Tag Archives: Montepagano

THE CELEBRATIONS FOR GIANLUCA by Daniela

The citizens of Montepagano, they want to wish well to their fellow citizen, Gianluca, and his family.

A few days ago, even if IL VOLO did not get the first place in Sanremo, the citizens decided to have a nice party in the square, in honor of Gianluca.

These sentences are extracted from an article in the local newspaper:

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Everything is ready for the big party. Gianluca Ginoble, fresh from the prestigious podium of SanRemo 2019, will return to his country Sunday evening at 6 in Montepagano who prepares him a welcome with due honors.

Gianluca Ginoble is the pride of the entire city of Roseto degli Abruzzi, but above all the ancient village of the City of Roses, are ready to stretch, symbolically, a red carpet to the one who in these years, has brought up all the pride of our country.

In Montepagano, the Pro Loco, the Fan Club and the BereBene bar organized the celebrations. An entire country awaits him with open arms. The appointment has been set for him with banners and more. There will really be everyone there.

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The preparations were hectic in the village while Gianluca was in Paris. And on his return, the party was ready in the square. The citizens were so many, it was certainly a moment of great joy for Gianluca.

But let’s see some images.

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Gianluca with his father and his grandfather.

Mayor = Good, and thank you for what you do, for Italy, because we need to keep our name high.

Thanks to you for what you do for Roseto, because the reflection that you have as a person on our country is great.

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This photo gallery is beautiful.

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GIANLUCA GINOBLE: THE QUIET STAR.

Montepagano di Roseto degli Abruzzi, Sunday 17 February 2019.

Festival of the community of Montepagano, organized to pay homage to Gianluca Ginoble and Il Volo, after the 3rd place at the 69th Sanremo Festival with the song “Musica che resta”.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gianluca Ginoble in front of so many people, outdoors, simply. Nothing screams and no unnecessarily high tones, because the important things are said better in a calm voice.

An intense chat came out of it, thanks to the reflections of Gianluca who a couple of times was also moved.

And in those moments when his eyes were touched with tears, talking about his family and the values that he transmitted of his beloved land of Abruzzo, the uselessness of living badly envying and hurting others.

Luca Maggitti, journalist.

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And here is the interview by Luca Maggitti. (Click on the Twitter post above to view the video.)

LM = How much did it hurt, to you three, to see that video and now, you, Ignazio and Piero, where you are with this thing, how you are living it.

GG = But you must know that I, by character, I slip, all over me.(You know when it rains? The water wets you, but it slips away, that is, once dry it leaves no trace on you, it has not affected your person …… the same is the meaning of this first sentence….. even if the things said by the journalists, they are very bad, Gianluca intends that those words leave no trace of malice in him, nor even of rancor, it is like saying that he has swept away from his shoulders all the bad words.)  I do not hate anyone, absolutely, because, you can also make mistakes, not in a press room in Sanremo, in a place like this, it should be a party, so it should not happen there. Everyone can make mistakes, in the end, of course forgive them, they are important people, the journalist in Sanremo and the music critic are important. The people are the ones who command at the end, (applause), the televoting is the most important thing. In the end, they can criticize, they can express their taste, because in any case they talk about musical tastes and may not even like our music. We do not have the presumption of pleasing all, absolutely, it would be stupid.

One thing is, the news, one thing is criticism, one thing is the offense.

Somehow, thanks to this thing, they are learning to know each other, they are really knowing who we are, as people, because I can understand that sometimes, repeating so many times “international success, they go around the world,” risk to have the effect on the contrary. People can be envious, they can be bad, they can express their negative thinking, but never fall into the offense. We, thanks to this Sanremo, somehow, we managed to get into people’s hearts, not only with the voices, but also as a person, what we really are, not just us (IL VOLO), but nobody deserves to have that treatment. (applause)

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And here is a beautiful article published after the party and which I translate for you.

Il Martino Article – Click Here

MONTEPAGANO – A starry sky, on a February evening with an unusually mild climate, a long banner and the notes of “Musica che Resta” framing the ancient village of Montepagano. This is the atmosphere with which yesterday evening a crowded square, not only of Paganesi but also of many fans arrived from different areas of Italy, has prepared to welcome the young talent from Abruzzo.

A party in honor of Gianluca Ginoble who returns to the native village of Montepagano, after having won the third place of the podium at the Sanremo Festival with Il Volo. A party announced a few days ago and that is part of the tenth anniversary of IL VOLO that began to take its first steps in 2009, with the participation in the Clerici program, “Ti lascio una canzone” (“I leave you a song”).

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Gianluca arrives at 6.00 pm, welcomed by a thunderous applause. Peaceful and smiling he greets and opens with an interview in the square, moderated by a journalist. Gianluca appears visibly excited and calm, just as they are used to seeing him, his fellow citizens who have reserved for him a welcome, as an international star.

