Tag Archives: I Volo Christmas Concert Assisi 2013

Working My Way to Athens by Susan

Today I begin my journey to Athens and so do the guys. Even though we have different businesses, the guys bring their beautiful voices around the world, and I bring beautiful people around the world, we both conduct businesses in the same way. Our businesses require that we Tour so we are both very comfortable with traveling around the world and bringing happiness to many people.

The guys bring joy to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year. I too bring joy to my pilgrims but not on quite as a grand scale. Everything has its value in its own way.
Why do I say pilgrims? Because my business is pilgrimages.  I bring people to religious places around the world.
So, what does this pilgrimage have to do with the guys? Some of the places we will visit along the way are places the guys are very familiar with because they did concerts there.  One of those places is Assisi.
But let’s begin at the beginning….
This morning, Sunday, September 17th, the guys stepped on a plane in Milan, destination Zurich and the beginning of their European Tour!
This evening, Sunday September 17th I stepped on a plane at JFK airport in New York, destination Rome and the beginning of my pilgrimage.
Working My Way to Athens! Or should I say we are Working our way to Athens!
What’s so important about Athens? It’s the first time the guys will perform there, and the performance will be in the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus Amphitheater which is just below the Acropolis. A magnificent theater! I’ve seen performances there over the years, but I had to be at this performance because I know this will be the greatest of all performances that ever was presented in this theater! Why?
Because, Greece, you have never experienced Il Volo! You are about to pass through a new age of entertainment the likes of which you have never experienced before. Be prepared for your senses to be awakened! Greece prepare yourself to take a giant leap forward in your musical experience.
Many of the Greek fans have been asking and waiting for this performance for a long time. I will be meeting up with many of those fans and group administrators while I’m in Athens. I will also meet up with American fans who are there.
So, this is where my journey is leading me.  But while I’m in flight, let me tell you about a review I read about the guys. Thanks to Daniela’s translation, I can bring you part of this beautiful review.
This review was from a Blogger ~ Cristina Rampini. Cristina is the Director of the Blog. She writes about herself, “I was born a pianist and I continue as an artist! Why? Because I break the mold and start living my days and art at 360 degrees without limits, barriers and above all leaving the ‘idiots gossip’ and ‘criticism’ for its own sake. I started a new life at the age of 40 but as they say… better late than never!!
I already like this lady!
DEJAVU by Cristina Rampini 
I begin with Cristina’s description of the guys….

Piero has a lyrical range and technical precision that make him ready to take on great roles in Italian melodrama. In particular, he leaves us speechless with his interpretation of “Mamma, il vino è generous”, an aria taken from Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. (I’m sorry for those who dispute this simply because of archaic mental prototypes).

Ignazio, or ‘the voice.’ Disarming vocal extension with a tightness even in the high notes that leaves you speechless. The star of the stage with his jokes and his irony who also, doesn’t fail to make us cry with a splendid reinterpretation of ‘Almeno tu nell’universo’ (At least you in the universe) by Mia Martini.

Gianluca is always fascinating (but since super in love also very tender) he takes us into the world of the Beatles, of the legendary Elvis Presley without leaving out precious jewels of Italian song such as ‘La cura’ by Battiato of which he does an intense and highly emotional revisitation with a voice that enchants you from the first notes also for its truly enveloping timbre.
Great music, great voices, great stage performance… a show to absolutely see.
The only sadness: very few young people in the audience, and this must make us reflect a lot on the fact that it is necessary to ‘educate’ the new generations, have the critical ability to distinguish the difference between real music, real artists and pseudo artists.

