Tag Archives: Jana & Lorna Italy 2016

Jana & Lorna’s Adventure – Sat, Jul 2, 2016 – All Day Tour!


Big yawn!   Is it really 6am already? Ugh, another 10 minutes please! Still trying to come

Martindago bath view
View from bathroom at Martindago

back down to earth after the “tenors” concert. Darned near got dive-bombed by a pigeon walking back to our hotel! Ok, a quick shower, hair, and breakfast were in order.



It was actually a beautiful morning, sunny, not too hot – yet. There was such a quiet peacefulness, and sense of calm, as we ate our breakfast, once again, with the little birds. It was hard to imagine that such a magical night had happened just 10 hours before. The trucks were already heading in, starting to take down the stage sets, etc. We were able to scarf down our breakfast of our daily cappuccino and croissant. We grabbed a bottle ofbreakfast birds water with our breakfast and we were off. Good old Google Maps came to our assistance, yet, once again. Only about a 22 minute walk it said, to our meeting place, which was at the Burger King, near the Florence train station. We had to meet by 8:15a at our meeting place, so we figured we’d better leave by about 7:30a, just in case.


We set forth in our now usual direction – about due west. Zigging and zagging here and there, looking for the right street names upon the buildings. Around the corner, we happened upon the Duomo!

duomo flrence
Duomo – Florence

Wow, it was magnificent and absolutely mammoth. I’d say it took up several “city” blocks, but city blocks are relative! I took a few pictures and we kept on walking. We finally made it to the main street and passed by 2 different McDonald’s. However, it was too soon to stop for anything, so we kept walking. Ah, getting closer, we finally see Burger King! Happy hour – you could get wine and prosecco with your snacks from BK! (see picture!) Unfortunately, Burger King wasn’t open for breakfast there, so we settled on a nearby caffe stand for a few more cappuccinos.mcCafe



We went to check in for our tour and they said it wasn’t paid? What?? I was a bit upset, but had been having issues with the credit card companies/banks. I called each one of them and told them I was going to Italy and I still had issues. I was not happy, but the tour burger kingguide was very kind and said it happened often. Luckily, I was able to pull out another card and it worked! While drinking my capp, I called the bank and was able to get through to someone and they said, “oh, sorry, that request never really went through – ok, fixed now!” Ugh!! But at least I was able to get through to them.


It was time to board the bus! We were on our way to our all day tour of Siena, San Gimignano, Monte Riggioni, and the wine tasting in Chianti. The tour group was a mix of Americans, Spanish, and I think a few Italians, or other countries. The tour guide repeated everything in all 3 languages. I believe our first stop was MonteRiggioni. We got out and walked, and walked, up this steep hill and steps. We had barely about 40 minutes or so to walk up this hill, take a few pictures, and walk down again. I was exhausted already! Really wasn’t much to see there, but the scenery was pretty. There were a few old buildings, a church and some food/souvenir stores and a few art stores.  Below, pictures of MonteRiggioni – arch/courtyard.


Ok, time to go back down the hill. Which way did we come up? You really need to pay attention sometimes on these tours when they lead you there and then they say “meet back at the bus” and you can’t remember how to get back to it! Fortunately, we did find our way to the correct bus – there were two! Lol!


At that point, they were taking our lunch orders and I think most of the group went with the group lunch. It was not included in the price of the tour, as it was optional, but I think it was around 13 euros, so not bad. We did not know what it was going to be, but we didn’t have to worry about it, so it was a good deal! Ok, next stop – Siena!


Siena was a beautiful little city, and lots more hills and steps, and cobblestones to walk

crowded streets of siena
Crowded streets of Siena

over! This time we were led into the city by our guide, where we met up with another tour guide that spoke our language. We were then guided through the city. They give you these little headset things, so you can hear them and then you get to keep the earbuds and they are nice ones! Siena is also the place where they have the famous Porto Palio horse race every year and we were fortunate (or not) to be there on the same day the race was to happen! So, the city was very crowded with people everywhere, but hard to judge what it would be like on a normal day – it didn’t seem that much more crowded than walking the streets of Florence! Alas, we never saw the horses, or the race! I was able to snap a few pictures here and there. We were led to this famous church, the Siena Cathedral, it was big and made of white marble.   The tickets to this were included in our tour price.

siena cath
Siena Cathedral

After the church tour, it was, thankfully, time for lunch! We had worked up quite the appetite, up and down and up and down and trying to catch up if you took a picture. Our guide was nice, unfortunately, she was not too tall! It was hard keeping track of her, even when she poked her umbrella up in the air!