A recognition not only to the artist but also to his two traveling companions, Ignazio Boschetto and Piero Barone, who have made Italy known throughout the world and continue to represent with grace and style.

But how has Gianluca changed during these 10 years?

Walking through the village and collecting people’s impressions, comes the portrait of an affable and genuine boy, attached to his roots and his family. They tell us about Gianluca as one of them, calling him “Our Gianluca”. One who when he returns to his small village stops to take coffee at the bar of the village and does not miss an opportunity to greet and exchange jokes with everyone. One who could spend his summer holidays who knows where, but who chooses to go back home and stay on the beach of Roseto, with the affections of all time; one who at happy hour prefers football matches with friends.

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Il Volo in their artistic career has trod the most prestigious stages, and known world-renowned artists. Following the steps of Bocelli and Pavarotti he succeeded in spreading the refinement of the bel canto also abroad and exponentially raising our country in the world.

An ascent in the Olympus of music, culminated with the victory of Sanremo 2015 with a niche music genre, but which in recent years is gathering more and more acclaim and that allowed them to know not only great personalities of the music world. In November, in fact, they enchanted Trieste singing the Inno di Mameli in front of President Mattarella while, last January, they performed in front of Pope Francis during the World Youth Day in Panama. Gianluca, despite his success, has appeared as the boy of all time who, with his simple and courteous ways, was able to make the Abruzzo geographically known also to Woody Allen, through the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

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Strongly linked to these places, Gianluca never loses an opportunity to highlight its beauties anywhere in the world. The last one dates back to the Sanremo Kermesse during which he made Antonello Venditti fall in love (guest of one of the evenings), the arrosticini, in dialect “li rustell”, making him become familiar with the dialectal terms of Abruzzo, as can be seen from a funny video that is becoming popular on the web.

As he says in the interview in the square “This is a special place because I feel good when I’m here, it’s my home. I continue to live here and I cannot wait to come back to see all the Paganesi and my family. That is the most important thing.”

All this love for the music and for his people, last night he came back to him, through the shining eyes of the people, the manifestations of affection and the industriousness of his countrymen, of the Pro Loco, of the Fan Club, of the bars of the village that took care of the organization of the party, setting up even a refreshment for all those present. A way to pay homage with simplicity and warmth not only the artist but also the boy of 24 years (completed last 11 February) which is the pride of his country and of an entire region.

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A young man aware that the road to go is still a lot and it is perhaps this humility, beyond the unquestioned talent, to make him so loved. When asked what he would suggest to the boys who want to pursue a dream, not only in music, but in every field of life, he replies that he does not feel like giving advice.

“I still have many dreams and goals to reach, for example learning how to play the piano; before telling others I have to tell myself. Study for the future!”

But the engine that drives this young talent forward is the family. He thanks his parents but above all a person. This is his dear grandfather, Ernesto, who since childhood gave him the love for opera music.

The evening draws to a close with the greetings of the mayor of Roseto, Sabatino di Girolamo, who rewards the singer with a plaque, thanking him for having made known the places of his land and makes them visible all over the world.

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Here comes the greetings and takes a real bath of crowd that surrounds him. Smiles and photos with everyone, with its infinite availability and courtesy.

And compared to the controversy in Sanremo, on the insults received in the press room, the three singers have won not only on stage but especially in life, managing to beat offenses with the grace and good manners that are their hallmark.

Soon we will see Il Volo in a series of firmcopies (CD signing events) – as the singer himself says – then in March the tour in America and Japan. On the 22nd, “Musica”, the new album, will be released, with two unpublished works and then many other projects: a summer tour that could also include a date in Abruzzo.

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Gianluca, you are really a treasure!

You said things that were really beautiful and without any rancor.

Only very intelligent and sensitive people would react just like you, to such malice.

You really deserve all the love of your people.

You always stay that way.

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR BOYS by Daniela

For info on the Panama youth day vigil tonight 6:30p Panama time and Mass tomorrow, scroll all the way to the end.

Yesterday on the official page of IL VOLO was published this beautiful message from our boys:

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Hi  #ilvolovers! We are almost ready! We promised you a 2019 full of surprises and start immediately!

On February 22nd our new album “Musica” will be released, and shortly we will communicate in the stories the link to the PRE ORDER AVAILABLE FROM TODAY on Amazon.

We are leaving for Panama, tomorrow we will sing for the Pope, the emotion is great and in these days we can not think of anything else, but as you know, we are preparing for another important event … Sanremo festival and we can not wait to present the single “Musica che resta” on the stage of the Ariston!

You are ready?

