Sinatra Arrives For First Italian Concert in 24 years
MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Frank Sinatra slipped into Milan for his first concert in Italy in 24 years, arriving by plane early Friday and eluding an anticipated siege of fans and photographers.
The Italian news agency ANSA dubbed the American singer and his wife Barbara ″Strangers in the Night,″ the title of a song made famous by Sinatra, for their 1:30 a.m. arrival at Milan’s Linate Airport. His concert is Saturday night.
Sinatra, 70, was escorted by two bodyguards and concert organizers to the luxurious Principe and Savoia hotel, where he was to stay in its Presidential Suite of eight rooms and four bathrooms. The suite also has a piano.
Fifteen policemen were stationed in the central Piazza della Repubblica outside the hotel, which vacated 25 rooms around the Sinatra suite to ensure his privacy, according to hotel officials.
The hotel officials said Sinatra, who is of Italian descent, looked relaxed and in good spirits as he arrived, greeting them with ″Buon Giorno″ (good morning) and ordering a light snack before he went to bed.
Fans, apparently unaware of Sinatra’s early morning arrival, were not outside to welcome him as he arrived in a blue Mercedes limousine.
Sinatra, who performed in Madrid Thursday night, is to stage a single concert at the Trussardi tent-theater on the outskirts of Milan.
Actors Gregory Peck and Roger Moore, Italian Premier Bettino Craxi and Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca are on the list of VIPs expected to attend.
Tickets cost between $71 and $360, and organizer Pier Quinto Cariaggi said the concert was sold out Friday.
Sinatra is expected to sing about 20 songs, accompanied by a 39-piece British orchestra. The 90-minute concert, for which he is to get about $715,000, will be telecast live by Italy’s state-run RAI television.
Hotel sources said the staff of the noted Genoa restaurant, Zeffirino, transferred to the Principe and Savoia hotel to prepare some of Sinatra’s favorite dishes.
One is likely to be pasta with pesto, a basil sauce typical of the Liguria region surrounding Genoa, where Sinatra’s mother was born. His father was of Sicilian origin.
Two years ago, Sinatra and his wife landed in Genoa by helicopter from Monaco to lunch on pasta with pesto at Zeffirino, whose walls are plastered with Sinatra mementos.
Milan was also the site of Sinatra’s last concert in Italy, on May 26, 1962.