Daniela’s remarks….
And finally, a truly truthful review, which leaves nothing to chance.
The writer does not report ‘hearsay,’ she was present at the concert and was impressed in a very positive sense. 
The comments on the voices and personalities of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are very beautiful and spot on.
I had the impression, reading this review, that the writer did not have any restrictions or impediments to write what she saw at full speed.
I was very happy, even elated, it’s been a long time since we read such a beautiful and accurate review.
In recent days, after the concerts in Milan, there have been many positive comments and even good reviews, but this is certainly the best.
The final reflection of the article DEJAVU is very beautiful, it’s true, our young people are not used to listening to beautiful songs even by recent song writers, if they don’t have rap or urban rhythms, in short rhythms that are successful now here in Italy.
Our young people don’t listen to Il Volo at all, also due to the denigrating campaign that Il Volo has had from the press which has always defined them as “old”.
But people are tired of the new rhythms, which have also brought rudeness, vulgarity and inelegance.
Something is changing and our favorites are getting more and more support, and this makes me really happy.
To read the full review, go to Daniela’s Story News and Interviews on http://www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
My comment is more of an observation but not on the Milan concerts. The Milan concerts were phenomenal but building on Cristina Rampini’s review I need to say that the guys have made amazing strides in just a few months. This is evident in their appearance at the TIM Awards.  On Saturday, the guys performed at the Awards. Yes, they did win an award for their amazing Tutti per uno, but my comment is more about who the guys have become in just a short period of time….
As each guy walked up to the stage last night I couldn’t help but notice how happy he was. And I couldn’t help but notice that the three men who were on this stage in June were different from these three men. They already were phenomenal entertainers, but last night they became rock stars!
Did you hear the excitement when they approached the stage. The whole Arena was acknowledging them. And their performances were met with such great excitement both individually and together! No these were not Il Volo fans; these were Italians who were there for the Awards and acknowledging our guys for their phenomenal performances. The tides have changed! Amazing what a few months can do!
Onwards to Sanremo! Italy is so ready for you! Bring home another Lion!!!
This is the video of the TIM Awards.

TIM Music Awards – Click Here

This is what they were talking about when they received their awards.
Vanessa Incontrata said: The flight is from 2015 and look where they are.  So, 2 million records as well as a billion views, millions of subscribers on the YouTuber channel.
Piero tells us that they will be doing three big events here at the Arena di Verona “Tutti per uno” the “Tutti per uno” Concept for large events where every evening there will be 10 guests with us here at the Arena di Verona, so we are really happy to announce this this event.  
Gianluca tells us that next year will be a year of great celebrations because we are celebrating 15 years of our career.
Ignazio gives us gossip. He tells us that Carlo Conti will be a guest and he will sing with them for the first time. He guarantee us, “I wasn’t saying that all for one can be your philosophy. Yes, absolutely not your way of being. Look, we grew up together. Now they are quinticelli, unfortunately we are together I’m not joking, we have been together for 15 years, we really know each other better than our brothers and share our music with each other but above all with all of you.
Carlo Conti said….
This the motivation for the award: For the great success they had in the events at the Arena of Verona in which they brought all genres of music: pop, rock, opera and the great songwriting, as you demonstrated tonight. Making the public experience a real journey into music that only three great artists with talent and sensitivity like Il Volo could give.
So back to the tour….

So today I arrived in Assisi. Assisi is a beautiful city where St. Francis was born, and the people of this city dedicate their lives to him.

As I was walking around the city, I couldn’t help but remember when our guys lent their beautiful voices to this beautiful city with a magnificent concert at the Basilica of St. Francis.


In 2013 the guys did a concert at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.  It was the 28th year that the classical Christmas concert was being performed and the cast was exceptional. The Rai National Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Steven Mercurio, and the chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, directed by Ciro Visco, performed numerous solo voices in a typical Christmas music program. Among those who performed alongside Il Volo, was actor and singer, Paul Sorvino.
This is a preview of the event.

Backstage at the concert we have a rare interview of the parents of the guys. Below are the responses by Piero’s father, Gaetano.  Gianluca’s mother Elenora. And Ignazio’s mother, Caterina.

Interview with the parents of IL VOLO – Click Here

Gaetano says they hoped Piero would be successful and that for them it was a dream to be there.
Leonora says she is very proud and very happy.
Caterina says that the success didn’t go to their heads, absolutely, that they are playful, especially her son who was holding back because they were in a very serious moment.