Yes, you got it right, the new CD, the CD of pop-lyric music, will be released on February 22nd. In it, is the new song that will be presented at Sanremo MUSICA CHE RESTA will also be contained.

For now you can pre-order on Amazon.

This will be a month full of events, the Sanremo Festival is getting closer and closer.

Meanwhile, the cities of our boys begin to encourage.

I LOVE NARO the city of the baroque, has published this post:

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“It would be nice that all the Narese would share this post in the Facebook profile since our fellow citizen Piero Barone brings ever higher our beloved city of Naro.

Musica Che Resta is a song by Il Volo.

It is the song with which they participate in Sanremo 2019.

For the trio this is the second time on the stage of the Ariston, after the victory of Sanremo 2015 with Grande Amore.

The song speaks of a love and the strength it gives to move forward:

“Love hug me, I want to protect you, we are the sun on a rainy day, tonight hold me, kiss my soul, we are true music that remains.”

The text of Musica Che Resta was written, among others, by a great name of Italian rock music: Gianna Nannini.”

 

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This is the beautiful banner hanging above the bar in the middle of the square of Montepagano !! The inhabitants of Gianluca are really nice.

Also this event was published: Tuesday, January 29 press conference of IL VOLO where they will exhibit their projects for the year 2019 and 2020 ……….. surely they also talk about the tour !!!!

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But in the meantime our boys are certainly not resting.

Yesterday they left for PANAMA for the WYD event.

G = Just arrived at the Amsterdam airport, ready for this flight to Panama, about 12 hours, but it will be a magnificent experience. Follow us on this journey.

P = Boys, we are in Amsterdam, we will soon board the flight to Panama, because tomorrow we will sing in front of Pope Francis, for the World Youth Day. Hello.

(the sweet Barbara is always with them)

Ignazio: Hi everyone! We’ve just wrapped up the shooting of “Musica Che Resta” video.

Gianluca: This Saturday we’ll experience a great emotion because we’ll sing a very special “Ave Maria” for Pope Francis in Panama.

Piero: As you know, when we’ll come back in Italy Sanremo Festival awaits us, to sing for the first time our new song. We can’t wait to present you, let you listen our new single “Musica Che Resta” on stage at the Ariston theater. 

 

In fact, two days ago the filming of the new video ended, little is known of it, but it seems to have been made in Milan.

G = We are recording the video with a great director, Mauro Russo.

MR = Come on Gianluca, you cannot say that we are recording the video, now we are not doing anything.

G = Look what kind. We are doing a masterpiece.

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……. and there is someone who has a lot of fun, during makeup sessions….our Ignazio is too funny. 😂 😂

 

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I am very excited! We will see the boys sing in front of the Pope and to thousands and thousands of young people from all over the world. Simply fantastic!

At 6:30 pm (Panama time) today, the vigil in Panama will begin and the boys may sing.

Sunday at 8.00 am (Panama time) there will be Mass, where our boys will sing the Ave Maria.

For those who want to follow the live streaming please try the link below.

TV2000 Live link – Click Here

(This link may not work for those in the United States.)

Also, EWTN is carrying live World Youth Day coverage on their cable channel.

If you don’t have that channel on your cable line-up you can view a live stream on the EWTN website.

EWTN Live Stream – Click Here

 

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So, are you all ready for the great news of the next days?

I am waiting for you all for the comments and your impressions.

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

Backstage of L’Amore Si Muove by Daniela

Oblivion (the company that made the videos of IL VOLO) has published this video.

This is another backstage of L’AMORE SI MUOVE, but this time the boys were filmed during a stop of filming, in Piazza di Montepagano.

We all know how Gianluca is proud of his Montepagano.

 

I will translate his short speech.

Gian: Hi everyone, I’m here in the backstage of L’AMORE SI MUOVE.

We had the opportunity to record this music video in my country where I was born and raised.  A shot at the bell tower of Montepagano, look how beautiful it is.

I want to welcome my colleagues.

(He turns to Piero who teases Gianluca and does not collaborate)

Greet the cameramen, welcome to my village Montepagano.

Greet the camera, they are happy, smile … (but Piero remains stubbornly serious and then Gianluca turns to Ignazio)

Ignazio: If you put yourself in front of me how do I smile?

Gian: Give a smile to the camera.

Torpedo: Say hello to the camera.

Gian: Oh well, I’m happy alone. Bye

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Poor Gianluca, nobody understands  him.

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Video credit to Oblivion Production

 

 

Jana & Lorna, the Adventure Continues, July 6-8, 2016 – A Walk Through “L’Amore Si Muove!”

Ok, grab your second cup of coffee and settle in to read the last part of our trip, it’s really long!  Enjoy!  (please forgive any typos, grammar, etc. I am exhausted!)  Dani, if you read this – please add anything I may have forgotten!)

