Tag Archives: Marsala

Ignazio’s Sicily by Susan

Land of Sages and Fools ~ Made of Devils and Saints!

Sometimes I feel like I spend every day of my life writing about Ignazio! In the last year I wrote over fifty stories about the guys and, it seems as if half of them were about Ignazio’s projects. Because of all his projects I sometimes write two and three stories a week about him, wearing many different hats. Entertainer, Lyricist, Manager, Entrepreneur! The amazing thing about it is, I can’t get enough of him! Ignazio lives in mind. I have an emotional attachment to him. I guess it comes from writing all those stories. With fictional characters, the writer develops the character but, when you’re writing about real people, you come to a point where you are in their minds and, you feel their passions and emotions!
Closeup of Ignasio in front of a microphone
As usual, it was Daniela who made me aware that something new was going on. She sent me a video that said Màkari and I wondered what is this about? And then I clicked on it and heard Ignazio’s beautiful voice and I thought when did Ignazio record this? That’s when I realized it was a new series on Rai1 and Il Volo will be singing the theme song. And if that wasn’t enough, I learned Ignazio wrote the song. Ignazio, do you ever sleep?
Ignazio, last year, you told us you had many surprises for us. This obviously was the collaboration with Rai1 you were talking about. Unless we have another surprise in store! We can only hope!
Truthfully, who better to write a song about Sicily and the region of Trapani than a native child! No, Ignazio wasn’t born in Sicily but, for Italians, who your parents are is who you are so, in fact, Ignazio is Sicilian.

Ignazio looking to his right as he sits in a red chair

It amazes me that the young boy who went to Sicily kicking and screaming when he was ten, became the spokesman for Marsala, around the world, and now for the region of Trapani. Ignazio came to embrace the land of his parents and he loves all the wonders of Sicily.
Sicily is different than Italy. Yes, I know Sicily is Italy but, how the Sicilians live and, who they are is very different. Ignazio’s song invites us to take a better look at this other land in the south. It speaks of “a land of sages and a land of fools, made from devils and saints.” Yes, that’s what Sicily is! They honor their saints while keeping their superstitions!
Ignazio invites you to live a new reality through his eyes. He invites us to see a different side of Sicily through his beautiful theme song, Màkari.
Ignazio begins his video by explaining to us his experience of Sicily as seen through his eyes. “It is a Sicily as told by a twenty-five year old who lived Sicily through stories, through images!”

Photo of the sea

This song speaks volumes! Where did the words of this song come from? Ignazio’s heart! There is something very mysterious about the song. Besides the fact that it speaks of a land of sages and fools made from devils and saints. It also speaks of truth! The truth as seen through Ignazio’s eyes.
Ignazio’s words allow us to see Sicily through tradition, home and love!
In the video, Ignazio talks about the summers he spent in S. Vito Capo in the landscape of Màkari. What is it that draws him back year after year? Is it the “silence” of the land that screams for you to open your eyes and look around at the wonder of the landscape or, the traditions of the land that go deep into your soul? It seems to Ignazio, Màkari is joy and love and so he will never forget it! And what does that say! Simple! This is Ignazio’s story!!! His story of Sicily, the land he left to pursue his dream and the land he is drawn back to time and again.
Think about the words of the song! Is Ignazio talking about the writer who leaves his home and returns after a long period of time or the entertainer who travels the world? The similarities in his life and the life of the writer are striking, that’s why he was able to write such an emotional song! I feel like Ignazio wrote the song and then they made the show. His words are very enticing, they pull you into the story. They tell all there is to know and, Ignazio tells us a story, through the imagery of his words!

