Tag Archives: Gina

Gina Asks Again…

atlas close up dark dirty
Photo by Aaditya Arora on Pexels.com

Getting to know each other.

Can we share our birth place?

I was born in Panevezys, Lithuania but lived in two more cities , Kaunas and Siauliai, before we had to flee due to WWII. I was 9 years old. 
A city in the central part of Lithuania, located on the banks of the upper reaches of the Nevezis river. It is often referred to as the capital of Aukstaitija. Panevyzys is an important centre of industry and culture. As the fifth biggest city in Lithuania, Panevezys has 132.000 inhabitants. In historical sources the name of Panevezys was first mentioned in 1503. In the old town a visitor’s view is attracted by the churches of Sts. Peter and Paul’s and the Holy Trinity and the cathedral of the Kings Christ. The town has been famed by the performances of the Panevezys Drama Theatre under the artistic director Juozas Miltinis. The museum of local lore presents an exposition on the history of the city from its very beginning. Upyte has an interesting museum of linen. There is also a memorial museum of the writer G. Petkeviciute – Bite. On the left bank of the Nevezis river the city has preserved its oldest park called Skaistakalnis


See more images of panevėžys

Where were you born?


Personally Speaking~Do You Remember When…


Gina sent in this amazing video from Piero from yesteryear!   Not only does the song caress the heart, but it shows such creativity on his part.  I remember when this came out.  We were all just blown away.

Gina, this got me thinking that many of our readers may not have been following the guys back then, so I am including some other priceless videos from the archives.  I remember spending hours on Youtube looking for any and all videos of theirs back in the day.  As much as I love seeing all of their new songs, I also love taking a step back to relive some very special moments in time.

This next video is before Il Volo sang, Maria, as a group.  Gianluca sang Maria as a solo and  he owned that song!   Before the song, Ignazio and Piero are bantering back and forth with how to pronounce the word, “world.”



And here we have their precious little friend, Mia.  Ignazio’s mother became friends with this family through a social media site, and you will see why.  The video her mother made of her singing and reacting to watching Il Volo on TV is priceless.  The genuine love and affection they show for this little girl is captivating.  The song is divine.

The next song, This Time, is an all time favorite as well.


More fun on the stage in Westbury, PA, before Ignazio sings Memory.  He has always been known for instigating the impromptu  comedy sketches with Gianluca being the straight guy, back then.  Gianluca has come full circle with his comfort level on stage.  But, there were times where he would look at them acting up, walk away shaking his head in humorous disbelief.   


I love  remembering how Ignazio had trouble standing still when songs were being sung.  The music pulses through him like blood through your veins.  He has good moves all the way!





I wonder if any of the people sitting in that room listening to them that day have continued to follow their stunning careers?  I sure hope so.  


And the rest…is history…



Thank you, Gina, for the great idea to look back at yesterday.

Credit to all owners of videos.






Some Little Bits of Christmas Cheer

From Penina, the lady who last year brought us the Silent Monks singing the Hallelujah Chorus, now entertains us with…

Tis the season to be silly…

“This year I found another silly video!  It helps to have the words handy–you may have to watch this one more than once to get all the gags” ~ Penina


A Christmas Blooper…Oh Ignazio, no you didn’t…

From Gina:



For something a little more serious.  And since most of us can’t be there…

From Ann (Anncruise):

L’Italo-Americano Newspaper

Ready to jump into a world of old and new traditions? Here’s how Italians celebrate Christmas all over Italy!


You can find bigger Christmas trees and more extravagant decorations in the United States, but nothing looks, tastes, feels or sounds like la stagione natalizia (Christmas season) in Italy. With roots in the “Saturnalia,” the winter solstice rites of ancient Rome, and Christian commemorations of the birth of Gesù Bambino (Baby Jesus), the Italian holidays blend religious and pagan festivities that light up the darkest of nights. 

