well. It really is nice they all have a family member present. I guess Ignazio figured all he needed was Alessandra on this trip. Vito and Caterina stayed home this tour.
Some of you knew I made these scarves for the mothers, Nina, and Barbara. Marie graciously took Caterina’s and Eleonora’s, along with the one for Nina, to them when she visited Sicily. But I still had Leonora’s and Barbara’s left. So, I was able to give the remaining scarves to Barbara and she said she would give the other to Leonora. When I gave the package to Barbara, she saw the crystal wing and her eyes got real big! I gave her the black one. So, I think she liked it, even though she didn’t open it right away. I really should have had her open it, but I didn’t. I also gave each of them a card that had a picture from my Italy trip that I had made on Shutterfly, with a note inside. I did see Barbara open the card and could tell she was reading the note. But, the deed was finally done and they were out of my hands. I got back in line and awaited my turn.
Soon, I was next. I had it all planned out. I was going to say each of their names and give them all a big hug, and I had practiced in my head what I was going to say to each one of them! So, here is how it went….
They were in their “almost” usual spots… Gianluca was on the left, Piero in the middle and Ignazio on the right. I went up to Gian and said “Gianluca!”and gave him a big hug. I told him I was in Montepaganolast summer and it was beautiful. Next was “Piero!”I told him “sempre perfetto!”Got a smile out of him. “Ignazio!”I hugged him and whispered again that he was always my favorite. I got his “aww….”again in his sweetest little voice. I also handed him the package of M&Ms we had left over from celebrating his birthday last year and told him we celebrated all of their birthdays. Then, again, it was all too soon that I felt that familiar tap on the shoulder to turn around and take the picture. I quickly felt a lot of movement beside me and realized Gian was pushing his way in between me and Piero. Odd?
Wait….no, YES, it really DIDhappen that way this time!!! I guess the 6th time is the charm? I was not nervous at all, it was like they were old friends I had not seen in at least 7 months or so? Lol! I met each of them with open arms and hugs.
Then it was time to go home. I think, for the first time, I was actually very pleased and happy with myself on how things turned out. I also said “ciao” to Alessandraand said to her, “I’m sure everyone tells you, you are the luckiest girl in the world.”And she said, “yes…”She is a beautiful girl, even with her glasses on!
Next is Chicago!
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