Orange sunset over the water

The mystery of it all is the relationship Ignazio has with this land! Having become a part of this land at the age of ten, it is amazing to me that Ignazio developed this great bond with Sicily. Yes, Bologna is his home but, Sicily is the place he comes home to!!!
Ignazio says, “it is an honor to talk about my Sicily through a fiction that tells the truth of this Sicily.” Ignazio loves that through all the mysteries and mystique of the program, the show speaks of love, which is something that he loves and, he loves that that love is combined with yellow (mysteries)!
Sicily is amazing for Ignazio because it’s different for him every time. He sees a Sicily that is always offering something new while being a part of something old. Always remembering what was while looking forward to what will be! This speaks to Ignazio’s soul!
Ignazio’s thoughts and emotions are everywhere in this song. In an interview on Sunday, with Inga and Claudio Gioè, the actor from Màkari, Ignazio reminds us of his words, in the song, about His Sicily. “Whoever comes to Sicily, cries twice,” (once when you arrive and, once when you leave). I think that sums up Ignazio’s feelings for Sicily.” I think the words of this song will be on the lips of everyone for many years to come! A Classic!

Ignazio playing the guitar on the bow of a boat in the sea at Sicily

The final verse of the song is sung by Ignazio with a few beautiful words in Sicilian and he is accompanied by a classical guitar. “Sing louder but do it in silence because here no one hears us, sees us. This is a story a little curious, a little grumpy, it speaks to me of love. For traditions, for my roots, Màkari is home and my heart sings for you!”  These are emotional words, very touching!
In the video, Gianluca and Piero expressed their feelings about the project. Gianluca said, I have anxiety waiting for this moment, so I renew my congratulations to everyone for this great project and we are delighted to be part of it. We, also, learned something very interesting in this video. We now know what everyone’s plans are for the future! Gianluca says, he would love to be an actor. I always thought he would be a model. He certainly has the body and looks for it! But who knows maybe he will show up in one of the episodes of Màkari? And Piero the sweetheart that he is, told us how proud he is of Ignazio and how happy he is to be a part of this project! Piero, all of us are very happy that all of you are embarking on this new adventure together!
One final thought! Ignazio’s words in the song call out to, many, people expressing his feelings on many matters! I would like to go back to those last words of the song so that you can listen very carefully to Ignazio words! “Sing louder but do it in silence because here no one hears, sees us.”  Think about it!

Màkari we’ve been waiting for you!

Picture of Sicily and the sea with rocks coming up out of the water

What an amazing song! Ignazio as usual you took my breath away, not just with your voice but, with your beautiful words. No doubt they were from the heart. They truly hit home! They so speak of where you heart is! And from the bottom of my heart I say, thank you for the song and thank you guys for the beautiful delivery!

You know how many times I’d like to leave
from this land of devils and saints
but Màkari is home, it’s joy and pain
this is my land.
Land of Wise Men and Land of Fools
of people who take heart, take it and give it!
Whoever comes to Sicily, cries twice!
Màkari is my home.
This is a story a little curious, a little grumpy,
it speaks to me of love.
For traditions, for my roots,
but Màkari is home, and the heart sings for you.
Sing louder, but do it in silence,
because here no one hears us, sees us,
but Makari is home, it is joy and pain,
Màkari I do not forget, I forget no more.
This is a story a little curious, a little grumpy,
it speaks to me of love.
For traditions, for my roots,
but Màkari is home and the heart sings for you.

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

 

