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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An unforgettable night in Mar A Lago!

Dear friends,

How are you?

March first today…we are getting closer to springtime and summer. I’m sure we are all ready for that. I don’t know you, but I have the feeling that winter was so long this year!!
Luckily I got a to feel the summer for a few days last week when I went to Palm Beach Florida for a Concert at Donald Trump’s Private Club, Mar A Lago.
Incredible to know that just 2 and half-hour flight south of NYC it’s already summer!
Actually it had snowed last weekend in NYC and it was very cold.
I took the flight with Jet Blue at 7:30 PM with my musicians and JJ. We were all wearing winter coats and winter boots. After a very relaxed flight, there we were after a bit more than two hours, landing in Palm Beach.
I quickly changed my boots with sandals and change my wool sweater with a summer top, but still I couldn’t believe it.
The drivers were waiting for us with our names on the boards.
We walked outside the airport: there were 28 degrees (in the height 80’s). Oh boy: we were all already happy by then.
But it was getting even better!!

Relaxing outside my bungalow
My bungalow
After a short drive of 15 minutes we were at the gates of Mar A Lago. It’s difficult to explain how beautiful Mar A Lago is. You need to see it. The old Spanish Style Mention is so beautiful, and the palms all around were picture perfect!!
We drove pass the gates of the Private Club and the driver drove us to bungalow where I was staying.

The living room
The bedroom
The car stopped in the front of a little white charming bungalow: we walked in to land into a very spacious living room with a open kitchen, two big bedrooms and two huge marble bathrooms, both with state of the art super size Jacuzzi, super size sauna and shower and flat screen TV’s in every room.
And mirrors everywhere...I just loved the place instantly!!
We gave a nice tip to the driver who left and my Mar A Lago adventure was ready to start.

The Donald Trump water
On the kitchen table there was a very nice welcome basket for us, with delicious chocolate, home made cookies, all kind of different candies, fruits, and Donald Trump water’s bottles!!
I opened my suitcases; put my dresses and shoes on the very nice walk in closet and relaxed in the beautiful Jacuzzi bath for a while.
Then I wore my silk summer pyjamas I had some fruit while watching the huge flat screen TV in the huge bed and before I knew it was 2Am and time to sleep. The day after was my debut in Mar A Lago!!
I slept in a second: it was quiet and the huge bed was so comfortable.

The SPA and gym club
View from my bungalow
My wakeup call was at 9:30Am to go to the gym. I had made some research and I knew that in Mar a Lago they have a very nice Gym and a SPA. So what a better way to start your day than with a visit to both of them!!

So wore my gym outfit and I walked outside the bungalow and what a view: I was in the beautiful Mar A Lago. The sun was shining and there were already 26 degrees.

The Mar A Lago Stone

I walked to the gym not too far from my bungalow. Some of the members were also training and I was welcomed by the personal trainer of the gym, who actually can help you if you need. I did my 45 minutes training and walked to the SPA for a facial and a massage. And then was time to go back to my beautiful room to get ready for brunch, since it was already noon!!

Mar A Lago Stone
I was so excited to get to perform at Mar A Lago for the club members. I can’t mention names for privacy reasons, but they are all rich and famous!!
I know it was a great honor to be performing there since they are used to have performers like, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett and the list can go on and on, and some of them are great artists themselves! Only a few days before me they had had Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, a week after me they were having Tony Bennett.
So I was honored and kind of nervous too.
The tennis court
But there I was looking around the beautiful Mar A Lago and thinking to all of this and saying to myself that I was very lucky to get to experience all of this. I was feeling very honored and privileged to be there that for sure!!

View from the restaurant
The restaurant
Lunch time in Mar A Lago

I had finally arrived at the restaurant. The place was so quiet and so beautiful. We sat and ordered some food: actually I decided to go for the very famous Turkey Burger of Mar A Lago!!
Going to the Ballroom
I was there only a few minutes when the Manager of Mar A Lago, actually the man who really loved my music and took the risk to book me in Mar A Lago, came to my table to give me his warm welcome. I thank him for this great opportunity and he was telling me that he was so looking forward to see my show since he had been a fan of mine for a while. The manager is German and he said that I reminded you of a very famous and talented Italian singer who was very famous in Germany as well, that just like my sang in many languages: Caterina Valente.

