My life in travel: Andrea Bocelli

‘Riding in Argentina was so beautiful’

First holiday memory?

Probably the first time I left Italy was to travel by train to Lourdes. I went with my mother and my grandmother – who was a very religious person – so it was a pilgrimage of sorts. I remember it as a very intense, but beautiful experience.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I mainly go to London to perform, but I fondly remember the New Forest and going to Bournemouth as a child, too. I hate the climate but I love British people and the warmth of the audiences.

Best holiday?

Since I love the sea and the sun, there’s an island called Ischia in the Gulf of Naples that’s very  special to me. It has natural thermal springs and beautiful scenery. There’s a small village called Sant’Angelo, where no cars are allowed, only pedestrians, so you can really relax.

Ideal travelling companion?

My partner and manager, Veronica Berti, and also my children. We normally combine our  holidays with work – so recently we’ve enjoyed trips to Argentina and Brazil together.

Greatest travel luxury?

A helicopter – because travelling at speed is the greatest luxury of them all.

Holiday reading?

I’m most impressed by the Russian writers, so I love reading the works of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Another author who has informed the way I think is the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal.

Where has seduced you?

Israel is a very special place. Quite apart from being interesting from a religious point of view, it’s also got a unique atmosphere. I’ve been several times now. Once, I was invited to perform there by maestro Zubin Mehta in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I also returned to record La Bohème, too.

Worst travel experience?

The night I spent with my whole family at Phoenix airport in Arizona. The plane we were booked to fly out on couldn’t land because the city was shrouded in fog. I was stuck with my children, no beds and no comfort at all.

Best hotel?

There’s not really a favourite because I always go to big chain hotels, which have the same layout and are easier for me to find my way around.[Bocelli has been blind since childhood.] I also like the Ritz-Carlton in New York and The Dorchester in London, for example, because I’m familiar with them.

Worst hotel?

A place I stayed at in Mexico. There were massive insects and spiders all over the room. I was there to perform at a concert in the Cacahuamilpa Caves, which are in the middle of nowhere.

Favourite ride?

A horse riding holiday in Argentina. I was staying at Julio Ricardo Cruz’s ranch – the Argentinian footballer who used to play for my favourite team, Inter Milan. It was beautiful. His estancia is enormous, with acres of prairies where I could ride.

Best meal abroad?

I love eating shabu-shabu in Japan – a kind  of beef hotpot. But if you’re talking about  authentic, traditional food, then Italian  cooking is one of the best in the world.

Best city?

Rome. Wherever you turn, you breathe in history. It’s a beautiful and sunny place. For those who have never been before, of course you have to start with St Peter’s Basilica and the square, and then afterwards, walk around and explore the centre. I love the Teatro dell’Opera, and also the new Auditorium, designed by Renzo Piano, which opened recently.

Where next?

Everywhere! I’m on tour in Europe first,  then the US and Brazil, and Europe again  before Christmas.

The Italian tenor releases his latest album, Opera, on 5 November. Tickets for his new tour, which also starts in the UK early next month, are available from  kililive.com/artists/andrea-bocelli

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project