Yes, as we neared the mountainous city of Montepagano, the skies were growing more menacing and then splat! splat! splat!!  We had nowhere to go but up, and up, the narrow path they called a road.  Those that have been there, know…. 🙂  On came the wiper blades and up the harrowing hill we went.  Round and round she goes…. Lorna, bravely traversing the road, put the SUV in gear and safely navigated us up the rainy 20160706_160735road.  The rain came down harder and harder and it was difficult to see at times.  To one side of us there was the bit of road, to the other, a 50 foot drop!  There really was no shoulder to go on.  Over too far and it was ciao, ciao, ciao!  The scariest part was when another car was coming from the other direction and they thought they were the only car on the road.  There was scarcely enough room for another car to pass.  We finally made it up the hill, holding our breath with each curve.  At one point, we finally reached some level ground and a bit of a clearing.  The rain was coming down even harder, so Lorna pulled off for about five or ten minutes until the rain finally let up a bit.  We looked around, and not sure how we did it, but we actually passed Montepagano!  Like, there was more than one town on this little mountain?  So, we saw a sign that literally said “Montepagano” with an arrow pointing to where we had already come.  Lucky for us, the rain had almost stopped and was now just a light sprinkle.  We made our way back down the treacherous path and followed the signs to Montepagano.

The streets were actually pretty deserted of people, but there were several cars parked.  It was a Wednesday, so maybe people were at work and it was also raining.  The rain had pretty much come to a stop, as the ancient cobblestones glistened with the dampness.  We were not sure where to go from there, but we followed Dani, with phones/cameras in hand.  We marveled at the beautiful buildings and architecture, of how it has withstood the time and the weather.  We passed the famous clock tower on 20160706_160723the way and ended up in the center of town.  As we got closer to the little café, we noticed a huge banner across with Gian and some words from L’amore Si Muove, although it really wasn’t registering with me yet.  We kind of recognized some of the words, but it still wasn’t clicking.  Dani told us that this was the place Gianluca’s 20160706_154419-1 - Copynonno owned at one time.  There were a few gentlemen outside at a table, even though it was still pretty wet.  Since it was still slightly sprinkling, we decided to go in.  It was not very big, but they sold espressos, I think some gelato and we saw a sign for Nuttella crepes!!  Surely, in honor of their most famous resident, Gianluca!!   So, of course, we had to try some Nuttella crepes and espresso.  I think Dani just had some espresso and we enjoyed our crepes.  I looked out the small window and saw a sign that said San Spirito.  Hmmm….

We finished our crepes and went outside.  Where to next?  We asked Dani if she could find where Gianluca or the Ginobles lived?  So, she just looked them up on her phone in 20160706_160529the Italian White Pages.  Well, of course – where else would they be?  She found the address was on San Spirito.  We wondered where that was.  Wait, that was the sign I saw looking through the window at the café!  I felt like we were in a mystery and had to solve the clues.

We went down and over a few streets, and sure enough, we found it.  We kept walking down to where his address was, but it had a different name on it.  Maybe for us fans, they had different names, so they wouldn’t be bothered!  So, we kept walking, and around another corner, Dani pointed out where nonno lived.  Even though the skies were 20160706_162335cloudy, it was kind of nice and still very beautiful.  As we walked, Dani was pointing out the famous landmarks and then she said, “you know, this is where they filmed part of the video for L’amore Si Muove!”  Of course!!  Now things were looking familiar and THAT’s why they had that big banner with the words from the song on it!  Well, after we realized that Dani brought the video up on her phone and we traipsed around, trying to find all the places we could, in the video.

We found the domed church, and made it up the hill to the famous bench.  We walked along around the edge of the town, facing the sea, wondering which window Leonora took her lovely sunrise and evening pictures from.  I think I took more pictures in Montepagano than anywhere else besides the Florence concert.  It was so beautiful.  We certainly know why Gianluca loves it so!  Up and down we went, over the cobblestone 20160706_171404paths.  It was amazing that people can actually get cars down there.  One or two actually passed us.  It didn’t seem much wider than a few sidewalks put together.  We remembered the one photo in the video where Ignazio is leaning against the wall of a building and the tower and lamppost are looming in the distance.  We tried and tried to find just the right spot and tried to get a photo of me imitating him on the wall.  After 20160706_172518 - Copyalmost half an hour, it seemed, we decided it was nearly impossible to find the right spot, even after we tried to do a screenshot and enlarge the picture.  I finally decided the video may have been edited over later because we could never seem to get the right angle.  We even tried a few different streets!

