A few weeks ago, I posted about: Star Crossed Voyagers: IL Volo (IV) Fans Tour to Italy. Here is an update on what has taken place.
Briefly, this all began in June 2012 when I tuned into the PBS fund raiser and became a fan after viewing of Il Volo Takes Flight. Not only have IV revitalized my love of music, but also awakened the foodie in me with new appreciation of Italian cooking and wines. They brought their language inviting me a imparare la lingua dell’arte ch’è l’italiana. The most intangible gift of all was the awareness of something else present whenever they sing.
My major in college was International and Comparative Studies. This is a combination of international relations with an understanding of the common bonds that unite but also can divide cultures. I can become fascinated by diverse cultures and as IV represent something old, so very old from Italy, renewed was the curiosity to know the differences between us.
My style of learning is by osmosis. When I fell in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne, it was only satisfied when I traveled to the Old Manse in Concord and touched the desk he wrote on, walked through the remains of the garden “which in a good year, tormented me with peaches” and stood at the very spot where the revolution began. Hawthorne traveled to Italy and wrote several classics derived from his adventures, notably the Marble Faun and Rappaccini’s Daughter. So, when IV brought to me their culture, music and energy, it was a natural progression to wish to be where they are from. Unless I touch, taste, smell, walk and breathe it, I cannot know it. Like the music, it’s absorbed or felt in the senses.
Any person can pack their bags and take a tour of Italy. There are hundreds of tours, agencies and opportunities to visit the antiquities of Rome, Venice and Florence. Every tour promises the best of Lake Como, Amalfi Coast or Tuscany. This tour is not to be endured elbow to elbow with the masses that descend annually on the peninsula. This tour, like IV, is to be something more.
I became fuddled with the details and have veered close to a home grown Michelin Green Guide from Milan, to Bologna, to Rome to Assisi, to Abruzzo to Sorrento to Marsala to Naro to Taormina. This is exhausting and can be done if a month is set aside to explore. It can be done with $$$ and lots of it. As I work, have a mortgage and maintain the bare bones of a social life, it’s hard to pull it all together and find the $$$ and the time off to travel. We have two precious weeks. What can be done with comfort rather than what can be hurried. That’s the outcome preferred.
As with that moment when I experienced IV on stage in Boston in 2012 and was lifted up in spirits, I went to my source for renewal and guidance when overwhelmed by choice and angst. I simply walked outside and found hope. A rolling, cheery spring brook spilling into a marsh just freed from the ice. The ducks splashed in and birds chirped in the sun. I had a moment of brilliance. Of all things that I am, when I remember to include the spiritual, things come into balance. My interpretation of the spiritual is found in the natural world. This is not just a trip to Italy, it’s a bit of pilgrimage. I am on a journey to find the source from which IV rises. To find the ancient places and be a part of it all.
I’ve found a potential for the Abruzzo tour. At this stage of the journey, it may be as much as 5 days just in Abruzzo. This corner of Italy is not as well travelled and safe from the swarms of tourists. To find the guides took some digging but I have met the people who will take care and help deliver satisfaction. Above all else, as I have never travelled in Italy, some uncertainty has to be lowered. This is sure. In this one step, I feel secure.
As it is spiritual and my namesake is for St Francis. I potentially include a stop in Assisi, on to Sorrento and hopefully, Sicily. I also found a tour in Sicily that may be just right. But, costs, the costs are rising and may give cause for pause.
Several members of the group are going to their sources and drawing on experiences to pull this together and with the best outcome in mind for all. Any person can do this, it just takes a bit of thought, planning and digging. Keep exploring, keep talking and keep the faith. Il Volo is the spark. They opened doors for me I never thought I could step through. I am finding spirit, community and myself all because of music. The tour is in progress. As people need time to consult with their partners, families, jobs and sort out their own goals for the tour and it is most likely to take place in Spring 2015.
And, than there is this. This is Cupid (Amore) & Psyche by Antonio Canova. Unfortunately, this sculpture is at the Louvre in Paris France. I’d hoped it was in Italy where I think it belongs. This gives pictorial form and captures very well the sensation of artistic brilliance, sensuality and revival that is Il Volo. When I see and hear Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, I feel this.