Tag Archives: Jana Scooby Doo

Grande Amore – the wait is over! ~~ By Jana (2015 Archives…)

(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!)


a - jana


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!




Throwback Thursday! – They are coming back! Aren’t they? (orig post April 2015)

Hello Everyone!  Thought I’d do a way throwback Thursday today.   Although the theme of this post was “Il Volo Day” – April 25, I thought it a bit fitting with the title.  We, again, are all anxiously awaiting their return, especially to the  United States.  It’s hard to believe how much has happened in these last 2.5 years or so, since I wrote this post.  Most of you know, my heart was filled – again, and again, and again!  I was looking back at past posts I’d done, reading through a few of them, and thinking “I wrote that?” lol!  They were pretty good.  🙂  I wrote with such excitement and wonderment.  Lately, I admit, that my time has been spent and devoted elsewhere.  To a busy and time-consuming job – both mentally and emotionally draining at times, to where I come home and just literally crash – at times where sleep overcomes eating.  As some of you know, I will be getting a new boss soon.  My current boss was promoted to director of our organization, but alas, I get to work for the new person, once named.  I told my current boss, whoever it is, must understand my passion for the guys!  And that I could announce a quick weekend departure at any given moment!  I have the final meet/greet photo of me and the guys as my wallpaper on my monitor.  You would not believe how many people come up to me and ask me if they are my kids – “oh, how I wish” I often respond!  So, sit back and relax a little, as you read below.  Think how lucky many of us are to have had our hearts filled again, and again by those 3 adorably cute guys!  For those of you that are still waiting, our wish for you, is that it may one day be fulfilled – maybe in 2018.  If not, we will wait, although never patiently, for concert tours and appearances in 2019.  Until then, we will have to cope with their Instagram, Twitter, short video clips, news, info, etc. – all from afar.  Gian – keep those selfies coming!  However, just wish we could have some kind of warning, so when we are sitting at our desks, or in a public place and our phone dings of a tweet or Instagram, we don’t have a mild heart attack when we look at our phones!  🙂  Or those sudden hot flashes that come out of nowhere!  Ciao!  Enjoy!

p.s.   technically, I’ve really yet to fill that frame, as I have so many awesome pictures now, it’s hard to choose just one!  And I always loved how Marie staged this post – so incredible – I hope everyone understood the meaning…

Ciao tutti!

I just wanted to take a little break from the Italian lessons to take some time to reflect on today – IlVolover’s Day!  Yes, just six short years ago, they met and sang O Sole Mio and truly the rest, as they say, is history!  I’m sure that six years ago, the guys could never have dreamed back then, of what they have achieved already in a relatively short time?  Imagine if they would have said no to the American contract?  How empty our lives would be right now and we would have never met each other, or the rest of the other ilvolovely fans around the world?

Jana 2015-04-25 13.53.30

I take them with me each day on my walks.  I’m up to about 2.5 miles now and they are truly my inspiration that keeps me going for the almost one hour trek.  There are days when I come home from work and am pretty exhausted after a long day, but I know they are there waiting for me and the feeling I get when I put them in my ears is invigorating!

They fill my heart and soul with their voices and reminds me that there is still hope for the world.  The theme for Eurovision is Building Bridges and I can’t think of another artist that truly just lives that theme every time they sing and share their joy with the rest of us.  They should win just by their living example alone!  Oh yeah, and they sing pretty good, too!  Lol!

Jana 2015-04-25 13.53.30

Yes, they fill my heart, however, I made this special picture frame with their name on it and, unfortunately, it will remain empty until I can fill it with me and the guys!  I made this frame last fall with a group of close friends.  One asked what picture I was going to put in it.  “I don’t have it yet…,” I replied.

Springtime in Michigan is very special, as well as for other states that have to battle the ice, cold, and snow of harsh winters.  The smell of spring was in the air today as I went for my walk.  The sight of tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths, greeted my eyes and nose with a wonderful hope that it was going to get warmer and warmer each day and the blossoms on the trees lent promises of leaves that were to be there soon!

With that same promise of warmth and spring, we must keep that eternal flame of hope that they will be back to visit us this year!!  I keep remembering the anonymous Ilvolover that rewrote the song of Il Volo is Coming to Town and the ending words of “can’t wait to see their smiles, can’t wait to feel their touch!”  You could say that those who have not seen them in person don’t know what they are missing and you would think, no, that is not true, they DO know what they are missing!  But for those of us that HAVE seen them in person – we KNOW what we are missing (and why our hearts ache) and as much as you say you think you know,  you really don’t… With that first note they sing, just like Gianluca as Spiderman, they spin their web and envelope you with their magic net that keeps you hypnotically stunned until their final notes are sung!  (will we ever run out of adjectives, similes, or metaphors to describe them?)