It was starting to get late and we had been there for several hours by then, so we thought we should be getting back home.  As we rounded the few more blocks and got back to the main part of the little town, Dani pointed out to us a taxi.  Out of the taxi, came Ercole and Alessio!  No, we did not take pictures as not to appear to be too nosy…  Ercole got out and went over to a big, black Volvo SUV, got in and drove away.  We decided they were just coming back from dropping Gianluca at the airport.  That was the day they were on their way to Mexico, to make up the concert that had gotten cancelled previously due to the hurricanes back in April or May?  Ok, that was exciting to see them  – so unexpected.  No, we didn’t run into the family, or nonno, or 20160706_171703anyone else – we weren’t quite as lucky as Jeannette or Jane and Marie, but it was still fun.  It was this magical little adventure in this incredible small town, almost like a fairy tale, that no one had touched in hundreds of years.

We decided to make our way back to our car, we were pretty exhausted by then.  And what to our wondering eyes did appear?  O sole mio!  Yes, as we were leaving, the sun decided to come out!  I snapped a few more pictures under sunny skies and Lorna decided she wanted a picture under the “welcome to Montepagano” sign.  So we both took our pictures under the signs.  We waved arrivederci as we drove on out of the city. I guess we were actually pretty lucky it 20160706_173549was cloudy most of the time we were there, as it was starting to warm up pretty quickly in the short time the sun was out.

The ride down did not seem as scary in the sunshine, although the road was still pretty narrow.  It seems we took the back way down.  We got down to the main road and turned right.  Our Montepagano adventure was over.  We made our way back through the several round-abouts – they didn’t seem so bad in Italy…. I hate the ones here!  We passed a mall on the way and we asked Dani if we could go there.  We wanted to pick up a few things.  Inside the mall was a store like a Target or Walmart that had just about everything from food to clothes.  We picked up a few things and I 20160706_173753got a few boxes of biscotti made in Abruzzo and we got some really cheap Moscato – a whole 3 euros!  We dropped off Dani and then we realized we forgot to give her her CDs.

I wanted to go by the sea again, but we never made it.  We texted Dani that we were coming back.  Not many of you may know this, but Dani’s family has an olive oil factory, called Corneli.  How awesome is that?  We kept trying to ask her to buy some olive oil to take back with us, but she never let us!  However, when we went back to give her the CDs, she came out with two very special bottles of lemon infused olive oil!!  OMG! We were so surprised and tickled!  I admit, I had never had lemon olive oil before.  I could not wait to go home and try it on my salad!  We thanked her and hugged goodbye.

We made it back to our hotel.  We were pretty tired and we had to get up fairly early again, as we had to have the car back to Rome by 10:00am.  Lorna wasn’t really hungry, so our dinner consisted of Moscato, biscotti, and M&Ms that I had brought – they 20160706_181559-1 - Copywere the pretzel ones that I love!  I gave a bag of them to Dani, as well!  🙂  The Moscato was pretty good, too!

Again, we got up early and this time I was up before the sunrise to get ready and leave.  We had packed the night before and we were going to take showers in the morning.  However, sleep won out and we decided to skip the shower.  We went downstairs to pay20160707_060912 the bill.  Unfortunately, Italians do not believe in eating breakfast early, so once again, we missed breakfast!  The only hotels we managed to have breakfast in was the first one!

Part Two – All Roads Lead to Rome (or so they say….)

We had to get some gas and Dani had pointed out to us a self-serve place for us to go in the morning.  Ok, we got there shortly after 7a and it was pretty deserted.  We found the pump and even the somewhat English directions.  Ok, how hard could this be?  After several attempts, we were ready to give up.  We got as far as putting in our card, after we figured out it only took MasterCard, but couldn’t figure out where to put how many gallons or money that we wanted.

I spotted a guy a few pumps over and I told Lorna to move to a different one and I was going to go over and ask him.  Now this was brave – lol!  He looked to be middle-aged, and hopefully a nice guy.  I went over to him and asked him, in English, very slowly, if he spoke English.   He said, “no!”  I said, “little bit?”  He said, si.  He was pumping his gas and I was all excited that he understood some English.  I looked at the pump, looked at him, 20160707_080517and gestured with my hands a “how to” expression and said, “come?”  I guess I was being a bit anxious and he almost shouts, “aspettero!”  Huh, what?  Oh, “wait!”  Ok.  🙂  Ah, we can thank Il Volo for their song “Aspettero!” – I knew what he meant!  I shut up and waited until he was done.  When he was finished, he walked over to us and showed us how to pump the gas.  We thanked him politely and we were soon on our way again – about 30 minutes later!!  So much for stopping for breakfast anywhere.  We did take a bit of a snack type of cake from the hotel to eat, as that was all they had sitting out so early when we left.  But not even any coffee!

