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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ferragosto : an Italian day of fun and traditions.

Today, August 15th in Italy we celebrate Ferragosto. It is an Italian National holiday that combines both its ancient Roman and Catholic roots. Ferragosto also marks the semi-official start of Italy's summer holiday season.

It’s the day Roman Catholics celebrate the Assumption of the virgin Mary into Heaven - the day when Catholics believe Mary ascended to heaven "body and soul" after the end of her life on earth.
However, it was a holiday in Italy long before it took on a religious significance.
Ferragosto comes from the Latin Feriae Augusti (the festivals of the Emperor Augustus) which were introduced back in 18 BC, probably to celebrate a battle victory, and were celebrated alongside other ancient Roman summer festivals. These festivities were linked to the longer Augustali period - intended to be a period of rest after months of hard labour.

Most of the Italian cities on Ferragosto are much quieter than usual. It’s traditional to use the August long weekend to take a trip, usually escaping the heat at the seaside, lakes or mountains.
During the era of Fascism, the regime would organize trips with special offers for the 13th-15th August, the idea being that the less wealthy social classes would get the opportunity to visit a different part of the country, and even today there are often discounts on packages for the Ferragosto weekend.
On Ferragosto even in major towns and cities, everything from bank to post offices to public transport are closed. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, Ferragosto  also mark the start of Italy's holiday season, meaning you'll see 'chiuso per ferie' signs popping up all over the place.
However, unlike many other public holidays, on Ferragosto many museums and cultural sites remain open. So it’s an excellent time to visit major attractions such as the Colosseum, Pantheon of Galleria Borghese if you’re in the capital, or one of the many museums and sites across the rest of the country.
If you decide not to visit one of those cultural sites, there's still plenty to do on Ferragosto. 

Many towns, have processions carrying statues of the Virgin Mary through the Centre of their cities and the churches will have special services marking the Assumption.
If you're in Rome not to miss id the Gran Ballo di Ferragosto with live music and dancing in the piazza. 
Streets, squares, corners, alleys—anywhere with a square meter will set up an amp and some speakers and take its position as one of the hundreds of ambassadors of the Gran Ballo. 

Every square has something different to offer, from the most grandma-disapproved hip hop to honest-to-goodness country line-dancing.  Larger squares will host dance performances all day, starting with local after-school programs and getting more and more professional (or absurd) as the sun goes down.  
Most importantly, this massive dance party’s theme is participation, so if you hit the streets, you’d better be ready to get your own personal dance on.
and a new tradition for the city of Pavia that is also hosting its own version this year. 
Many coastal towns will hold fireworks displays in the evenings. And this year is set to be sunny wherever you are in the country, so you can take advantage of the quieter streets to explore.

Buon Ferragosto a tutti,



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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Where next?

Traveling, traveling and more traveling.
For sure that’s a big part of being an artist.
It is tiring but also a lot of fun.

In the last year, thanks to my music special for PBS ‘From Venice With Love” I traveled to television studios in Sacramento CA, Los Angeles CA, Palm Springs CA, Cincinnati OH, Seattle WA, Pittsburgh PA (twice), Cleveland OH, Roanoke VA (twice), Bethlehem PA, Nashville TN, Glenside PA, Atlanta GA, Miami, FL, Staten Island NY, El Paso TX twice, Charlotte NC, Baltimore, Chicago IL , Detroit, San Bernardino CA, Philadelphia, NYC (4 times), Red Bank NJ, Sellersville PA, Las Vegas (twice). I’m sure I even forgetting some of the places. Oh yes I’ve been also in Kentacky and Arizona.
I met so many new wonderful people at my Concerts in those places: like in the studio of all the morning shows I went for making delicious deserts and in the PBS studios I have visited.
And so many new fans at the Meet and Greet after my concerts.

Only in the last month I went to Las Vegas for a few appointments with my agent for future work, then flew to NYC for a private event, flew back to LA for a few days to fly back to Philadelphia for a private event for the Italian Consulate. Flew back home to LA for a few days to then got back to NYC for an appointment with my lawyer and a meeting with PBS in New York. Then drove from NYC to Sellersville PA for two Concerts on a Saturday, drove to Suffern NY for two private events on a Monday and Tuesday. I got back home to LA on a Wednesday for one night and to drive to Sacramento CA for two TV appearances last weekend.

At one point, last week I woke up and had to think for a few minutes to realize where I was.  I had changed three hotel rooms in 5 days and I must say I was kind of confuse for few second. LOL

All this going around make me think to something I was always wondering when I was a young girl. I was always wondering "where are the little ants doing? Where are they going? ". Always on the move, going in and out the ground, bringing food or other things with them…. always on the go.
Well I think that if a big entity, so big that would see me as small as an ant , would observe my life, would be wondering the same: what is she doing always on the go with suitcases, in and out of an airport, a car a hotel, a house a television studio and a theatre? Where is she going? 
It would probably look insane like the ants looked to me as a child.

And in all this traveling I was also able to record a new single, that came out a few days ago titled “Como La Flor”, I filmed a video clip for YouTube that will be posted on Youtube today.
I did the editing work of the video clip myself, together with JJ, while traveling too and yes kept my social media pages updated sharing my crazy travels with all my friends and fans.

Well I think I'm like an ant, always on the go and always working on something I wonder if they have the same fun I have.

Future plans: in a few days I will fly to Venice Italy for the “From Venice With Love” Cruise, then spend some time in my hometown with my family while having also some business appointments also in Verona e Vicenza.  I will be filming some promos for my upcoming appearances on PBS in the fall in Venice ……

I will then fly back home to LA at the end of July to go the first week of August to Las Vegas for my debut there on PBS and to do some other television appearances.
Then back to LA for a few days to fly back to NYC in mid-August for more business appointment in NYC and to perform in Connecticut at the Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert on August 26.

Well then back home in LA and I think you got the picture of the rest.
Travels, travels and more travels.

And what give sense to all of this is my love for what I do. My love for music. Often they asked me where do you get the energy for all that traveling.  I get it from the love that I get from my wonderful audience and from the joy that music and performing gives to me and to other.  It's inevitable like stopping a rainstorm.....impossible.

I hope to see you all at one soon at one of my upcoming concerts: showtime is always for me my-time to enjoy and relax, magic time entertaining my wonderful audience singing my heart out.
That's where I get recharged with energy with their love and their applauses.

See you all soon and a happy summer to you all,


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