Jana 2015-04-25 13.53.30

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but not sure our hearts could grow any fonder of the guys if we tried?  However, if they don’t come back until next year, our hearts are pretty much going to explode until we can see them again!  Let’s also hope that all of us Ilvolovers are still of this earth and don’t become Ivoloangels watching from above!

In the song, “American Pie” by Don McLean, he says it was “the day the music died…” – a remembrance of that fatal crash on Feb 3, 1959… that killed Buddy HollyRitchie Valens and  J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. How ironic is it that 50 years, 2 months, and 22 days later, the music was once again “reborn” with the 3 voices of Il Volo on April 25, 2009?

So, my friends, my heart and soul are filled daily with their most precious gift, but the frame around my heart will remain forever empty until I can fill it with a picture of me and the guys!

So, guys, if you are reading this, in the words of the lyrics sung by your own countrywoman, Sophia Loren…from the song “Bing! Bang! Bong!” (and movie Houseboat) please hurry back “presto, presto, do your very besto!”  Grazie, grazie!

Ciao, for now…


A Night to Remember – July 6, 2015

Finally DETROIT!  Let’s START with Jana. ~M


 You see, I just knew they’d come back!! Ok, maybe not for everyone, but they did come back for 50 lucky persons in Detroit!

My story…

It all started with a phone call from Marie. We found out there was going to be a meet/greet at PBS in Detroit. We somehow got on the mailing list and voila, we got 2 lucky tickets. I feel like we were the lucky winners of the golden ticket like in Willy Wonka!empty frame  post

I did not know it, but I had been planning for this night since last June after I saw them at Freedom Hill. I was thinking of what I could give them; what would I say? What would I wear; how thin would I be? As the song goes, “que sera’, sera’ – whatever will be, will be; the future’s not ours to see…que sera’, sera’!” The future may not be ours to see, but it doesn’t mean we can’t plan for it and plan, I did!

When we realized they might be coming, I had to speed up the end of my plan…I had made each of them three special rosaries (last September), each with different beads, using their “name saints” as the centers and having the “Our Father” beads – exactly 6 of them, spell out “IL VOLO!” They were beautiful. I also had little silk brocade bags made for the rosaries and had their initials on the front. When I sped up my plan, at that point, I did not know for sure they would be here, but I was glad I planned ahead – just in case!! However, with careful planning, everything literally fell into place, like the perfect jigsaw puzzle, with at LEAST a thousand pieces, or so it seemed!rosaries bags oval

First, just Marie was going to join me in Detroit. Then the ladies from MN were going to fly in, as well! It was starting to be a big party now. Our little group of 5 – 6, plus the MN girls; it was growing.

All of the planning and anticipation was growing by leaps and bounds. It was shutdown week where I work, so for the whole week before, I was off work, but so, so busy, every day. It was good, I did not have time to get nervous, but had to keep planning…I found my outfit, bought a new purse, made an appointment to have my hair done at a special place (it looked fabulous thanks to Sharon and Sal!), made arrangements to pick up the girls at the airport, wash the car, and pack. Before I knew it, it was Sunday afternoon, and I was nervously awaiting for the arrival of our “editor-in-chief” – Marie, to arrive at my house with her sister!

They arrived, and we chatted for a little while until we had to pick up the MN girls. We flew off to the airport and then off to the hotel for their check-in. We chatted a bit until it was time to go to dinner. We dined at Antonio’s in Farmington Hills. We had figured, by then, that the guys were safely here and resting….

We had a lovely dinner at Antonio’s, complete with dessert! Then it was back to the hotel for some more chatting. We decided to break up the party around 10p or so. We went to Ginny’s house and shortly thereafter, I got a text from one of the other gals, that they had gone to the airport to meet the guys!! (ok, not my story, but we were so jealous, as they were the only 5 there to meet them, because their flight had kept getting delayed and they did not get in until around 10:30p or so!) Alas, it was not meant to be, but was not part of my plan to greet them at the airport, so all was still good.