We left Silvi and Montepagano and tearfully said goodbye…this was it, our final leg of our tour of Italy.  All we had left was Rome and then, home from there.  It was a beautiful and sunny day.  A gorgeous ride on the highway.  Lorna and I were amazed at how little traffic there really seemed to be.  But we quickly found out that all the traffic was in Rome!  Lol!

We made our way down the lonesome road, passing the beautiful Apenine mountains and low-hanging clouds, amid the blue sunny skies.  The traffic picked up a bit as we neared Rome.  We didn’t seem to get much gas at that gas station, so we stopped at a roadside little pit stop.  That, I have to say was the coolest thing ever!  Wish we had those20160705_141159 at home.  You literally just pulled off to the side of the road, they filled your tank and you were on your merry way!  Which is what we did – almost!  (ok, this was over a year ago, so we can laugh about it now.  I was not even going to put this in there, but it makes for an interesting ending to our adventure!)

As many of you know and I had mentioned, Roma traffic is crazy!  There are two lanes, but three lanes of traffic!  We were kind of on a boulevard street and trying to get back into traffic.  It was awful… we went a little ways and we were still on the right side of the road.  As Lorna was inching nearer the street, the closer and closer the edge of the back of the truck came to our vehicle!  Of course, it was on my side – I’ve been in accidents before and knew the awful anxiety and anticipation of knowing at any second your vehicle was going to collide with something else!  “You’re going to hit the truck, 20160705_143151you’re going to hit the truck!”   I screamed, or I thought I did?  Sure enough, rr-iii-pp, screech, crack!  Oh no!  First thing I said, “you got the insurance, right”  “Yep,” she said.  Ok, whew!   🙂   I was afraid to get out of the car.  I got out and looked.  What we collided with was the – not sure how to describe this, but the truck was a medium-sized delivery type truck with the elevator type mechanism that would go up and down and we hit like the side bracket of it.  It tore a slit into the front quarter panel of the SUV just like it was opening up a zipper.  Looked pretty bad, but car was still drivable, thank goodness!

Quickly, two screaming Italian men came out after hearing the noise.   We could not understand them, but we got the meaning!  lol!  We waved the car rental papers and said we were Americans.  There was, of course, no damage to their truck, so thankfully, they just shook their heads and waved us on.  Ok, we were a bit stressed out by then.  We had nearly made it back without a scratch and now this!  Ok, Lorna had the insurance, so we should be ok.  We were just a few miles away from the parking garage.  It was just about 10:00am by now.  We should be ok.

We managed to somehow find the parking garage – thanks again to Google maps. I still want to send them a note one day and tell them they saved our behinds many times 20160707_080632 - Copywhile in Italy!!  Anyhow – we were in the final stretch.  Up the levels we went – almost as harrowing as the road up to Montepagano, but at least it wasn’t raining.  However, these were hairpin turns getting level to level.  We had just made it up to the fifth level and had just made it around the final turn – almost!  What happened next you ask?  Well….how about – SCREECH and CRUNCH!  You are thinking, “No….!”  Oh, YES!!  Lorna was driving very slowly and carefully, but it was just that final turn she misjudged a bit.  Luckily, or unluckily, the guys that were from our rental place saw it happen!  Lorna tried to back up, which started the scraping sound again.  On my side again, also!!

Quickly, the guys run over to her and yell “stop, stop!!  We will take it from here!”  Oh boy – so, I stayed in the car, while the guy jumped in and expertly backed out and maneuvered the car around the corner to safety.  He parked and I got out, and went to meet Lorna and gather the bags.  I was truly afraid to look.  It looked positively awful.  The zipper rip in the front quarter panel was nothing compared to the almost completely scraped side of the vehicle.  As I think about it now, I was lucky I could get out of the door.  I took one look at the car, and it must have been out of sheer nerves and stress, but I burst out laughing!  This was no laughing matter, but I could not control my obvious hysteria.

I was losing track of time by then, but nearly an hour later, it seemed, we were finally out of there and walking back to the train station.  We were starved and I remembered a McDonald’s was near there.  It was shortly after noon by then and McDonald’s was packed!  We managed to find 2 stools open in the bar-like area.  I left Lorna with the bags and went to get in line for lunch.  We had booked the tour to see the Basilica and were supposed to be by the steps of them by about 1:30p/1:45p.  It was nearly 1p by then.  We tried to get Uber to take us to our hotel, unfortunately this time, the driver spoke no English and we never connected.  Lorna asked where the hotel was and I had no idea.  We looked it up and realized we were within walking distance.  Ok, good thing for us!  So, we walked the few blocks.