Vito Boschetto ~ A Simple, Humble Man by Susan

Often, I write about Ignazio and all his wonderful achievements but, today I have to write about something that is so very sad.
On Monday, we all heard the news about the sudden death of Ignazio’s father, Vito Boschetto. Each of us stopped to think about Ignazio and, how he must be feeling. There are no words that we can express to comfort the family.  We can only say they are in our hearts and in our prayers!
I write about Ignazio so often that I feel a special closeness to him and, my heart aches for him. I know how sensitive he is and, I think he must be hurting a lot right now.
Today I want to write, not about Ignazio but, about his family. What I know about them and how they made Ignazio who he is today.
Over the years, as we watched Ignazio grow into a fine, young men, we grew to understand that it was his parents’ guidance that made him who he is. They are a very proud family. Hard working people. This is a trait we see in Ignazio.
They gave Ignazio such exceptional values that it only made sense he would become the good, kind and compassionate person he is.
When Ignazio speaks about his family he speaks with a passion. The deep bond this family has is exceptional. Even as a very young child Ignazio said his family shared everything. No matter what happened it was discussed with the whole family. Ignazio has said that he admires his parents for their openness with him and Nina.
This is what Ignazio had to say about his parents. “Is it the same if the images that I will never forget are …. the memories of my parents? It’s not that I’m crazy or strange, it’s right that my story would never have existed without my parents …. Of sacrifices they have made many and, big for me and for my sister but, more so for me. I do not spend days when I do not think about how proud I am of them.”
Vito Boschetto closeup
Mr. Boschetto was a man who worked very hard for his family.  He was a mason, a brick layer. He worked at this job right up to the last days of his life. Ignazio would tell you that his mom and dad had worked at many jobs, and they tried to learn any trade, just to earn some extra money for the family.
In 1990 when work was scarce in Marsala, it became necessary to find work elsewhere. Vito heard about work in Buonconvento, in the province of Siena and he moved his family there. At the time only Nina was born.
In 1992 it became apparent that this was not working. They could not earn enough to sustain the family and so, after hearing from an old friend about work in San Martino in Argine, near Bologna, Vito moved his family there. This was an excellent decision because the family began to prosper with this move. They decided it was time to move into a home of their own and, so, they moved into a house in the hamlet of Guarda di Molinella. This is the house where Ignazio was born.
You will recall that Ignazio’s mother became ill with cancer and many of Ignazio’s young years were spent alone with his sister, Nina. For Ignazio, Nina is a second mother.

Ignazio with sister, Nina

After Caterina’s successful treatment, she returned to work and finally everything was normal.
Vito and Caterina knew they would return to Marsala one day and, that is what they worked towards.
In July 2004 the family moved back to Marsala. Caterina’s dream was to open a pizzeria and Vito’s dream was to have Caterina’s dream come true.
Every day for one year, when Vito returned from worked, he built the pizzeria. He built it right in front of their house. Every free moment Ignazio had, he worked alongside his father so that his mother could realize her dream.  A year later the pizzeria was completed.

Vito with IL VOLO car behind him

Ignazio’s memories of this time bring him to a very important moment in his life. He always says, “If there had not been the pizzeria, perhaps I would never have started singing seriously. Because, in the meantime, while the pizzeria grew, into me grew more and more the passion for electronics and music. I had started to be part of the elementary school choir and my dad, who was more passionate about electronics than me, had bought me a mixer, a microphone and two speakers, with which we started doing the easiest thing that could be done with that: karaoke.”
Much of this story you already know. After Caterina’s customer heard Ignazio sing, he suggested he meet with a singing teacher and the rest is history. But, before the history there were many obstacles to overcome.
Lessons, many, many lessons. Lessons took money. Lots and lots of money. And so, Vito and Caterina did everything they could to get the money that was needed for the lessons. It took a lot of hard work but, for Vito and Caterina, it was necessary so Ignazio could have his dream.
Left to right: Gianluca, Vito and Ignazio backstage
Finally, the day arrived when the money ran out and Vito and Caterina were heartbroken. They tried everything possible but could not find the means for Ignazio to go on with his lessons. Finally, they found a way. They decided to make a loan. And through the generosity of someone dear to them, the lessons continued. Yes, the sacrifices were great and, many but they were made with love!
After Ti Lascio una Canzone, Il Volo came to be and, a, new, sacrifice had to be made.
Since Ignazio was underage, one of his parents had to travel with him on his world tours. The time was split between Vito and Caterina. This certainly disrupted their family life but, being the people they are, they managed to get through it. At that point the greatest sacrifice to be made was between Ignazio and Nina who would not see each other for very long periods of time. The world tours kept the family apart but, their love kept them together.

Left to right: Vito, wife Caterina sitting in an audience

When Vito returned from the tour, he would return to his work. He never tried to make his life easy. What he did, he did for his children and would only accept their love in return.
Vito was a simple man! A humble man who taught his children to be kind and humble and to live lives that they could be proud of.
It is not every man that passes through this life that can say he was able to fulfill his son’s dream. A dream that would bring him fame.
Once Ignazio described his family as simple people. Yes, simple and loving and always ready to do whatever was necessary to help each other.
Ignazio, your father is gone but you will keep him alive in your memory. You’ll walk into a room and remember a beautiful moment. You’ll look at a picture and remember that wonderful smile that made a little boys tears go away. You’ll walk down a street and remember the first time you walked together and, he held your hand and made you understand that he would always be there for you. He will always be there for you! You will feel his presence! You will keep his memory alive with your stories of all the wonderful things you shared! But, above all, you will keep him alive because you are him! You are the best part of what he was! His unbounding love! This is the greatest legacy a man can leave for his family!
Ignazio, please accept our deepest condolences! Know that we all are praying for you and your family.