In Rome and southern Italy, the traditional sound of Christmas is the music of bagpipes and flutes played by shepherds from the region of Abruzzo. According to legend, shepherds entertained the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem with their simple instruments. In the past zampognari (bagpipe players), wearing shaggy sheepskin vests, felt hats and crisscrossed leather leggings,


 came to Rome weeks before Christmas to play in churches. These days the shepherds arrive later and play their ancient instruments in front of the elegant stores along the Via Condotti and other shopping streets near the Spanish Steps. 


Festivities such as fairs and torchlight processions begin weeks before and continue weeks after December 25. Here are the key dates to keep in mind: 

December 6: La festa di San Nicola, the feast of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of shepherds 

December 8: La festa dell’Immacolata, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holy day honoring Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus. 

December 12: La festa di Santa Lucia, the festival of lights encircled  

December 24: La vigilia di Natale, the vigil of Christmas or Christmas eve  

December 25: Natale, which literally translates as “birthday” 

December 26: La festa di Santo Stefano, Saint Stephen’s day 

December 31: La festa di San Silvestro, Saint Sylvester’s day, or New Year’s Eve (la vigilia di Capodanno

January 1: Il Capodanno, literally the top of the year 

January 6: L’Epifania, Epiphany, which marks the arrival of the Magi, the three wise men, who brought gifts to the infant Jesus from afar. 

The Tastes of Christmas 

When I ask Italians what they do most during the Christmas holidays, they say, “Mangiamo” (we eat) — very often and very well, with a huge feast on Christmas Eve, il pranzo di Natale at mid-day on Christmas, and il cenone di Capodanno, another elaborate dinner on New Year’s Eve. In some regions the Christmas feasts must have seven courses (for the seven sacraments); others serve nine (the Holy Trinity times three) or thirteen (for Jesus and his twelve disciples). 

The centerpiece of the Christmas Eve dinner is a specific kind of eel called capitone, a favorite of the ancient Romans that appears in the earliest known cookbook, written by a gourmand known as Apicius. This symbol of life and immortality was traditionally sold alive and wiggling, then beheaded, chopped and dropped into boiling water, spit-roasted, grilled, stewed with white wine and peas, or pickled in vinegar, oil, bay leaves, rosemary and cloves. 

The Christmas day feast usually starts with a rich pasta, such as cappelletti in brodo, little hats stuffed with chopped meats, cheese or pumpkin. By tradition everyone is supposed to eat at least a dozen. Depending on the region of Italy, the main course may be capon, pork or turkey. 

Everyone saves room for the special dolci (sweets) and breads of Christmas. These include: 

*cartellate — curly ribbons of dough that symbolize the sheets on which baby Jesus lay 

*calzoncelli — the pillows for his head 

*latte di mandorla — Virgin’s milk 

*calzone di San Leonardo — shoes of St. Leonard, which represent the cradle *pangiallo — round breads crammed with fruits and nuts (an ancient symbol of fertility) 

*panpepato — peppery and dark bread, somewhat like gingerbread 

*panettone — cake filled with candied fruit, raisins, hazelnuts, honey and almonds. 

*pandoro — sweet yeast bread, usually dusted with vanilla-scented icing sugar.

Christmas Traditions 

The presepio (Christmas crèche) dates back to 1223. Saint Francis, the charismatic friar of Umbria, wanted to bring to life the story of Jesus’s birth. In the little town of Greccio, he placed a manger in some straw and added a living Mary, Joseph, Jesus, shepherds — and actual cattle, sheep and donkeys (who, the story goes, once warmed the infant with their breath). 

You can find presepi, including presepi viventi (living crèches) ranging from simple to stunning, in churches throughout Italy. Some scenes include grottoes, trees, lakes, rivers, angels suspended by wires and reproductions of an entire village or part of a town. Naples is most famous for its presepi, with hundreds of nativity scenes, including many with handmade or antique figures, set up throughout the city. Throughout the year artisans in central Naples create clay figures that are shipped all over the world for Christmas crèches. 