I made it for my 10a haircut appointment in Birmingham. Sal, a friend of Sharon’s, did the most fabulous job on my hair! I think I talked more about my hair, then I did about the guys! He even came in special on a Monday, just for me.

It was the big day, I was starting to be a wreck and could not think clearly – this was not me, I did not get nervous!

We got to the hotel and we checked in. We had to run a few errands, then it was back to the hotel to change and get ready. We left about 4:30p. We were supposed to be there by 6:00p. Ok, so we were over an hour early, but we weren’t the first ones there!

At approximately 6:05p, they led us into our “dining” room for the evening. It was beautifully arranged, with 4 bottles of wine at each table. We had assigned seats for dinner and we later found out they were going to call us by table. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we were the LAST table!table oval

Dinner was delicious with prime rib, baked chicken, salad, veggies, and bread. We were looking at the clock. We were supposed to greet our guys from 7:00p – 7:30p. We were wondering how they were going to get 50 people through in just half an hour? It was almost 10 after 7 and they hadn’t started yet! Finally, they opened the other door and there were the guys. We could not see them, but they were there. They let the first table in. Apparently, they were letting everyone have as much time as they needed. Many were giving them gifts and we were allowed to bring one item to have them sign it. Finally, about 7:35p or so, we were allowed to get in line. When we finally got in there, they said we had to hurry, as the others took too long. That did not seem fair, but then they realized we were the last table and they backed off a bit.

At last, it was my turn! I was a bit nervous and not sure what to do. The guys were just standing up at the front with a big PBS backdrop on this bright red carpeting. There was no real direction, so I just walked up and hugged Gianluca and said he “was so sweet.” He was in the middle and Ignazio was to the right, so I hugged him next and spoke softly into his ear, that he was my favorite. He said, “Aw….” in this soft, sweet voice, with a big smile on his face. I will remember it forever!

I quickly fumbled for the rosaries in my purse. But first I gave Piero his M&Ms that I had custom made for his birthday (yes, another story yet to come). I think he really liked the M&Ms as he smiled and laughed and showed them to Gianluca! I then gave Ignazio his rosary and told him I had made it special. I gave the other two theirs…. I turned back to Ignazio, and he had taken it out of the bag and was looking at it. The next thing I knew, he was looking at me and started speaking in Italian and holding the rosary in his hand. I’m looking up at him, into his eyes and thinking “why is he speaking Italian??” I don’t know what he is saying? (Yeah, so much for my Italian lessons – lol!) All I could catch was “Ave Maria” and “gracia,” but that was about it. Unfortunately, my brain was having a hard time trying to figure out why he wasn’t speaking English and what he was saying in Italian, that I kind of got lost in the moment. I think I remember looking into his eyes and hearing his soft voice. Then, all of a sudden, he puts his hand over my head and then he starts to bless me, like he is anointing me. He touches my forehead, lightly brushes my chin, back to touching my nose with his thumb. He has a very soft thumb! He then raised his hand over my head and gently touched my head again. I just stood there, smiling, and said “grazie.” I’m still trying to figure out what he said to me, but I needed them to sign my frame.

Yes, you remember my empty picture frame that would be forever empty around my heart until I had a picture of them and me? Well, as we know, it would not be empty forever now! I brought out my frame and gave it to Ignazio to sign. I sig framegave him the back of it, as I wanted them to sign the back of it and our picture would be on the front. Ignazio takes the frame in his hands and turns it back over, seeing that it says “IL VOLO” on the front. He turns to me and with his hand, he gestures that their name is on the front and shouldn’t he sign it there? I said no, on the back, because our picture will be on the front. He kind of says, ok, and signs the back….then Piero and Gian come back and they sign it, too. Gian made sure he put a little heart on the end of his signature for me! I did feel kind of bad I didn’t hug Piero, but I was a bit nervous and wanted to hurry, even though they weren’t really rushing us…it felt like I was up there a long time. Somewhere in there, they took our picture and then it was over! Over a year in the making and over in less than 5 minutes!me guys frame

As I walked back to the side, I kept thinking about what he said. It finally hit me that he was reciting the “Hail Mary” or “Ave Maria” prayer in Italian!! At least I’m pretty sure that’s what it was? The next day, I looked it up on the Internet and found the words and audio on a You Tube video, and from what I could remember him saying, I think it was pretty close.

For those of you not familiar with the Catholic practice of saying the rosary, in the Roman Catholic faith, the Rosary is one of the most beautiful, powerful, and sacred prayers. The Rosary is a devotion to God through a devotion to the Virgin Mary. There are other prayers that are said with it, but you say 53 Hail Mary’s!