Left to right: Vito, wife Caterina and Ignazio sitting in an audience

Ciao Vito with red heart and black ribbon

 

Credit to owners of all photos.

THE SAD NEWS by Daniela

The line of life, unfortunately, also inevitably crosses with death.
On February 28, Vito Boschetto, beloved father of our dear Ignazio, died at the age of 60.

Ignazio hugging his dad, Vito

The sad announcement was made today, March 1st.
I will translate it for you.

Itacanotizie Article – Click Here

Vito Boschetto, father of Ignazio de Il Volo, has died.
Vito Boschetto, father of Ignazio, Marsala singer of Il Volo, together with Piero Barone and Gianluca Ginoble, died on the evening of Sunday 28 February. The man died in Bologna, where his son lives, due to a sudden illness that left him no way out.
Married to Caterina Licari, Vito also has an eldest daughter, Nina, who ran a pizzeria for years. A close-knit family that has always supported their son far and wide throughout Italy, making him study until the success obtained with the broadcast “Ti lascio una canzone” on Rai Uno with the conduction of Antonella Clerici, aimed at the discovery of children’s talents. It is there that Ignazio Boschetto met the other two “tenorini” Piero and Gianluca with whom he will form Il Volo, which achieved worldwide success.
On March 3 Il Volo should perform on the stage of the 71st Sanremo Festival. But confirmations are expected after this tragic news.

Ignazio with his Dad, Vito

Covid has nothing to do with it, it was a tumor, recently discovered, but unfortunately in an advanced state, which left Vito no chance for a regression.
I do not dare to think of the infinite pain of Ignatius who, we remember, did a good part of his travels and stayed abroad accompanied by his beloved father.

Vito Boschetto

Unfortunately, the harsh reality is this and Ignazio, already shy enough for personal news, lived this last period of his father’s life, without divulging the news, living the pain together with his family, his mother Caterina and his sister Nina.

Left to right: Vito Boschetto, son Ignazio and wife, Caterina Licari

The Il Volo family also gathered around Ignazio and his family, but could only watch the events helplessly.
Gianluca today published a series of their photos and the last photo represents Il Volo in a moment of meditation, with Ignazio looking up.
Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and PIero on stage. The message is SEMPRE UNITI - ALWAYS TOGETHER
ALWAYS TOGETHER. What can best represent the three of them, in every moment of life, even the saddest, ALWAYS TOGETHER.

Caterina Licari and husband Vito Boschetto

Dear Ignazio, you are always so cheerful, so joyful, but now you have the agony in your heart, your dear dad is gone.
We Volovers hold you in a long affectionate embrace around you and your mother Caterina and your sister Nina.
Our prayers reach Vito who from above will guide you in your life, proud of you.
No words can be of comfort to you, but all our affection reaches you from the depths of our hearts.
A big hug: Il Volo Flight Crew 

R.I.P.

Vito Boschetto

The Flight Crew staff with all the fans will try to deliver to Ignazio and his family a floral message of deep condolences and affection.

 

Credit to owners of all photos.

LERI CAVOUR by Susan

Ignazio’s friend Roberto Amadè

In a number of articles, I’ve mentioned the Amadè-Boschetto concert which was organized through the Cultural and Artistic Center “Ignazio Boschetto,” with the support of The Town Hall of Marsala. The Teatro Impero Archipelago hall has long applauded this initiative which brought together several artists from Marsala. This concert was held in February 2014.

This was a wonderful collaboration between Ignazio Boschetto and Roberto Amadè to help young people in their careers. In February 2014, Katya Pantaleo, a young singer from Marsala, won the Premio della Critica at Sanremo with the song “Come in Paradiso” music, lyrics and arrangement by Ignazio.
Many of you have asked me who Roberto Amadè is and how this collaboration came about with Ignazio?