Lunch, ah, we could finally sit down and relax. Needed a bathroom break also. Was smart and went first, then sat down to lunch. Luckily, they had reserved the lower floor of the restaurant for us and it was blessedly cool. It was getting quite hot outside and I was near dripping wet. We sat family style at 3 long tables. Lunch was really fantastic, except for the wine – it was pretty awful! First course was a chopped lettuce salad with shredded carrots, tomatoes, and olives? Can’t remember exactly, and you made your own dressing – they had the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the tables and you just poured your own! Oh wow! I have to say my favorite part of the trip were those tomatoes in that salad! They were like little red sugar bombs! So sweet – OMG! I’ve never tasted anything like them! I don’t know what it is about the Italian sun and soil, but they make the best tomatoes! The next course was pasta with Bolognese sauce. It was really good, also, swimming in olive oil! The next course was very thinly sliced pork and roasted potatoes. That was awesome also! For dessert, they passed around an assortment of 3 different little cookies/pastries. Again, delicioso!! Our lunch was over and everyone else was visiting the bathroom! I waited upstairs for Lorna. Ok, finally some free time!


We did not have much free time, maybe about 40 minutes or so. I walked up and down a few more streets, snapping a few more pictures. I wanted to buy a scarf or something, but decided not to and didn’t buy anything. One thing, almost every store we passed was having a sale! It’s kind of funny seeing modern stores in such almost ancient buildings/settings. Time to meet back up with the guide. It was about 2:30p or so? We had to walk back out of the city and back to the bus, at least another 30 minute walk. We still had 2 more cities to find! Back to the bus we trekked. I swear it was not where we left it and we almost got on the wrong one! We quickly headed to the back of the bus, where we had claimed our seats! It was hot and I was thirsty and tired. I put my leg up and tried to get in a few winks. Was a quick ride to the next city – San Gimignano!


Another long walk and steep hill – what a surprise!? Molto, molto, steep hill and steps. By the time I got to the top, there was a cement wall/ledge, under a shady tree. I pretty much

san gimignano view and ledge
San Gimignano and Ledge I sat on!

collapsed on it. The guide is trying to motion all of us to come forward to hear what he was saying. I was not budging; I did not care what they were saying. My legs were swelling, my heart was beating, and I was spent! Lorna went to hear what he was saying and then came back. I have to say, the guide was concerned with me and came back to give me the high level overview of what he had said. Anyway, course of action was to walk into town, up some more steep hills and cobblestones, and find this gelato place for a free gelato. Was it really worth it for free gelato? My feet were beginning to

san gimignano flowers building
Building in San Gimignano

doubt it….it was hot and I was tired. But, trouper that I am, we forged on to find the gelato stand! It was a tiny little place, but the line went quickly. I got pistachio and chocolate. I have to say it was good, but anything cold and creamy and chocolate would have been good at that point! Again, lots of little stores to buy things, but I refrained. I was really trying to watch my spending budget!



Ok, I was ready to go home – one more stop – the wine tasting! Another short ride, up a steep and narrow hill. Luckily, we didn’t have to walk up it this time. We parked and got off the bus and into this cooler building, where everything was set up for our wine tasting. Wow, if anyone needed a glass of wine at that point, it was me!


We all sat down to plates filled with a few pieces of cheese, salame, potato chips, saltines, and bread. Our host was Leonardo – he says, but not DiCaprio! I’d say he was in his 30s or so and very personable. He told us how to hold the wine glass from the bottom and how to swirl it in the glass, and finally get it in our mouth, and swish it around a little more! I know that is supposed to be the proper way to really taste wine, but personally, I just like to sip it slowly… We tasted about 5 different wines – all Chianti – red, and one white, as well as a dessert wine. They also came around and gave us samples of some balsamic vinegar, as well as truffle oil. I have to say, I’d heard rather negative things about truffle oil, but I have to say it was quite tasty! He asked if there were any single ladies and only about 4 of us raised our hands. Then he asked for a volunteer and Lorna ran up! (see video).