Below is the full concert which was produced by Rai. It was a very beautiful concert. The guys were honored and moved by the invitation to perform at this amazing Basilica. For the guys, this was a step closer to Italy accepting them.

Concert at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi – Click Here

Back to my Tour….
Today my group left Assisi and went to Manopello stopping enroute at the beautiful city of Orvieto. After some Wine Tasting, we leave Umbria and continue to Abruzzo.
Next stop Manopello….
Now you might say Manopello, I never heard of that city. And if you looked it up on a map you would have a hard time finding it, so, why would I go there and more importantly why would the guys go there. They never did a concert there. That’s correct but Gianluca certainly made a stop there.

Manopello, particularly the municipality of Lettomanoppello, is in the Abruzzo region.
Now that I said Abruzzo let me begin with Gianluca’s reason for going there.
In an article in a local newspaper, it was stated that a young artist from Abruzzo famous all over the world has been made a Honorary Citizen of Lettomanopello.
The Abruzzo region does not waste a moment to celebrate merits and express gratitude to Gianluca. The beautiful baritone was awarded honorary citizenship of the municipality of Lettomanoppello.
During the extraordinary city council an urgent session was held by the mayor Giuseppe Esposito and the college of municipal councilors of the village of Letta, the immediate request for the conferral of honorary citizenship to Gianluca Ginoble was accepted.
The award ceremony took place inside the council chamber of the municipality of Pescara, in the presence of Dr. Luciano D’Alfonso, president of the Abruzzo region and other local authorities. Following the municipal call, in Piazza Umberto I, a festive welcome was held with an open buffet and greeting by the member of Il Volo.

Words of pride were spoken in favor of Ginoble who was classified as an artist having the simplicity and sweetness of a true gentleman.”

What remains of this umpteenth event dedicated to an important presence for the good artistic-value image of Abruzzo, the testimony provided by a representative of Pro Loco Tholos, a voluntary association for the promotion of tourism in Lettomanoppello, among other things the promoter of the evening:
“We hope that this small community of 3,000 inhabitants in the province of Pescara will always remain in his heart and that he continues to bring up the ‘Great love’ for Abruzzo and in particular for Lettomanoppello in the world.”
If the nickname of “Prince of Abruzzo” attributed to Gianluca by fans, were not enough to embody the character qualities of the artist, the municipality of Lettomanoppello thinks that from today they officially crown him as “Gentlemen of Abruzzo.”
Luciano Monticelli wrote….
Yesterday Gianluca Ginoble was named honorary citizen of Lettomanoppello: it is just the last of an impressive series of awards, especially at his young age. In fact, I’m sure that any Abruzzo municipality would be proud to be able to name Gianluca among its citizens, even if only as an honorary title.
I was present at the ceremony as well, and I thank Mayor Giuseppe Esposito and President Luciano D’Alfonso for the invitation. Not only that: I made the car trip from Pineto to Lettomanoppello with the Ginoble family, and in particular the father and inseparable grandfather. Two ideal car-sharing companions: we talked about music, culture and many beautiful things that our Abruzzo has and can put on the field to be appreciated in the world.
How Gianluca, ambassador of Abruzzo in the world and genuine pride of our territory, teaches us.
In December 2015 Luciano again wrote about Gianluca.
Forgive me if I come back one more time about the exceptional day yesterday, but I am pleased to publish this video, which is a wonderful testimony to the great affection of the citizens of Castilenti and the whole Val Fino City towards Gianluca Ginoble.
Luciano D’Alfonso has called him an Abruzzo Ambassador, but I would add that he is also a great example of perseverance and courage for all our young people: courage to be themselves, aim for excellence and look at the globalized world not as a threat, but as an extraordinary opportunity.
Gianluca is the living proof that when young Italians decide to put into fruition the extraordinary cultural heritage passed down from previous generations, to do it and to reinvent it for the new times, there is no one else. Even for this we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for having agreed to be a witness to the Project “Val Fino City”!
So why am I in Manopello?
This tiny hamlet in Abruzzo holds one of the greatest treasures in the Catholic Church.