Roberto Amadè is an Italian singer and songwriter. He was born in Vercelli, Italy on April 3, 1982. He is the son of Claudio Chapel bassist in the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala of Milan since 1979. Like Ignazio, Roberto plays multiple instruments. He graduated from the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts of Turin. One of his works entitled “Abbado” (dedicated to the conductor Claudio Abbado) is on exhibition at the Teatro alla Scala Foundation.

Roberto was very fascinated by music for cinema and in 2008 he composed the soundtrack for the film “La terra nelanque” (The Land in the Blood).
In December 2010, Roberto was the winner of Arena Sanremo with the song “Come Poggia,” (Like Rain) and thus was admitted to the 2011 Sanremo Festival where he won third place in the “Young” category. The song “Come Poggia” is arranged by Roberto Amadè together with Celso Valli. (We know the name Celso Valli, he was also one of  the producers of Il Volo.)

With his participation in 2011 Sanremo Festival, his debut album “Tutti gli incanti della vita” (All the Charms of Life) was re-released on February 16, 2011, with the new title “Come Poggia,” by Universal Music Group and Roberto, at the time, came under contract with Michele Torpedine. And so, the friendship with Ignazio begins.

Two amazing entertainers and one smart manager!

But Roberto’s talent doesn’t stop there!  I would like to turn your attention to a special project that Roberto has been working on. It’s called Leri Cavour. As I mentioned, Roberto was born in Vercelli and he has been married for nine years to Marianna Fusilli, who was also born in Vercelli. They have three children, Amelie Grace, Isabel and Xavier.

This is what Roberto wrote about the founding of the Leri Cavour Foundation. “Thanks to my father, I discovered my love for Music and Art and I have always pursued both disciplines with passion and dedication.
So, after graduating in painting at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts of Turin, I met Michele Torpedine and signed a contract with Universal Music Group.
In 2011, I participated in the 61st Sanremo Festival qualifying third in the young proposals category. In 2014, I did a live in-theater with Ignazio Boschetto of the opera trio “Il Volo” with whom a great friendship was born and is still alive today.”

The Abandoned Village of Leri Cavour

“On November 1st, 2018, during a visit to the Borgo di Leri with my wife, Marianna, our lives changed. We were enchanted by a wonder of history that was left incredibly alone like a diamond in the desert. We understand that Leri’s rebirth can be concrete and we can see for a few seconds, in front of our eyes, the project already completed. Thus, we began a journey made of research, sharing and discoveries that animate our daily life, deeply convinced that the history of all of us Italians must be preserved and not lost.” 
Roberto and his wife Marianna along with Luciano Vigani took on the project of restoring Leri Cavour. The great love for the history of Leri and the deep conviction in its rebirth pushes Luciano to be strongly present in every activity of protection and recovery of the Borgo.

The area that is now known as Leri Cavour has long been an example of agricultural growth. Having been the site of a religious order as far back as the 15th century, the land was used to grow grain and other crops as the farmers’ processes evolved. The rural production thrived until the land was acquired by Napoleon who then sold it off to help pay a debt, which is how it found its way into the hands of the Marquis Michele Benso di Cavour. The property changed hands many times and by the late 1960s, Leri Cavour was abandoned.
On November 1st, 2020 Roberto said, “Today is an important day, to celebrate, despite everything and despite the serious moment we are living in the world. Today marks exactly two years…. Two years full of dreams, projects, friendships. It was November 1st, 2018 and in that very moment Marianna and I decided to dedicate our lives to Leri Cavour. For a short moment, before our eyes, everything was clear, precise; there was no hesitation about what we should have done. I remember it was windy. We looked at Cavour’s house, we looked at each other…. it was there, in that precise moment, that it all started.