He was instructing us on how to dip the biscotti into the dessert wine and Lorna was his audience participation. Shortly after that it was time to go home. They, of course, wanted to sell you some wine! Well, for “such a deal” shipping, tax, included, if you bought 5 bottles of wine, shipping was free. A bit out of my budget, but Lorna bought 5 bottles. Can’t wait til we get them!


Ok, about an hours drive back to Florence! We were able to get a few snoozes in before we were dropped off at our meeting place. We almost literally drove by our hotel, but they were not allowed to drop people anywhere else. I was rested, although not well…however, we decided to walk back to our hotel. It was about 7p or so, the sun was starting to set. It had cooled off a bit, and there was a slight breeze.   I was getting really familiar with Florence by then, as we had traversed the same paths several times already. I was going to be brave and not use Google Maps, let’s see if I can get us back to our hotel! Ok, sun was on my right, I knew we had to go east! We did not take the same route as we had come, it seemed too out of the way at that point. So, we zigged and we zagged, turned right and turned left. We’d been walking a little ways and Lorna asked if I knew where I was. “No, not really, but it kind of looks familiar…” We walked a little more, and I was thinking, if we don’t see something familiar real soon, I’d get out Google again. Well, we turned the one corner and “eureka!” There were the bleacher seats and the Piazza Santa Croce! We had made it, without the help of Google Maps! We knew our destination was right down the block and around the corner. I’m pretty sure Lorna was close to doubting me before that point….


Ah, our room at last! I still wanted dessert, as we didn’t really eat dinner, so I went to the restaurant next door to our hotel where we ate the previous night. We had this really nice waiter, named Stefano. He was very friendly and we had stopped by the night before after the Il Volo concert and he told us how much he liked them and would like to go. We told him we had 2 extra tickets to Verona. He said he and his mother might like to go. Anyway, Lorna stayed to relax in the room and I went in search of dessert and Stefano. I got there and asked for him. I sat by the bar area and ordered dessert, coffee, and a bottle of frizzante! Ok, here he comes. I asked him if he really wanted the tickets and pulled them out. By this time it’s about 8:30p or so. I figure ok, I eat dessert, give him the tickets and back to the room I go. Dessert comes, Stefano pops by. He looks at the tickets and says “you really want to give them to me?” “Yes,” I said, “if you want them, they are yours.” Some more time passed, I finished my dessert, was working on the coffee, and water. It was nearing 10pm! They closed about 11p. He comes by one more time and says he wants to finish first. ??? Ok, I’m waiting… I tuck the tickets under the envelope and I wait. It’s 10:30p. The manager asks if I want my bill? Yes, please. Ok, here he comes – runs into the kitchen, out again and around the corner. The other wait staff are leaving for the night. Still, I wait. Finally, he comes by and asks me again – am I sure I want to give him the tickets? Yes, they are yours! It’s after 11pm by then, I have the keys and Lorna thought for sure we had run away together by then! His shift is officially finished. He comes by and asks me again, I say yes, and he grabs my shoulders and gives me the big Italian kiss on each cheek (real kisses, too, not just air) and says grazie! He looks very happy! It was close to 11:30p by then and I was so exhausted! I quickly got up and said ciao and out the door I went! We had to get packed that night as we were leaving for Venice in the morning. Although we could have walked, we decided to take a taxi to the train station.

Our Venice adventure awaits!

Jana & Lorna’s Adventure -Tribute to Tenors Review!

So sorry this is a long time coming, almost two weeks afterward!  But the jet lag had hit me more than expected and we were so busy and exhausted by the time we got back to our rooms at night, we just went to bed, as we usually had to get up early to catch a train to somewhere!  Lol!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Ok, it was finally set to begin! It was about 9:20p and dusk was just about getting ready to statueset in. There was a slight breeze blowing, about 80 degrees and just the most gorgeous evening you could ever want for an outdoor concert. The lights illuminating the Santa Croce Cathedral were amazing, changing colors from blue to gold to red. You could feel the buzz of anticipation of the audience. It was packed. There were empty seats here and there, but when you looked behind you, all you saw were a sea of faces, waiting for the concert to begin. The lucky persons that lived in apartments around the piazza were waiting as well, literally, hanging out their apartment windows, waiting for their “free” concert to begin!