Volto Santo di Manopello (Holy Face of Manoppello)
This is believed to be the veil that was placed over Jesus’ face when he was buried. Not to be confused with Veronicas Veil.
The image, according to a tradition, would be “acheropita” that is “not drawn or painted by human hand” and has the particular characteristic of being clearly visible from both sides, as with elaborate photographic techniques of digital magnification it is possible to ascertain. 
According to Professor Donato Vittore of the University of Bari, who performed an examination with ultraviolet rays in 1997, this test shows that the fibers of the Veil do not have any type of color, which is consistent with the tradition that states that this relic is neither painted nor woven with colored fibers.
The next few days we will travel to San Giovanni Rotondo where you find the body of Padre Pio. Many of you have read my book about Padre Pio. I thank you for following me and reading my Il Volo stories and my books and thank you for following me on a part of this pilgrimage. I enjoyed having you along as I was Working My Way to Athens. I will remain with the group for two more days and then on September 23rd, I go back to Rome to catch my flight to Athens.  And I enjoyed sharing my Tour with the guys Tour. It was fun traveling together.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Thank you all for all your help with the videos and translations this week.
Christmas with the Three Tenors – Porta a Porta del 17/12/2013. There are some very beautiful memories in this video.

Christmas with the Three Tenors – Click Here

If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credit to the owners of videos and photos.

Italia – Assisi

Basilica di San Francesco Assisi

Basilica di San Francesco – Assisi, Italy

As we all know, in December 2013 Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca performed in Rai’s Concerto di Natale in the Basilica Superiore di San Francesco in Assisi. So lets take another quick look at this truly heavenly, out of this world city.

Per MN: “Assisi is a city in the Umbria Region of central Italy located in the Perugia Province. It developed from the Eutruscan and then the Roman town of Assisium of which the temple of Minerva (now a church) is the most notable remain. Assisi is famous as it was the birth place of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, respectively the founders of two religious orders the Franciscan Friars and the Poor Clare Sisters.

After St. Francis, and St. Clare died, churches were built in their honor. The Church of St. Francis, called the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Basilica di San Francesco), his burial place, is also famous for the fresco paintings on the walls and vaults.

In Upper Church and Lower Church you can see beautiful examples of fresco paintings namely by Cimabue(1240-1302), Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti and some attributed to the School of Giotto, to mention the most well known. You can also appreciate the glass work of the “Vetrate” del ‘Maestro di san Francesco’.


Cimabue painting, image credits to Starlight modified by GunnarBach http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:San_Francesco_Cimabue.jpg

Saint Clare’s remains are in the Basilica of Saint Clare which construction work began in 1257, three years after the saint’s death and a year after she was canonized. You will find fresco paintings by Puccio Capanna (1340-46) as well as other frescoes of the school of Giotto and by Lorenzetti and biblical scenes by an artist known as the Maestro Espressionista di Santa Chiara (first half of the 14th century).  But the oldest church in Assisi is Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary the Greater).  San Francesco (Saint Francis) and Santa Caterina da Siena (Saint Catherine of Siena) are the patron saints of Italy.

In 1997 Assisi was hit by the two earthquakes. Many people “made donations”  to repair the building which was reopened less than two years later.  Assisi is a  World Heritage Site and is a visited by both pilgrims and tourists.”

MN (mlla) told me, “I was in the Umbria region when very young and it was a beautiful experience to travel through the countryside, I also attended the Jazz Festival in Perugia. It is a festival well renowned worldwide and during 10 days in the month of July Perugia embraces the best of the Italian and International jazz. The Festival was officially born August 23rd, 1973.

Umbria is a very green region with lovely hills and countryside and has some beautiful historical sites and mediaeval monuments, churches and castles in cities like  Spoleto, Orvieto, Gubbio, Narni, Todi, Assisi and Perugia and other smaller centres. The main products are oil and olives, wine, cold cuts, meats like raw ham Salame di Norcia and sausages, hand made type pasta, mushrooms and truffles.  Some cities are very well known for the hand painted potteries.”  I asked if Assisi is close to Gianluca’s home in Montepagano and MN said the “Umbria and Abruzzo regions are not very far but still I believe it will take about three hours to go from Montepagano to Assisi by car.”