The first flame was born that day two years ago, it’s true, but that same fire today is inside many people, men and women who became friends, who became a big family for us. It’s an incredible emotion to see them every day in the village so full of passion. I still cannot express how proud I am of them. Do you know what drives us apart from the initial flame? PERSEVERANCE! The only attitude so strong that we can always carry on, even when at first, we were crazy, even when we found the abusive campers who started the fire or the French who wanted to run us off the road or when we found the Gypsies in the church or the nutrient hunter…. perseverance leads us to keep taking care of Leri every day, find a broken window and fix it…. find it broken and keep fixing it because if it’s true that Leri is an ambitious and immense project, so should our vision and our feelings. Because in the end Perseverance is an act of love, a love the World will always need!”
We thank Ignazio for introducing us to this amazing man.

We wish Roberto, Marianna and Luciano much success in this wonderful project.
This is one of many projects that are going on in Italy today. Many feel as Roberto does that Italy’s history must be preserved!
To learn more about the Leri Cavour project visit their website:

Leri Cavour Project – Click Here

Be sure to visit the Gallery to see all the beautiful buildings they will be restoring.
If you don’t have a translator on your computer, you can go on Google Translate and translate all the Italian stories into English.

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

COOKING IL VOLO STYLE by SUSAN

Ignazio’s Chicken Marsala and Tortellini with Pesto Sauce

When I read Daniela’s article on The Support of Il Volo about the porticoes of Bologna being nominated for recognition by UNESCO, I remembered that I did series on Cooking Il Volo Style and with Ignazio’s recipe I spoke about the Portico of San Luca. So, I decided to share this series with you again.
Today we will make Ignazio’s own recipe for Chicken Marsala. We actually have a video of him making it. But let’s start in Bologna where Ignazio was born. I decided to include a recipe from the Emilia-Romagna region.
Originally I made Gnocchi but in Daniela’s article Ignazio said on Sunday morning walks, with the family, in the center, under the portico there was lady who made fresh pasta and he said they would buy Tortellini from her. So, Tortellini it is!
Let’s begin with some history of Bologna where Ignazio was born and some history from Marsala where Ignazio moved to at the age of 10. Let’s start with Bologna.
Bologna is a city in northern Italy that is about a one hour drive north from Florence. Over the centuries, Bologna has acquired many nicknames: “La Grassa” (the fat) refers to its cuisine, in which the most famous specialties are prepared using rich meats (especially pork), egg pasta and dairy products, such as butter and Parmesan cheese.
To discover Bologna, we need to step back in time to the 6th century BC when it was known by the Etruscans as Felsina. It was one of the most important settlements in the Po Valley. Bologna has numerous archaeological remnants of an early civilization.
Eventually, Bologna fell to the Romans, a colony was set up and it was renamed Bononia. Its strategic position on the ancient Via Emilia road gave it a certain prestige in the area. During the Roman occupation of Bononia it is believed that as many as 20,000 people lived there.
When the Roman Empire declined in the 5th century AD, so too did the city. The city was sacked and variously groups such as the Goths, the Huns, the Lombards and the Visigoths occupied it. Bologna’s fortunes declined but, it managed to slowly regain its former political and economic stability.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the city expanded and extended beyond the confines of its defensive wall. It was in the mid-18th century that the Portico of San Luca was built. The Emilia-Romagna region of Italy is known for its porticos. In all the cities the shops are covered by porticos so you can shop in any weather. Entire blocks are covered by porticos. The most famous being the Portico of San Luca. The history is quite long but briefly, the portico was built to protect the painting of the Virgin Mary and Jesus (which is believed to have been painted by St. Luke) as it is processed from the Basilica of San Luca on the top of the mountain to the Basilica of St. Peters in the city center. The Portico was built to protect the painting from the rain. This procession happens every May. The San Luca portico is the longest covered walkway in the world.
Let’s turn to Marsala where Ignazio moved to when he was 10 years old.
Marsala is a town located in the Province of Trapani in the westernmost part of Sicily.  It is built on the ruins of the ancient Carthaginian city of Lilybaeum, and within its territory is the archaeological site of the island of Mozia, an ancient Phoenician town. (Mozia is a small island, formerly known as Motia and San Pantaleo in the Trapani province, in Sicily. It lies in the Stagnone Lagoon and is generally included as a part of the commune of Marsala.)
The Carthaginian army set out to conquer Selinunte in 409 BC and landed and camped near the site of the later Lilybaeum. In 397 BC when the Phoenician colony of Mozia on the southwestern coast of Sicily was invaded and destroyed by the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius I, the survivors founded a town on the mainland nearby, the site of modern-day Marsala, which they called by a Punic name meaning “Town that Looks on Libya.”

