Music

Jack Savoretti – Acoustic Nights Live

Two years ago today the incredibly talented singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti was in Melbourne on his whirlwind mini tour of Australia. It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of this British-Italian legend, so I was extremely looking forward to his concert on May 4th, 2016. Unfortunately, that night, the force was not with me and I was hospitalised with appendicitis, thus missing the show. I was devastated. I cried so much because all I wanted was to be at his concert, singing out loud, cheering on the man that I discovered by accident in 2008 and who knows, maybe even having the chance to meet him after the show.

Fast-forward to April 16, 2018 – Location: Milan, Italy

I planned my annual leave this year around Jack’s brand new Italian tour – Acoustic Nights Live. I knew that if I wanted to see him, I had to make the long journey from Australia to Italy because he wasn’t announcing any dates Down Under any time soon. So I organised my flights, hotels, everything and got myself a VIP pack to his concert at Teatro dal Verme, in the centre of fashionable Milano.

When it came time for the actual VIP experience, I was a mess! I was so nervous! Jack’s tour manager Jon Ayarza came and took us down to the area where we would listen in on Jack’s soundcheck before the meet and greets. As we entered the theatre I couldn’t believe that I was moments from seeing the man whose music means the world to me. There he was. On the stage with his guitar, greeting everyone and being the warmest, most beautiful human-being. He entertained us along with a few members of his amazing band and then came down to meet us all.

I was terrified and excited all at the same time. He was there, I was there, and after almost 10 years of following his musical journey I was going to finally meet my idol. He said something to me in Italian at first but when I spoke English to him, he instantly switched! He was so down-to-earth, so kind, so sincere and even remembered, as I was telling him my life story, how two years ago while he was in Melbourne, two girls (my sisters) came up to him after the show and told the story of how their sister was hospitalised that night. He amazed me and my parents with his ability to recall this, he really did!

We took a few photos together, embraced a few times and then I presented him with some chocolates from his hometown of Genoa and my illustrated cartoon-version of himself on a card I had designed. I was on cloud 9 and I don’t think I’ve fully come down yet!

Jack usually plays his music with his wonderful band but for these Italian shows he stripped it back and just had the piano-guitar combo along with a violinist and cellist. They were all sensational! We were entertained for almost 2.5 hours with music from all his past albums, the majority from the earlier ones. Jack gave his all with each performance, his voice shining with the passion and conviction that we’ve all grown to love. He was incredible and the entire night was a dream come true. I was in tears for so much of it because I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be there, in his company again, especially after the last failed attempt. Each song was arranged acoustically, making it fresh, raw and unpredictable. He left his heart and soul on that stage and received a warm standing ovation from a very vocal Milanese crowd.

Jack’s Acoustic Nights Live continue in Rome from May 21st and all his other tour dates can be found here. If you have the chance to go, please do! You won’t be disappointed because this man is the hardest working musician out there and his talent is undeniable. That night in Italy was so very special in so many ways.

Hopefully a DVD will be released after this tour and we can all re-live these shows over and over again.

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Life, Travel

Irresistible Portofino.

I’d like to tell you a story from years ago on this rainy Autumn afternoon here in Melbourne. Back in 2008, my Dad and I were on a day-trip from Florence to Pisa in Italy’s beautiful Tuscan region. It was to be only for a short time that we’d take turns pushing the Leaning Tower of Pisa (mandatory for every tourist to the historic site), have lunch somewhere along the Arno River and explore the small, compact city on foot. It was winter and the sun was starting to set. By 4pm we reached the train station ready to catch the train somewhere. I begged Dad to take me to Portofino. I’d seen photos of its incredible harbour with colourful buildings and expensive yachts and had always dreamt of visiting it. I had everything planned out; we’d catch the train to Santa Margherita Ligure and then sit on a bus to Portofino, see it in the dark and return to Florence. I should mention that I was 19 years old at the time, sick with a bad cold and not thinking clearly. Dad declined my offer and made me catch the train directly back to Florence for some much-needed rest. Years passed and I couldn’t help but feel that his resistance that night must’ve been for a reason and that I would see the real Portofino someday, if destiny was on my side, and preferably see it in daylight!

Fast-forward 4 years and my dream comes true. My sister and I were on a holiday in Italy and I made it my mission to finally get to that irresistible part of the world, that is Portofino. My sister stayed in Pisa for the day. I remember clearly that it was the day before our flight back to London that I managed to take the train from Pisa to Santa Margherita Ligure and then a picture-perfect boat ride to Portofino. The views over the Gulf of Tigullio were breathtaking, as is expected from the Italian Riviera.

Everything was gorgeous! I don’t know how else to describe what I saw that fateful, hot summer’s day. I arrived in Portofino in the afternoon under the scorching hot sun. I was greeted by those very same luxurious yachts I’d seen in postcards placed against the backdrop of beautiful architecture and lush, green hills further in the distance. I was finally there and although I only had 2 hours to explore the town (S. Margherita Ligure looked too beautiful not to walk around so I went back on the return boat-trip earlier), I’m proud to say that every single minute there was pure bliss.

As the rain falls ever-so gracefully on the window outside my studio, I am reminded of that summer day when I was young, fearless and free.

Here’s a photographic overview shown in the order Portofino unravelled for me:

Cruising

View from Cruise

Views from Water

Arriving in Portofino

Luxurious Yacht

Marina Welcome Sign

Portofino Signs

Above Portofino Beautiful Views Gulf of Tigullio Portofino Portofino Details Snapshot in Portofino View of Portofino Here’s Santa Margherita Ligure… (now you see why I had to explore it, right?)