I had a chance encounter with a pop star in Cortona while I was on part 3 of my honeymoon with my wife. It all started over a year ago when I was listening to an Italian radio station, RDS, in my office in Seattle. RDS plays a good mix of music from America, UK, and Italy. When they played an Italian song I really liked, I discovered it was from an Italian pop star who has warmed the hearts of Italians from the late ‘90s until today. His name is Jovanotti (Lorenzo Cherubini). A magazine in Italy once dubbed him the Bruce Springsteen of Italy. The song that made me find out more about him is Viva La Liberta. My new favorite is Gli Immortali. I really like his music a lot!
I went into a shop in Cortona to look at some leather goods with my wife. As I was looking at some shoes upstairs, I heard a commotion outside in the square and looked out the window. I could see people smiling and getting photos taken with a guy in a black leather jacket holding his motorcycle helmet painted with a sparkling beach scene.
With only seeing the back of his head at first glance, I was wondering if he happened to be the only Italian pop star I knew. I returned to the shop and asked the store owner if that was Jovanotti and she said yes. She told me that his family lives in Cortona and he comes back to visit them.
After my wife came out of the store, I saw Jovanotti standing with a woman, likely a friend or family member. I gathered some courage to approach him and ask for a photo. He said yes and I had my wife take it. Fortunately, she already knew who he was because I showed her a Jovanotti video months before we left for Italy. Afterwards, my wife laughed at how giddy I became after getting a photograph with him. I have to admit that I probably acted like a boy out of Junior High, but it’s not everyday that you get to meet the one pop star you know from another country in that country!
As we travelled to other Tuscan towns and big cities, I somehow always found a way to show off my photo of Jovanotti and me with a store employee, waiter, or barista. Most of them were very shocked. They couldn’t believe I had just been with one of Italy’s biggest stars. I thought it was a good way to show the Italians that I wasn’t just visiting their country for the first time but that I really enjoyed their culture, so much so that I was listening to their music in America before I came. They were impressed but puzzled at the same time because they love American music and play it in most of their shops and cafes.
Below are photos I took in Cortona. It’s a beautiful city with great views, excellent restaurants, good shops and nice people. If you want to see some amazing art work and photos, go to my favorite gallery there called Galleria “Il Pozzo”. It’s operated by a very nice guy named Ivan (sp?).