They started pretty much on time…we saw the orchestra line up from the left of the stage and they walked out. When they were seated, Placido walked out as well. The crowd roared with applause. I wondered where the guys were? The orchestra played the opening symphony and the audience responded with appreciative applause. Ok, here come the guys!!! They walked out so calm, and so beautiful, in their tuxes. Some said they could tell they were nervous. Maybe a little fidgeting from Ignazio? They stood there, in front of their music stands. Hanging on fearfully, until the orchestra sounded the first notes. The prelude to Nessum Dorma started to play and they opened their mouths. Out came these magical notes! Gianluca started the song, then Piero, then Ignazio. Ignazio gave Piero a friendly and reassuring pat on the shoulder before it was his turn to sing. Sounds never before heard from our guys…the audience was immediately mesmerized by their voices. Placido was doing his best conducting both the orchestra and the guys! It must have been difficult for the guys to have to watch Placido, as they are not used to having a conductor – they just do their own thing, but they dutifully followed the conductor. When Ignazio sang placido orchestrahis last part in the song, he gets this serious, almost scary look on his face and his eyebrows point down in an angle – kind of like watching a cartoon character’s eyebrows when they get angry! The power and passion put forth by Ignazio was just incredible! His face filled with emotions as he sang those last notes. They also had an adult choir for a few of the songs, one being Nessum Dorma. The guys politely turned to watch the choir when they sang. The last few phrases were sung and it was over. You could see the guys breathe sighs of relief and more shoulder and arm touching going on! Maybe they were trying to convince themselves that this was really happening? The crowd was on its feet almost before the song was over. It was just the first song of many on that magical night in Florence, so many, gathered around the beautiful Santa Croce.


Unfortunately, I did not see “anyone” except for Ercole, running around taking a few pictures. Couldn’t see much being in the 3rd row….and I was kind of in the middle. I did not tape the first few songs, as I wanted to enjoy the concert. I also forgot to bring my extra battery, so had to conserve it. I did take some pictures, but was very disappointed, as they came out blurred a bit, even as close as I was. I did, later, decide to tape several of the songs. By the end of the concert, my battery was at about 16%, so I had to be very choosy on what I taped.


They sang a few more songs, then they took a break so the orchestra could play a few as well. Then came their solos. I truly don’t remember whose was first, but I think it may have been Gianluca. As many have already said, he was positively magnificent! His gian soloelocution was perfection. The song he sang, I believe it was called “La Danza?” was the perfect song choice for him and he certainly delivered. You could tell how proud and happy he was when he was finished! Smiling from dimple to dimple. It was truly amazing he could sing with such speed and alacrity and hit all the right notes, too! Of course, I probably wouldn’t have known if he’d hit a wrong note?


Many of us, I believe, were a little surprised in that Ignazio did not sing “La Donna Imobile…” as that was the song he credits to having sung as a child. But instead he sang igna solo 2another song – Una Furtiva Lagrima. I was not that familiar with this one, but of course, it was awesome! It was a lot of fun watching Ignazio’s eyebrows while he sang – it was like he became another person when he was singing those songs?


They said there were supposed to be lots of surprises! To be honest, I really thought Jose Carreras would have shown up. If he was there, no one pointed it out. The one surprise that I did think was pretty cool, was that Placido sang Non ti scordar di me with the 3 of them. That, was a real treat and surprise for me.


Yes, since this was a live show, there were a few flubs here and there… in the beginning, they forgot they were supposed to speak English! I believe Piero started speaking and then Gianluca reminded him it was supposed to be in English. Then they ask Placido to say guys and placidosomething and Placido responds in Italian. Piero says, “that was Italian…” Lol! Then he repeats it in English! Gianluca was introducing a song and said something wrong and said it again. It will be interesting to see what they keep and cut from the PBS DVD. I am surprised they did not announce in the beginning that this was a PBS special, like they did for Pompeii. I think they briefly mentioned it at the end, along with Sony Latin.


When they sang the “real” version of Torna a Surriento, I’m sure Ignazio had a really hard time keeping still, since this is the song they have all the fun with during their regular concerts. But he kept it under control!