When we got there, we encountered the only screw-up I had through the whole trip!  Somehow I had booked the previous night for the hotel!  Oh no, we were so tired and exhausted by this point.  “Do you have a room?”  Luckily, they did.  Awesome!  She said it’s on the 6th floor and oh so pretty, but the elevator only goes to the 5th floor, so we would have to take our luggage up the stairs.  “No, no more stairs.  You have to find us something else.”  I think she found us the smallest room they had, but it was on the 2nd floor, so we took it.  This was the tiniest room ever.  As I look at it now, I don’t think it was much bigger than my current bedroom!  It barely fit a double bed and dresser.  The bathroom was around the corner and not much bigger than a closet.  We both flopped on the bed in sheer exhaustion!  It had to be the worst and lumpiest bed ever!  I looked at the clock, about 1:15p, and I looked at her.  The tour was pre-paid, but I said, “I’m ok with skipping the Basilica, if you are.”  She agreed and we collapsed on the bed for a long nap!

As we lay on the bed, I remember calling Marie, almost in tears and said, “I want to come home!”  We had been through Rome twice and never saw any of it!  And not because we had a bad trip, it was incredible, but that last day just did us in.  After about a 2 -3 hour nap, we woke up and decided we should at least go and find dinner somewhere.  After20160707_190416 walking up and down our street where the hotel was, we decided it probably wasn’t the greatest of neighborhoods, so we ended up eating at this almost, only restaurant, across the street from our hotel.  Lorna had a pizza and I had the special which was 3 courses and dessert.  We each had a glass of wine.  I had pasta, and then chicken and roasted potatoes.  It was pretty good.

We went back to our room and got ready for bed.  I think I took my shower that night.  As we got ready for bed, we realized we both left some of our bathroom items in Silvi!  I also left my one and only sweater!  We both decided it must mean we have to go back one day to get them.  🙂

The bathroom – as you can tell from pictures, I’m not a small person.  Lorna is about half my size!  However, the tiny corner shower stall was so small, I literally had to go in sideways to get in and then I had to squeeze this body in.  Ok, the pasta, pizza, and gelato, must have caught up with me!  But Lorna agreed, it was a pretty tight fit, even for her.

We checked out and the hotel called us a cab to the airport.  We safely got to the airport and looked around at the passing scenery as much as we could, as that was all we would see of Rome…

After we checked in, we had breakfast.  We then stopped in an Armani store – they were having a sale.  Ha, ha!   We managed to find a sale corner and Lorna bought me a 20160708_085145souvenir t-shirt that said Armani on, similar to one Ignazio wore.  She bought one for herself as well.  It was the biggest one they had and it “almost” fit.  Let’s just say I won’t be wearing it in public for a really long time!

It was time to board….we happily thought of the guys, every time they said “il volo” and smiled.  Arrivederci, Roma!  It was a long flight and thankfully, uneventful.  We arrived on time and made it easily through customs and found our bags in the baggage area, just the other side of customs.  We could have had the guys in our luggage and they never would have known.  They just asked what we brought back and I said souvenirs.  Ok, would have been 3 very large souvenirs, but definitely souvenirs, wouldn’t you say?  🙂

Ah, home, at last!  Ginny picked us up from the airport and then dropped Lorna off.  She came by my place a little while later, but I felt bad because I think I fell asleep!  We were pretty tired.

We came back on Saturday, so I had one day to recover before going back to work on Monday.

Jana & Lorna, the Adventure Continues (about a year later!) The Road to Silvi, July 5, 2016

 

 

Let’s recap a bit, shall we? I know it’s been a while. I can’t believe it’s been over a year now.  I guess I’ve just been a bit busy?

We started in Florence, then Venice, and Verona. We are now on our way from Verona to Rome….

We caught our train from Verona to Rome, a 3-hour trip, and were looking forward to the long ride to get a little shut eye, as our train LEFT at 7am. We safely arrived in Rome; again, enjoying a little prosecco on the way. We had reserved a car at the train station and it was in Lorna’s name, since she was driving. I could not drive a manual transmission. We managed to find our way to the main street and waited in line for the taxi. I had the address, but could not figure out where it was from the train station. We 20160705_141159did not see any signs for auto anywhere. After the nearly 30 minute wait for the taxi, in the hot sun, we we finally get in and show the driver the address. He says, “that is around the block!” Ok, then take us around the block. He still charged us 10 euros to go around the block. He dropped us off and I still did not see any signs for cars.  I walked inside. There were tons of crowds. I figured we had to take a number and there were different ones for each rental company. I told Lorna to go in, since the car was in her name and I’d watch the bags. By now it was nearly 11am. Our train got there on time at 10am.