JJ and Saadi outside the Ballroom
That was such a great compliment. I do also love Caterina Valente and I’ve been asked so many times if we are related, because of the family names of course but also because we are both Italian but we both sings international repertoire.
Everybody was so welcoming and nice. After a very delicious lunch it was time to go and take a look at the Ballroom, where the Concert would have taken place.
The Ballroom almost ready for the Concert
The Concert was in the small Ballroom. They were already preparing the room. SIR, the sound company, had already put the speakers and the microphones on stage, the lights where already on and they were setting the tables for the guests. The little ballroom was just so very beautiful. I walked on stage and checked a few technical things, made arrangements where I wanted my table, my stool, while my musical director Etienne was also directing where to put the instruments. While they were taking good care of all those details I decided to go for a walk around the property for more see sight and to enjoy the incredible weather.  Around 3 Pm I went back to my bungalow so to relax a bit before sound check at 4PM.
Sunset before the show
My musicians and JJ: dinner before the show

View from my bungalow
While I was walking back to my little bungalow one of the security people also informed that the bungalow I was staying is the favorite place to stay of Regus Philbin while in Mar A Lago and I find out that the bungalow had been the home Major Giuliani while campaigning the President’s candidacy a few years ago in Florida.
Another incredible view of Mar A Lago

Before I knew it was 4Pm and time to go for the sound check. Well at Mar A Lago they are used to have big artists so the sound and the light were great!! We discussed the whole show with the guys in charge of the lights and went though the whole show with the sound people as well. It was 6PM and we were ready to rock and roll. We stopped at the poolside for a delicious dinner. At 7:30Pm it was time to hit my bedroom to get ready!! Show time was at 9PM.
Strangely enough I was very relaxed, I guess it was the beauty of the place and the kindness of the people all around!!
With the musicians after the show
8:35Pm, hair and make up were done and it was time to wear my dress and my shoes.
8:55 Pm the musicians came to my bungalow too all dressed up too and ready to go!! The excitement was in the air. I could not wait! I had to perform for an audience of total strangers. People that where used to see some of my own idols on stage. But somehow I was ready for it and quiet confident about it.
Just to make you laugh, and actually I laughed also now but I didn’t much that night, I had to change my super high hills Ferragamo shoes just a few minutes before show time for a pair of less high shoes. Well I had to wait to get on stage on the patio and while walking on the grass…well I fell and injured my ankle. Fortunately not very badly and with those much more comfortable shoes I was ready to rock and roll without people even knowing about the accident!!
The door to get on Stage
The music started to play, I heard my name, the doors open and there I was taking my applause and walking on stage!! The room was beautiful and the people very elegantly dressed and happy to see me!! I started with my version of “Love Story” and when I was done a huge applause followed with some very loud  “Brava Brava “….I was at ease and ready to go now for real. The hour and half of the show went so fast. The audience was incredibly nice…with a few songs even singing along softly with me, I could hear their reaction of awe for the Tribute to the Carpenters, ‘Something” of Beatles, “It’s Impossible” of Perry Como, “I needed You”, “Blue Bayou”, “Caruso” “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. They were laughing at my stories and getting energized with my surprising sexy version of “Light My Fire” and captured with my version of “La Vie En Rose” and “More”.
I could feel their appreciation: the energy was high. It was a magic perfect night!!

After the show
I was done with the last note of “This Is My Life” it was the end of the show and they all were in standing ovation asking for more for 5 incredible minutes!!
I always say that it’s the applause and the love and appreciation that I get from my audience that give sense to all my life and to my work as a singer.
My heart was going so fast, it was overwhelming!! It was surreal!!

And it’s this feeling of gratitude, the love that I get all the time from my audience with their applause that give me the strength to keep doing my job no matter what:  to see that my music can make people happy, to see that I can transfer my emotions to all of them with my voice and my shows, it’s a magic feeling. It makes me feel so well.
I know it’s a gift from GOD and I’m so grateful to have such a gift for sure!!

The Big Ballroom
To get off stage I had to get among the audience and there I was taking the incredible words of compliments of the audience, taking pictures with all of them and singing CD’s, including one for the beautiful Melania Trump. What a night!!

The manager of Mar A Lago, who had booked my show, was so happy to see the incredible response of the audience. I was already asked to come back for more shows, and this time in the big Ballroom for all the members of the club and their guests!!! The big Ballroom can hold 650 people…so it will be a great night!!
Oh well as you can imagine it was an overwhelming feeling!!
After hanging out with my musicians for drinks after the show, it was time to go for a few hours sleep, since we had catch an early flight.
I had to put ice on my swollen ankle, which I had totally forgotten because of all the excitement but that was still painful. Oh boy but I couldn’t sleep.
I was keep thinking about the great Mar A Lago adventure. So much adrenaline was still all over my body!!