There were no breaks and the concert was almost 2 hours long, although the guys did not sing constantly. The orchestra had a few solos as well. Every so often, Ignazio was being “Ignazio” trying to have a little fun here and there, conducting the orchestra and choir and flashing that brilliant smile. Yes, ok, you all know I’m a little biased here…piero gian


Some of the most enjoyable parts were hearing them sing some of the songs we already knew they sang, like Mamma, and a few others. It was interesting to hear how their voices had matured since they had first sung them at the Detroit Opera House video – “Take Flight…”


A bit of a disappointing surprise was when Ignazio was singing “Tonight” and we were just waiting, with anticipation for him to hit those few high notes and he didn’t! I’m thinking… ok, here it comes, I’m waiting… ahh, ooh. He didn’t sing it… I guess he was saving his voice for the other songs.


One other surprise was definitely Adeste Fidelis. Gianluca shouts “Buon Natale” everyone!


At the end, Placido complements the guys and says they should really consider singing more opera type music. I’d say, I have to agree! I mean, anyone can sing “pop” music! Although, it wouldn’t matter to me what they sang, even rap, I would buy their albums!

It’s their voices. Their voices are the magic – it doesn’t matter what they sing. The expressions on their faces when they sing; that is the magic. For a split second, I think Ignazio looked right into my eyes; that was magic. The songs they sing into our hearts and souls is not an illusion, but a pure mystery, to never be solved, no matter how many times we see them perform their tricks for us!


Alas, to many, it may seem like tricks they perform with each song, making it look seamlessly simple. However, we know how much passion and hard work they put into each performance they give. Night, after night.

Carpe diem, guys!

You seized the night, and the passion; and it was yours!

This was the night of magic!

Ciao a tutti!  Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors here.  It is now 1:19am and our train to Rome leaves at 10 to 7 and I still need to sleep somehow.  It’s also a real challenge typing on this external keyboard from my tablet!  Ok, all that being said, here goes!


This is srictly a review of the concert in Arena di Verona from tonight – the tenors concert will come a little later.

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 Alleria 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, they 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 acros 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!!

Ciao a tutti – a presto!  Until next time…Jana


Jana and Lorna’s Adventure Day 2 “Gas or no gas?”

Allora….Day 1.5 & 2

So far everything has been ship-shape and right on schedule!

We landed safely in Florence and hailed Uber!  Our nice driver, Alessio, who spoke English, got us safely to our hotel.  Or at least pretty close.  A lot of one-way streets in Florence and  they drive fast and crazy!  The entrance to our bed and breakfast was a bit hidden, so he drove past it a bit, so we just walked, as it was a one-way street and he really couldn’t turn around.

We had some difficulty actually finding the rooms, as nothing is marked.   There were 4 floors and we had no idea which one it was.  Nothing said Martindago.  I went to 4 and Lorna went to 2 and we could not find it.  Each floor just had these HUGE wooden double doors on either side of the floor.  I finally gave up and called them.  They were on 3!


Ok, we got to our room, filled out the paperwork, and then relaxed a bit.  We arrived just about noon, as expected!  We were a bit tired, so we took a nap.  We needed to meet our group for the tour at 6:10p.  I looked on my trusty Google Maps and saw it was just a 10 minute or so walk from the hotel.  Ok, we can do this, so we set off.  We went a little ways and decided it was the wrong direction, so we turned around.  Not sure if this is like this all over Italy, but street signs are on buildings!  So, you had to keep looking up without tripping over the cobblestone walks.  As Lorna said, it was a miracle we found it, after a few wrong turns and the sun in our eyes, we ended up in the right spot!

We soon found out Alessio was our driver and chef again.   No, different person. Lol!  Alessio took us into the rolling hills of Tuscany in the Chianti region.  We arrived and were instructed to wash our hands.  Then it was a quick history of chianti wine and that the wine we were going to drink tonight was organic.  Like champagne, you cannot call just any dry red wine, Chianti!

We were then led to the kitchen for our first lesson.  We actually made our own dough, added toppings, and then he threw it in the ovens.  Next came the demo of making chocolate gelato.  We also learned what to look for in buying a good gelato.  Kind of like a diamond, but only 4 criteria…1. are crowds local or tourists, 2. price – no more than $2.50 for 2 scoops, 3. be sure it is offered in small amounts, not mounded high in the case, 4. like a diamond, color – be sure your favorite flavor is a natural color, not overly orange, pink, or yellow.  After the gelato lesson, it was time for pictures.  We went outside and were able to take pictures of the beautiful landscape, while our pizzas were cooking.