I’m not really sure if Piero and Gian liked their rosaries, but I hoped they did. I have to say, that I really truly believe that Ignazio liked his!

I’d also like to thank everyone that were able to get pictures and videos of me up there with the guys! It’s funny, you just don’t remember most of what happens in that five minutes.   Like, I don’t really remember putting my arm around Gianluca’s shoulder? And why DIDN’T I have my arm around Ignazio?? But it was nice to know he had his hand on my shoulder!

Yes, I saw their smiles and I felt their touch –

The long wait and anticipation was over…my dream had become a reality and the frame around my heart was no longer empty! It was filled with the joy, the smiles, the memory, and the tenderness, of Ignazio’s touch – it was happiness!

For now, my heart is full, until the next time…

Eurovision Party May 23, 2015 – Bittersweet Memories?

EV - balloons
The Party is Here!

It was the most gorgeous day in Michigan, blue skies and nary a cloud to be seen!

We started our Eurovision Party pretty promptly at about 3pm. After solving a few technical difficulties, thanks to an urgent call to Marie, we were quickly entranced into watching our competition. A few of us had seen snippets of the competition, but certainly not all of them. As we watched, we thought “this” is their competition? “They’ve got it in the bag!”

More technical difficulties and we had to shut it down for a bit. It was touch and go for a while and we often went to our phones to keep up.

In between, we swapped stories, shared in laughter, good fun and lots of wine! Finally, it was almost time for our guys to shine and boy, did they ever! As many times as I’ve heard them sing Grande Amore, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it done as exquisitely as it was performed on the final on May 23! I will forever remember the “dimme che” WOW! & POW! of the smoke erupting like Mt. Vesuvius in the background, each time I hear the song from now on! I’ve never heard them sing it better!

They really did pull out all the stops; Ignazio went for the high note at the end and we all clapped and cheered! The crowd was cheering for them long before they finished singing and they were on their feet at the end. Our guys looked so happy and proud, knowing they gave it their all! They’ve really got this, we thought. They were the best, the classiest, and of course, the best looking!

TheIlVoloversMX Facebook; Mary

 TheIlVoloversMX Facebook; Mary

Our dinner was ready by then, so we munched down our food amongst a lot of tension and nervousness for the guys in the room.  Still having some technical difficulties, so a few of us kept their phone on, not wanting to miss a thing.

Our spread…

Then the jury votes started to come in. It took us a bit to figure out what/how they were doing it. Then, we caught on. Italy – 12 points!  We cheered and clapped. Russia – 12 points – we booed.  Sweden – 12 points, we booed again!  What were the juries thinking??  As the votes continued on, we began to realize that our guys, our most precious boys, were likely not going to win.

As the jury voting continued, it was clear that our guys had indeed, lost. When they announced that Sweden had won, we were just so shocked, although glad it wasn’t Russia (even though they did give Italy 12 points!)

At that point, we hadn’t heard who won the televote, so we were pretty bummed! We drowned our sorrows in more wine, some delicious & delectable desserts of cannoli, French silk pie, and various cookies and other treats. We took some more pictures, shared in more laughter, and of course, had more wine!

French Silk pie with berries! Yummy!


Even though we had the box of tissues handy, no one cried. I think we were just too much in shock, angry, and blamed it on all the politics.

The party broke up about 10pm or so, and everyone left. I stayed the night at my friend’s house. (No, I was not too drunk – it was planned!)

The Group!


I kept checking Instagram and saw various photos and the Il Volo account thanking the public for voting and that they were proud to represent Italy, etc.

Before I got ready for bed, I saw that they had also won the Marcel Bezençon Awards – Press Award – Given to the best entry as voted on by the accredited media and press during the event. So, the media and press loved them the most – like there was any doubt? We already knew they were adorably charming!


Thanks to Kelly, shortly before midnight EDT, she sent the note that Italy had won the televoting!

I awoke the next morning to Gianluca’s Instagram of “we won the people’s hearts!” That was so nice, at least they could celebrate that! I responded back on the Instagram and the FaceBook site that “they had won our hearts and stole our souls, long ago, in the United States!”