After about an hour, it was finally her turn. There were only 2 or 3 people ahead of us, but it took forever! About 20 minutes later, we had our paperwork and out the door we went. Lorna said it was out the door, a few turns down the block and the garage was on our right and the car on the 6th level. We walked in circles and could not find it. I went back to the car place and asked again where it was. The address was on the back of the paperwork – duh! Ok, Google maps, once again, to our rescue! As we were walking, we ran into a Swedish couple, also looking for this same garage. We finally found it and the elevator and rode to the 6th floor. We finally make it! By now, it’s about 12:30p or so. I had reserved the car for 10:30a. We were tired and hungry. We go get the car and all they had left was a Peugeot SUV! Not the size car you want to drive around in Rome! When we finally got on the road, it was about 1:00pm – nearly 3 hours later!

Getting out of Rome was a little harrowing, but we made it to the highway and we were on our way. I texted Dani to let her know we had finally left Rome. Silvi was about 2.5 hours due east of Rome. I told her if we weren’t there by 4:00pm to send out the guard!

The road to Silvi was gorgeous.  I had brought our solos/duets CDs to give to Dani and we played them on our way.  Ah, what could be better than being serenaded by our guys on our way to the sea?  It was a sunny day with blue skies and big, puffy clouds and the 20160707_090845.jpgmountains – oh so bella!! About 3:30p, Dani texted back and asked us if we were there yet. We took a slight detour, but got back on the main road again. We were getting pretty close and started seeing signs for Pescara. By about 4p, we finally made it to our hotel. We saw glimpses of the Adriatic Sea – it was breathtaking!

Our hotel was on a high hill! Lorna put it in gear and up we went. Good thing she was driving. It was probably about 4:30pm or so by the time we got settled into our room. I 20160707_065720.jpgtexted Dani and told her we had finally arrived. We decided to meet at Murphy’s Irish Pub, on the beach, at 6pm. Ok, here we were in Italy and we were eating at an Irish Pub – the irony!! We had a short nap and then made our way down to the beach and restaurant.

Down the hill we went, and down the street, down another, hang a left and then a right, and there we were! I had seen pictures of Dani, so I had an idea of what she looked like and she, me. I think she spotted us first.

We decided to stroll the beach, first, while it was still light outside and I took a few pictures. I took my shoes off and was walking in the sea. The water was warm, just like bathwater. We sat down for a little bit, taking in the sights. The beach was pretty20160705_195855 deserted by that time in the evening. I picked up a few shells for souvenirs. We were getting really hungry by then, so we went back to the restaurant.

We looked at the menu and it was full of various pizzas and calzones and appetizers. We decided on the famous arrosticini to try. I couldn’t resist passing up a calzone called “Boschetto,” which consisted of spinach, mushrooms, cheese, and sausage. Italians don’t seem to be as much into tomato sauce as Americans.  Lorna opted for a hamburger and fries. Dani had a pizza with just cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. We all loved the arrosticini, as you can see from our picture! 😊

Of course, everything was delicious and the conversation lovely. Dani speaks very good English, so it was easy for us to understand her. Before the evening was over, we decided 20160705_212047to meet the next morning and go into Montepagano to see if we could find where Gianluca and his family were…

We went back to our hotel, completely exhausted and fell into bed. We slept so long, we literally slept through our breakfast time, but it was the first time in 4 days that we didn’t have to get up before the crack of dawn! However, I did get up at the crack of dawn, so I could take a few pictures of the sunrise. Very similar to many 20160707_054121-1 - Copythat Leonora posts! After I took my pictures, I promptly went back to sleep!

We called Dani when we finally woke up and agreed to meet at the bottom of the hill where our hotel was. Dani did not drive, so her sister dropped her off. We then went to lunch at one of the restaurants on the beach. On the way, we went down this fairly narrow, one-way street. The street dipped and there was this really low overpass. We had no choice, we had to get to the road that ran with the sea, and we couldn’t really turn around. So, we forged ahead and as we went under20160706_131635 the overpass, all we heard was this frightful rumbling sound as we drove, very slowly, ahead. Lorna and I were fearful of what we might find when we got out, imagining the whole roof of the car being scraped! Cautiously, we got out and held our breath and looked.   Nothing! We realized it was just the antenna that was hitting the top of the overpass. Whew! Escaped that one!!

Dani asked us what we wanted and she ordered for us. I had some penne with tomato sauce and some prosciutto with melon. Dani had some kind of pasta with clams or some type of seafood with these little shells and I think Lorna just had prosciutto and melon. The wine and pop were so cheap. I think I drank a whole bottle of frizzante though! After lunch, our adventure to Montepagano awaited. When we left that morning and were getting closer to the restaurant, the skies looked a bit 20160706_140229threatening, but it was pretty far off. As we left the restaurant, it was getting closer and closer, as we drove toward the little mountainous town. As soon as we hit the street that went uphill, these big splats of rain, bombed our windshield…. TO BE CONTINUED….. Next – A stroll through L’Amore Si Muove!  🙂