* Thank you MN (mlla) for sharing your knowledge and memories of all things associated with Assisi!

Assisi Basilica of St. Francis  Cloister

       Basilica Of Saint Francis Cloister


Blessing of newlyweds outside Basilica

OurGuideBasilica di San Francesco, Assisi (2)

 Our guide made a quick exit, as our tour of the Basilica came to a close!


The photo above and those below are taken in Assisi and the surrounding countryside.






Corner in Assisi

Town Square with the Lion Fountain Assisi

 Assisi Town Square

My picture of the fountain above was taken late at night, it is a little out of focus and from looking at it you don’t know there was music playing and you can’t see the activity going on near by; people laughing and dancing, so full of life.  A “Gelateria” with a window full of the most beautiful desserts was across the street.  My picture of it is so less than perfect, because I was in a hurry to catch up with my fellow travelers, but I would like you to imagine its beauty.  To me this blur of a picture represents the hum of activity in the square. It was alive and the air – so light –  it seemed like heaven on earth! Truly my wandering in Assisi that night was an ethereal experience, one I hope to experience again soon. mfa


Gelateria near Assisi Town Square

While I was looking for additional resources on Assisi, I found the UNESCO website “Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites” http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/990 .  This site notes that the city of Assisi is located at the foot of Subasio Mountain and built on the slopes of the hill of Asio. The “urban settlement is elongated and extends from the south-east towards the north-west” and “the Roman plan of the city is based on the set of terraces.” In the history of medieval Assisi the life and work of Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) was undoubtedly the most remarkable event. The Basilica of San Francesco was started in 1228. “An exquisite Gothic portal” makes up the entry way into the lower basilica where the interior is completely covered with frescoes by an unknown artist, the Maestro di San Francesco, the earliest from 1253.  With the construction of the Basilicas the medieval settlement took on a new look; the main square was developed over the former forum area with the Temple of Minerva.  To read more go to the source:  http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/990

Additional Resources I found for you! 

Town Square in Assisi Live Webcam


Beautiful video by ‘gogetyerselfalife” –  Music by Turin Brakes

Inside Basilica di San Francesco Assisi [St. Francis of Assisi], Italy


Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites   http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/990

Earthquakes Jolt Assisi   http://www.americancatholic.org/News/earthquake/

Post-earthquake restoration complete at Assisi Basilica  http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=16160

Assisi and the Basilica of St. Francis


Sacred Destinations – Assisi   http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/assisi

The Basilica of St Francis and the Sacro Convento  http://www.assisionline.com/assisi__162.html

Basilica of St. Francis  of Assisi


St. Francis of Assisi   A Detailed Biography


Poor Clare Sisters http://poorclare.org/

Il Volo Dalla Basilica Superiore di San Francesco Concerto di Natale da Assisi

New Link to Rai’s Concerto de Natale from the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Assisi, Italy December 2013.

Thanks to Maria P for locating the new link!

Click  http://www.rai.tv/dl/RaiTV/programmi/media/ContentItem-fbe80ad4-2f25-4e96-add3-2e0ce5adbe15.html

Credits: Rai 1

credit - Corriere dell'Umbria
credit – Corriere dell’Umbria

Giunto alla sua ventottesima edizione, il classico concerto di Natale offrirà quest’anno un programma ed un cast davvero eccezionali. Con l’Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, diretta da Steven Mercurio, ed il Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia diretto da Ciro Visco, si esibiranno numerose voci soliste in un programma musicale tipicamente natalizio.

Per Bing: Now in its 28th year, the classical Christmas concert will offer this year a program and a really exceptional cast. With the Rai National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Steven Mercurio, and the chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, directed by Ciro Visco, will perform numerous solo voices in a typically Christmas music program.