TEMPLE OF SELINUNTE
The First Punic Wars began here when the Punic army landed at Lilybaion in 265–264 BC, then marched across Sicily to Messina.
Many armies invaded but, with the arrival of Arabic Berbers at the nearby Granitola mount the rebirth of the town started. The town was renamed Marsala. The modern name, Marsala, likely derived from the Arabic (marsā llāh) “God’s Harbor.”
Since the end of the 11th century, the area has been conquered by NormanAngevin and Aragonese troops. During this time, Marsala became wealthy, primarily through trade. However the blocking up of the harbor of Punta Alga, decreed by Emperor Charles V to stop Saracen forays, brought an end to this period of prosperity.
The development of Marsala wine at the end of the 18th century, headed by English merchant John Woodhouse, from Liverpool, who exported the fortified wine, triggered an economic expansion in Marsala. Other English and Sicilian businessmen followed his example, and it was in fact one of these men, Joseph Whitaker, who began excavating and piecing together the history of Marsala.
On 11 May 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi landed at Marsala, beginning the process of Italian unification.
On 11 May 1943, in the lead-up to the World War II, the Allies invaded Sicily, and an Allied bombardment of the town permanently damaged its Baroque center and claimed many victims.
The history of Bologna and Marsala are long and rich and, it would take too long to talk about here. Take the time to look it up. It’s interesting!
Now to the recipe. The first recipe today is Tortellini with Pesto Sauce and I’m going to make this very easy for you.
Tortellini is a ring-shaped Italian pasta stuffed with cheese or meat that is most traditionally served in broth. For our recipe we are using Pesto Sauce but, many people make it with tomato sauce. It can also be made with a tomato sauce with mushrooms or meat. Tortellini originates from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and it is particularly associated with Bologna. (Just a note Pesto Sauce has pine nuts in it so, if you are allergic to nuts or tree nuts perhaps you shouldn’t eat this.)

Tortellini with Pesto Sauce

Ingredients:
  • Tortellini – there are different kinds of Tortellini. The most common is stuffed with cheese
  • Pesto Sauce in a Jar (Pesto Sauce has pine nuts in it so, if you are allergic to nuts or tree nuts perhaps you shouldn’t eat this.)
  • Salt
Boil the water for the pasta. Add a handful of salt to the water. This will prevent the Tortellini from sticking together. When the water boils, throw in the Tortellini and follow the cooking instruction on the package.
For Pesto Sauce just open the jar and add it to the pasta. It is not necessary to heat. The hot pasta will heat it.

Now to Ignazio’s Chicken Marsala!

It’s easy to make Ignazio’s chicken.
The ingredients are:
  • Chicken Cutlets (not too thinly sliced)
  • Marsala Wine
  • Flour
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Just a pinch of Cinnamon
In a frying pan add olive oil, salt, Marsala Wine (be careful when you add the wine because it is alcohol and it could flare up) and a pinch of cinnamon. Keep the flame low until the Marsala is in the pan. Then slowly raise the flame but not too high. Dredge the cutlets in the flour and shake them off so you don’t have an excess of flour. When the liquid in the pan starts to bubble carefully, add the cutlets to the pan (you’ll see in the video when Ignazio added the cutlets, the liquid splashed back). Judge for yourself when it is done. Chicken cooks quickly.
Quick, easy, wonderful dinner! Don’t forget the wine. You can drink red or white wine with Tortellini and Chicken Marsala. In Sicily they drink De Bartoli wine from the De Bartoli Winery in Marsala. (I don’t know if we are related even though I know some members of my family went to Marsala in 1800 – 1850). For me it’s always Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine. What can I say? My mother’s family is from Abruzzo!

By the way, I know Ignazio is Vegan but, I think he would be happy if we tried his recipe which he made for the guys when they lived in LA.

Buon appetito!

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.