Bocelli crashes wedding with Ave Maria rendition

A young entrepreneur and his new wife were left stunned when the world-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli turned up and sang during their wedding service.

Bocelli crashes wedding with Ave Maria rendition
Andrea Bocelli surprised a couple by singing at their wedding service. Photo: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images North America/AFP

Bocelli had not been invited to the wedding and did not know the couple.

He was simply passing the church while on holiday in the Ligurian coastal village of Porto Venere, near the Cinque Terre, on Saturday, when he noticed there was a wedding taking place.

Bocelli then sent his wife to speak with the guardian of the church, Rita Giannasi, to ask if he could sing during the service.

“I asked her who her husband was and why he wanted to sing at a service that he hadn't been invited to,” Giannasi told Il Secolo XIX.

“Then she explained that her husband was Andrea Bocelli and he wanted to sing as a gift to the newlyweds.”

Bocelli was allowed to sneak into the service and sat at the back of the church, waiting for the right moment.

Eventually he sat down at the organ and started to play, while belting out the Schubert classic, Ave Maria.

The wedding guests listened to the Bocelli's beautiful rendition in stunned silence. No sooner had he finished, Bocelli left the church and got back to his holiday.

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German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident

Thirteen people, including German tourists, have been killed after a cable car disconnected and fell near the summit of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident
The local emergency services published this photograph of the wreckage. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was announced by Italy’s national fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, at 13.50 on Sunday, with the agency saying over Twitter that a helicopter from the nearby town of Varese was on the scene. 

Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps confirmed that there were 13 victims and two seriously injured people.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported that German tourists were among the 13 victims.

According to their report, there were 15 passengers inside the car — which can hold 35 people — at the time a cable snapped, sending it tumbling into the forest below. Two seriously injured children, aged nine and five, were airlifted to hospital in Turin. 

The cable car takes tourists and locals from Stresa, a resort town on Lake Maggiore up to a panoramic peak on the Mottarone mountain, reaching some 1,500m above sea level. 

According to the newspaper, the car had been on its way from the lake to the mountain when the accident happened, with rescue operations complicated by the remote forest location where the car landed. 

The cable car had reopened on April 24th after the end of the second lockdown, and had undergone extensive renovations and refurbishments in 2016, which involved the cable undergoing magnetic particle inspection (MPI) to search for any defects. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Twitter that he expressed his “condolences to the families of the victims, with special thoughts for the seriously injured children and their families”.

Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini told Italy’s Tg1 a commission of inquiry would be established, according to Corriere della Sera: “Our thoughts go out to those involved. The Ministry has initiated procedures to set up a commission and initiate checks on the controls carried out on the infrastructure.”

“Tomorrow morning I will be in Stresa on Lake Maggiore to meet the prefect and other authorities to decide what to do,” he said.