Napoli Pizza

Although we had planned to make pizza the night before, we didn’t have time, so I made it the next day. Traditional pizza Napoli – with crushed tomatoes as the sauce, some Italian seasonings, and fresh mozzarella balls, sliced, then topped with fresh basil, and drizzled with olive oil, when it came out of the oven.  Also added some pepperoni, although not in the traditional recipe….



As I was fighting with the dough, I was so wishing Ignazio were there to help me! Where was he when I needed him the most?! Lol! I was sure I heard him in my ear anyway, with his cute little Sicilian accent saying, “No, no, no….that is not right, I do it this way!” It actually turned out quite tasty. All in all, it was a great time and we had lots of fun!


I said bittersweet in my title and you are probably wondering where I am going with that? Bittersweet, in this reference, is usually defined as something being good, but not feeling the joy you should as something negative is usually associated with it as well. A bit of irony, perhaps? In the case of our ragazzi, it’s almost a literal, rather than figurative translation. Since for them, it was probably a real bitter pill to swallow with their loss of the actual victory at Eurovision. However, how SWEET it is, that they won the televoting! And, isn’t that the most important victory anyway? As Gianluca said, they won the hearts of the people and that is priceless.

Our boys are the epitome of the theme of Eurovision 2015; building bridges not only across Europe, but across nations, oceans, and continents!

God Bless you boys! You may not have won the trophy, but this was God’s plan for you!

We know you are winners and always will be, in our hearts!

Hope to see you soon!



p.s. ok, a little more “bittersweetness” here…. we are very sorry you lost, but us fans of Ignazio are SO glad you didn’t have to follow through on your bet with Piero, to shave!

Lezione 4 and Answers with Ignazio!

Teach Italy.jpg final one ~Jana smaller

Buongiorno, clase!
Jana lesson

Gianluca is sorry for making the last lesson so hard – he thought it was pretty easy!  You did not like the word search?  And no one guessed the secret phrase?  Ok, answers to the word search are below:
For your second extra credit, I have also hidden a word or two from the titles of the songs from the Sanremo CD. See if you can find the 7 extra words. For your third extra credit, the remaining letters that are not used in the word search, spell out a phrase. See if you can guess it.   Happy Hunting!

Ignazio Piero Gianluca Win Eurovision!    Did no one get this??

_ _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Your clue:   “a great prophecy…”

Extra   Words:
Ciao Ancora
Bambina Canzone
Grande Romantica

HOMEWORK:  I hope you at least enjoyed Houseboat!  With our lovely Sophia…

Ok, let’s take a little coffee break!  There is a little Italian caffè down the street, let’s stop in for a cappuccino and some biscotti…

I would like a vente ounce cappuccino and a chocolate biscotti, please.

Vorrei un cappuccino vente oncia e biscotti al cioccolato, per favore.

Ignazio will have a grande espresso with cream and a cannoli, please.

Ignazio avrà un espresso grande con panna e un cannoli , per favore.
You will notice that the words in color, are both the same in English as in Italiano!?
See, you have been speaking Italian and didn’t even know it!  Many caffè houses, like Starbucks, have these words in their menus and I’m sure no one even thought twice about it!  Here are some more Italian/American words that you will find in your local or little Italian caffè house!
  • caffè (espresso)—a small cup of very strong coffee, i.e., espresso
  • caffè Americano—American-style coffee, but stronger; weaker than espresso and served in a large cup
  • caffè corretto—coffee “corrected” with a shot of grappa, cognac, or other spirit
  • caffè doppio—double espresso
  • caffè freddo—iced coffee  (remember when Piero and Ignazio said they were freddo in Russia?)
  • caffè Hag—decaffeinated coffee (ironically, this is the same in German!)
  • caffè latte—hot milk mixed with coffee and served in a glass for breakfast
  • caffè macchiato—espresso “stained” with a drop of steamed milk: small version of a cappuccino
  • caffè marocchino—espresso with a dash of hot milk and cacao powder
  • caffè stretto—espresso with less water; rocket fuel!
  • cappuccino—espresso infused with steamed milk and drunk in the morning, but never after lunch or dinner
  • granita di caffè con panna—frozen, iced beverage (similar to a slush, but ice shavings make it authentic) and topped with whipped cream

Also, to help you a little more with your pronunciations and a few extra phrases, (since we cannot be there in person to help you!), I have found a few YouTube videos.  There are literally thousands out there, but I thought these were good.  The one girl sounds a lot like a female Piero, they must be from the same area of Italy!





I hope you enjoy your lezione oggi!

Ciao –

i - decem