In some parts of Italy, families construct a tree of light, a pyramid-shaped wooden frame several feet high with tiers of shelves decorated with colored banners and gilt pinecones. Often a manger scene occupies the bottom shelf, with fruit, candy and presents above, small candles fastened to the slanted sides and a star or small doll hung at the top.  In Sicily, families make beautiful little altars, hung with green leaves and encircled by oranges, lemons, polished apples, pears, chestnuts, figs and colored eggs. 

Another tradition dates back to pagan rituals that attempted to bring back the heat and light of the sun: the Yule log, which burns during the last 12 nights of the year. It always remains lit when the family goes to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve because of the legend that Mary stops by to warm her newborn child before the blazing fire. 

Holiday Greetings 

Buon Natale e felice Anno Nuovo — Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 

I migliori auguri di buone feste — Best wishes a happy Holiday Season

I più cari auguri per un sereno Natale e per un anno nuovo ricco di soddisfazioni — Dearest wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a fulfilling new year 

Affettuosissimi auguri per un felice Natale — Most affectionate wishes for a happy Christmas 

I migliori auguri per il Santo Natale e per il 2017 — Best wishes for Holy Christmas and for 2017

Dianne Hales [www.diannehales.com] is the author of MONA LISA: A Life Discovered [LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Mona-Lisa-Discovered-Dianne-Hales/dp/1451658974/r… and LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language [https://www.amazon.com/Bella-Lingua-Italian-Enchanting-Language/dp/07679…









How does music affect a generation? – Gina


Article borrowed from youthvoices.net/discussion/how-can-music-affect-generation

How does music affect a generation? Music can have a big impact on everything from society to fashion even lifestyles are effected by new and different genres.
Now I am going to jump back to the 50’s, a great example of how music is way different from today. Back then people were into many genres but not as many as today. From blues to jazz and even classical was the big top hits until a new type of music called rock and roll started to swing in. From Elvis Presley to the Beatles, rock started having people dance the night away to this new and great sound.
As music started to go into the 60’s and 70’s rock had started to become more popular to people from teens to young adults. In the 60’s rock was starting to go up the charts with people like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, the who, the Beach Boys. Soon the rise of flower power, beach rock, peaceful r&b and hippies started to rise with the experimenting of new hallucinating drugs. Effecting people with roadside traveling, folk rock(Bob Dylan), tye dye and natural clothing and peace signs. A big example of the 60’s effect is the Beatles yellow submarine movie, stg. Pepper album and the Magical Mystery tour.
As of today most of these artist are still rocking, retired, or sadly pushing daisies. Today’s music is extremely different from back then. The music is more about partying, sex and drugs. They sound the same with the same tempo and beats. And the people singing use auto tune more than there actual voice. Taking pop and rap for example it is a great example of how this generation is effected by these terrible examples in music. But there is still good music out there from the heavy metal and alternative rock to the expressing of dj’s in dubstep and techno.
So how can music affect a generation? It can express people’s personalities and dreams. It can show who can help bring history into the world of music and who can change forever.”



Ciao, Gina

Why do we love? Why do we love the Boys? – Gina

Forever, I

I’d move mountains to be by your side,

bare the worst of the weather,

just to look in your eyes,

I’d cross the largest oceans,

the stormiest seas,

a smile from you, makes me weak at the knees.

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/forever-i#ixzz3w5yZSrtl

What is love” was the most searched phrase on Google in 2012, according to the company. In an attempt to get to the bottom of the question once and for all, the Guardian has gathered writers from the fields of science, psychotherapy, literature, religion and philosophy to give their definition of the much-pondered word. http://www.theguardian.com › Opinion › Relationships

The physicist: ‘Love is chemistry’

The psychotherapist: ‘Love has many guises’

The philosopher: ‘Love is a passionate commitment’

The romantic novelist: ‘Love drives all great stories’

The nun: ‘Love is free yet binds us’

Why did I give my heart to Ignazio? I have no idea. The minute I saw him sing in 2009 I felt I would follow him, cheer him on and hope that people would not hurt him because he was a little “roly poly”.   SURPRISE! This young man came out of his cocoon and became a
beautiful heartthrob.

All of you ladies and gentlemen have a story why you have special feelings for one of the boys.
Maybe you would share with us!