Seeing the maestro Andrea Bocelli perform live in his home town of Lajatico in Tuscany is a trip of a lifetime. A small group of us headed off for the weekend, coming from different parts of the world as my participants usually do, on one of the hottest days of the year in Italy as elsewhere in Europe. But…the weather was to change, and boy did it change!!!

Our first full day went beautifully to plan – our winery visit was intimate and personal and featured some exceptional wines. Returning to the hotel for a rest before going out the clouds got more ominous. Then it started – torrential rain, thunder, lightening…even hail! And yet, the organisers said the concert would go ahead. So we drove to Lajatico…through the worsening weather, roads closed due to mud, access to the Executive area (our area) blocked, re-routed and then the news – the concert had been cancelled. That is all it said at first – cancelled – but then “postponed” to the Monday evening. Mmmm…most of us flew home ON Monday! Over dinner at a delightful Osteria in San Miniato, amazing truffle loaded pasta and more excellent wine, everyone agreed it was worth changing our flights and booking an extra night in a new hotel – I was so proud of their spirit!

Was it worth the changes? Yes…it was so worth it!!! The Monday evening was beautiful – we were there in plenty of time to fully enjoy the hospitality area and I was very impressed by the quality and quantity of the food, the picnic we had brought from the hotel was surplus to requirements – just as the one on Saturday had been for a very different reason!

Andrea Bocelli arrived on stage on a white stallion which reared up twice, impressively, for his entrance. Alongside wonderful opera arias and more popular songs he performed duets with other superb artists including his son Matteo who is growing as a performer more and more; Gianfranco Montresor with the most seductive Baritone voice; Larisa Martinez the soprano and…all supported by an excellent orchestra and backing singers along with a performance with acrobats, flag throwers, dancers (including La Scala Etoile Carla Fracca) and others worthy of a Cirque du Soleil performance!

We left tired and happy at midnight when the concert finished after excellent encores and an explosion of confetti which covered the entire audience! It had definitely been an event of a lifetime