It was then time to come in and eat our creations.  My toppings were sauce, cheese, black olives, red onions, proscuitto, and what he called salami.  And it had a kick!   Sprinkled with oregano.  I like my cheese on top, so that is where I put it.  Pizza was ok, but looked good.  I think I will continue to buy my dough!  However, the wine and gelato were awesome, and we bought a bottle of wine to bring back to the room.  We even got diplomas.  By nearly 10pm, it was time to go back, so we got a very quick and bumpy ride back to the drop off point.

Once again, my trusty Google Maps got us back to the hotel.

The next day – July 1!  The day of the first concert!  I know a lot of it is already circulating on the net…

I woke  up at 4am and could not go back to sleep, so I gave up and got up at 6am.  Got in our tiny bathroom shower and was careful not to brak my neck.  Next, I rolled Lorna out of bed.  We made it for breakfast about 8:30am or so.  It took us a few tries, but figured out breakfast was about a half block away on the corner.  We had 2 cappuccinos and a croissant and shared it with the birds.

We were waiting for a call from Veronica, who was bringing our Verona tickets.  We ended up meeting her and her 1 friend at the steps of the Santa Croce at 11:30a.  We decided to find a restaurant and had lunch.  After almost a few hours, we made it back to our hotel and agreed to meet again at 4:45pm, as Lorna and the girls were gettingb their hair done. Prior to that we almost passed the hotel where the guys were staying.  Fans were camped out waiting for them to appear.  No sign of them, so back to our rooms we went.  The girls got their hair done, while I got our tickets to the concert.  I was hungry and it was a bit after 6p, so we ate dinner at this restaurant by our hotel.  It was very good and had a very nice waiter who spoke English.  They ask you what kind og water you want – sparling or regular, gas or no gas!  Ok, what were you really thinking?  Lol!  It was nearly 7:30p by the time we got out of there, so we quickly went back to our rooms to get ready.

Just getting to the Santa Croce was an adventure.  We were just a 10 minute walk away, but it took us almost half an hour, as they routed us clear around the entire plaza to the other side.  We got to our seats about 9:10p and the concert was supposed to start at 9:15p.  Alas, I suggested Lorna change purses and she forgot her phone!  Ok, up to me to take pictures and video.

Oh, on our slight detour around the plaza, we accidentally ran into the guys leaving the hotel and getting in their van.  Amongst the crowd, we were able to see Igna’s and Piero’s heads.  I screamed to Lorna, “it’s the guys, it’s the guys!”  They quickly vanished into the van and the doors were shut.  We turned the other way and made it back to the venue to find our seats.


Mi dispiace, but it is 2:30am, i am exhausted and need to get up in 4 hours for our all day tour tomorrow. So, i must sign off for now.  Part 2 tomorrow! Sorry, some pictures tomorrow…

Jana and Lorna’s Italian Adventure Day 1

We woke to beautiful sunshine in Detroit.  A perfect day volare!  I got my massage and it was glorius!

Ginny picked us up and we went to lunch.  She then whisked us off to the airport and we arrived about 1:30p.  We easily checked our bag outside and breezed through security!

Ok, we now had about 2.5 hours to kill!

We got to our gate and just relaxed.  Lorna went exploring and came back with a coffee.  I was able to connect to the airport wifi and thanks to Kelly, we were able to hook into the Placido special.  Unfortunately, because it was delayed for so long, we were only able to hear the first few songs and then it was to board.

We were on the plane!  Ok, it was beginning to seem more real.  So far so good.  No more mishaps!

Comfy seats, we got a snack, some wine, then dinner.  Ok, bathroom time.  Not too bad, but the seat creaked when you sat down and when you flushed the toilet, it sounded like it was taking you with it. Lol!

Got settled again, time for a movie.  Found a cute one, My Name is Doris with Sally Field.  Dozed off…woke again and gave up.  Put on the guys, it was time for a snooze!

Flight was pretty smooth, but for a little turbulence here and there.

Landed safely in Amsterdam, where I am now writing this post, waiting again to board in less than half an hour.  It’s gray and raining here, but did buy a few Dutch souvenirs.

I guess that’s all for now until we arrive in Florence.  It’s about a 2 hour flight.

Ciao for now!