Andrea Bocelli's Wife Veronica Reveals Secret to 21-Year Marriage: 'We Rely on Each Other' (Exclusive)
The renowned vocalist and his wife tell PEOPLE about the 300km spiritual horseback ride they took through Italy for the new film, The Journey: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli and his wife Veronica Berti Bocelli recently embarked on a 300km journey from Rome to the Italian vocalist's hometown of Lajatico on horseback for a new film — an admirable adventure for the couple after nearly 22 years of marriage.
The Journey: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli sees the musician and his spouse travel through the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of their home country, making stops in spiritual locations along the way to perform alongside special guests including Michael W. Smith, TAYA, Tauren Wells, 2Cellos and Tori Kelly.
"Right after the pandemic, what Andrea really wanted was just to ride on top of the horse and not stop until both of them were tired," Veronica, 39, tells PEOPLE, noting that despite living in Italy, she hadn't seen many of the locations up close until the trip. "We travel the whole world and don't necessarily know what's right next to us, so it was very peculiar to see beautiful places that the rest of the world comes to visit."
Andrea, 64, is an avid horseback rider, but Veronica hadn't ridden since she was a child, so the performer was not only happy to have his wife join him on the journey, but "impressed" by her "perseverance and courage."
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"This showed me the importance of 'If there's a will, there's a way,' and that the woman beside me has enormous willpower," he says. Throughout the trip, Andrea learned life lessons "from my horses, from the people that followed us with great excitement and enthusiasm. What really made me happy was to witness how much interest there is in a spiritual journey. It's perhaps something that we all really need."
Veronica began the journey on her white horse, who insisted on riding in front of the group — which wasn't ideal for a less-experienced rider. So, Andrea ended up switching horses with her for the rest of the ride, as he described his horse "like a sofa" that's simply "happy to go."
"I didn't want to admit he was right, but at a certain moment I felt like I really had to," she jokes. "[Eventually] I said 'Andrea, you were so right. Your horse is the nicest one, the best, and I have to thank you because you gave me the opportunity to enjoy this journey.' Otherwise, I was too concerned about the horse."
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Each musician who joined them along for parts of the ride shares in the Bocellis' Catholic faith, which was represented through the performances at locations including the Vitorchiano Trappist Monastery, Abbey of Sant'antimo and Fortezza Di Radicofani, among others.
"I was happily surprised by how spiritual the young artists were and the faith they have especially because being famous at that age, it's important," says Veronica. "You're not always able to [avoid] the superficiality that is around you."
Having the opportunity to visit his hometown brought back many memories for Andrea, who left home in the '80s to study law at the University of Pisa. "It is very painful for a child [to move away from home]. At the same time, there's joy in hearing the last bell that rings the last day of school, and your parents are there, waiting for you outside to pick you up and take you home," he explains. "That feeling is a feeling that sparks a joy that is hard to feel again at any other time of your life."
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Not only was the journey ultimately successful, but spending the peaceful time together also strengthened Andrea and Veronica's unbreakable bond. So, what's the secret to their happy, decades-long marriage?
"We've lived together almost 22 years now, and, at least at the beginning, spent 24 hours a day [together]," says Veronica. "So, either you love each other or you kill each other, and luckily we were able to do it."
"Sometimes we don't necessarily agree on the path, but we always agree on the aim. We rely on each other," she continues. "What I love about him is his determination and how fast he can make a decision. Indecision makes me very nervous."
Now that the film's out in the world, Andrea's planning to embark on a world tour of arenas and outdoor venues such as the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. "I hope to be in great shape, especially my vocals," he says of preparing for the upcoming shows. "I hope to be in great health to give it my all and bring, as always, to the world the most beautiful Italian music."
The Journey: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli is available now.
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