Leaving sunny Florida
The skylight of NYC from the airplane
Somehow I guess I fell asleep and after only a few hours the alarm o’ clock wake me up I went for a wonderful early breakfast in the paradise picture perfect Mar A Lago restaurant and it was time to leave to come back to NYC with so many new incredible memories to cherish for the rest of my life!!

I’m looking forward to go back to Mar A Lago soon for more unforgettable memories and of course I will always share all of them with you!!

Stay tune for my next week BLOG about…surprise I guess!!

Love always,



  1. Once again a very nice story to read.
    I'm sorry you fell, but at least it didn't happen on stage.
    I love those palm trees!!!
    How is your ankle now?

  2. Great blog about a great adventure! So glad it was a success. Can't wait to read more and more blogs about your many successes, which I am sure will be happening.
    Love ya,

  3. OMG!!!!
    It's sooooo stunning this place!!!!!
    I'm so happy you had great success over there....what's else for Giada Meraviglia??!!!
    Thanks a lot for all that picture, I love to see all this kind of clubs and luxury places!!!!! Love Love this blog!!!
    (Do you feel better with your ankle???)

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  5. WOW! Everything looks beautiful beyond belief! I'm so happy that you had the opportunity to perform there...I'm SO PROUD of you! Great blog and very nice photos! When you return the next time I'd like you to negotiate for a bungalow for a PA named Karen! I'll work very hard to make sure that you don't injure yourself prior to the show!
    Love you!

  6. My dear friend,

    No need to tell you again how much i love your blog ! :-) Umm ok... i told it ! ;-)

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful adventure with us ! It's just incredible and i am so happy for you !!!

    And to know that you will be invited again there... it's just a wonderful news :-)

    I can see that you had so much fun in this luxurious place :-) So cool ! And the fact that your concert was a success... is just great ! But as i often say you are we could expect that :-)

    We can thank the manager of Mar-a-Lago to have booked you :-) When someone believes in you and has the power to introduce you in an important's just fabulous ! Great man he is :-)
    Now they know you there...and it seems to be the promise of some good things for you in the future :-) I love this idea !

    You know, now i can't wait for your blog in Paris (The Olympia for example ;-)).

    This adventure can show you, can show us, that nothing is impossible in your career :-)

    As the song of Michael Jackson tells : "I just can't stop lovin you". I believe in you and i'am sure that you will reach all your goals one by one :-) Just to be patient !

    Kisses from FRANCE

    Love you


  7. Dear Susi my ankle is doing better...a few days with ice on it and I'm back to normal But I couldn't wear high hills till yesterday!! Now I'm ready to go!!
    The palm trees and the whole Florida is a paradise like kind of place!! You will love it! Hope you can visit there one day!!
    Thank you for always reading my BLOG and being there for me!!
    Love, Giada

  8. Dear Sue,
    Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you could find a way to post it!!
    You are such a wonderful friend to me!!
    Thank you for your love and support always!!
    Love you,

  9. Ciao Martha meraviglia,
    Si questo posto was a dream!! I can't wait to go back for sure!!
    Well my ankle is doing better on it for a few days ....and I can wear again my Ferragamo high hills!!! LOL
    Hope you can visit Mar A Lago one will love it just like I did!!
    Thank you for always being so supportive and thank you for you wonderful friendship,
    Un bacione one one,

  10. Dear Karen,
    That would be great to have you as my PA next time!! I could have use for sure some help that night for sure. :-)
    It was a magic night...even a swollen ankle didn't ruin it!! LOL
    Love you,

  11. Cher Vero,
    you are such a sweet friend!!
    I love to write the BLOG and I'm so happy to know that you enjoy to read it!!
    The manager of Mar A Lago was somehow my angel in this adventure...sometimes you need some luck right??
    I always say that "luck is when preparation meets I keep improving my French for when hopefully soon an opportunity will come my way and I will come to France to perform.....

    Love you,

  12. I love it when you write high hills instead of heels.
    First NY is on my list and you know for which event. As soon as there is a confirmed date I'll try to create the opportunity and come finally.
    At least I will not come alone and who knows the group from Europe will grow by the time it's time to go ;-).

    Until that time I'll be here or on facebook as one of your online friends :-)
    But I will never ever post an image again with the words 'Break a leg'. I think that's safer ;-)


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