Music is an integral and necessary part of my life. This has been one of the more difficult losses in my current living situation: music is not permitted or well-received here. This void that has been created drives me to plan bucket list concert trips every now and then. Last year, I was able to see 30 Seconds to Mars and Dave Matthews Band. Both of these shows were huge highlights to 2015. This year, I started to think about concerts that would blow my mind. Andrea Bocelli was a natural choice. As I looked, I found that he was performing one time in Italy, and it was in the middle of Eid. Perfect.
Once I had found the concert, I reached out to my friend Joelle (Joie de Vivre) to see if she wanted to join me. Of course she was in. Seeing Bocelli live should be on everyone’s bucket list. The fact that he was performing in a famous Italian castle is all just gravy.
The concert was held in the piazza castello Marostica. This area is known for its biannual living chess match. Marostica is a small town at the start of the mountains in northern Italy region of Veneto. The closest city with a lot of hotels is Bassano del Grappa which is a quick drive up from Venice.
Both turned out to be great properties, but hers was in a much better location to access the old part of Bassano. In the heart of the city we wandered and found the wooden pontoon bridge, Ponte Vecchio.
This little city is absolutely wonderful. The winding streets and beautiful attention to detail make you feel like you’ve been whisked back to the days of knights and dragons. The bridge offers breath-taking views of the adjacent mountain range. Of course we had to try the local grappa drink. I was not a fan. Neither was Joelle. But we did it. Because that is what you do when you travel. Try all the local things. We then grabbed a quick refreshment break and finished our city tour.
Driving to Marostica, we saw a beautiful castle on the hill to the north. Turns out, our concert was at the foot of the hill. It was idyllic. We had a quick bite to eat and prepared ourselves mentally. Sadly, our friend Jes was not able to attend the concert because of work complications. Because of this, we actually had an empty seat between us. I think it was the only open seat in the area.
As the seats filled, the sun set, and the lights came on. I could hardly prepare myself for the next couple hours. The show opened with a pair of guitarists playing classical music and mixing in some current songs. Their sounds filled the piazza, and we were impressed. Then it was finally time. Andrea took the stage and a hush grew over the crowd. As he spoke to us in Italian it was as if I were being hypnotized. He began to sing and everything was right in the world. He gave a very impressive setlist with two guest singers, Paola Sanguinetti and Ilaria Della Bidia, who did both duets and solo pieces. He included a couple songs from his new album Cinema where he covers famous movie and theatrical songs.
After the printed set, he came back out to the stage and did 4 encore songs including Vivo Per Lei (Ilaria Della Bidia), Con te Partiro (Paola Sanguinetti), and ending with Nessun Dorna. Highs and Lows, up and down, my emotions had been taking on a magical roller coaster. The music was lyrical genius.
After the concert we headed back to our hotels, and I spent the night honestly just processing the collection of beautiful art that I had just witnessed. The next day, we headed out for the rest of our own trips, Joelle and I parting ways in Vicenza.
The concert was worth every bit of time and planning and money I had spent getting this whole thing together. If you ever get the chance, you owe it to yourself to see this man perform live.
It’s a Small World After All
As I was checking my newsfeed a couple weeks ago, I noticed one of my Memphis friends was actually living in Vicenza. I messaged her before I went on the trip and set up a meeting to grab coffee and catch up. It was so good to see more familiar faces in Italy.