Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I was told about the lunch following the ceremony but I wasn't prepared to partake in a 6 1/2 hour (yes, you read that correctly, SIX and a half hours) meal.
Annie, of my closest friends in Rome, got married. She and Giovanni had a wedding in her hometown back in Minnesota during the Christmas holidays.
Giovanni is Italian and there was another ceremony in Italy for their family and friends. After all they met here. I remember their first date. One afternoon at Ciampini I told Annie they were going to get married soon. And they did.
Giovanni's grandparents live in Fondi, which is near the beautiful beach of Sperlonga. His nonno (grandfather) is 91! Not sure how old his nonna is.
I drove down with Mauro, a friend of the couple's and we arrived on time for the pre-church festivities. The grandparents had a few friends and family over to their home for pastries, coffee, juice etc.
We walked from their home to the church. It was a gorgeous, hot, sunny day and the Historic Center of the small town was very pretty. The couple looked beautiful. Annie had her dress custom made in Rome.
People on the street were clapping and saying congratulations to the couple. At one point, Giovanni and Annie asked his nonna to join them upfront (Nonno was given a ride to the church, he has a cane).
Giovanni's parents AND grandparents were married in the same church. At the end of the short Mass, Giovanni's nonna was speaking with Annie. I couldn't hear what was said but I could tell by Annie's emotional reaction, she was really moved.
I know some American women who complain (a LOT) about the closeness of Italian families. I don't think it's weird or claustrophobic. Most Caribbean families are the same way. It's a different culture. I know America is more about the couple as a separate unit but we're not living in America.
Lunch was held at a restaurant in the country called La Magnatora. All the pasta was made by hand. The food was AMAZING. Very fresh.
I was going to write out the outrageous menu but it would take too long. The antipasti alone would have been more than enough food.
Giovanni's brother came over to our table and told us he warned the Americans (Annie's family) to pace themselves. Mauro schooled me at the church. I did pace myself and yet I could barely finish my lunch. The wine was delicious too.
During a break in between courses, I was talking to Annie's uncle. He pointed out how during an almost 7 hour luncheon nobody was checking their Blackberrys constantly and the older people at the party were included. It was very thoughtful of my friends to hold a ceremony in Fondi so the grandparents could be a part of their celebration.
Annie choked up as she gave a toast, in Italian, thanking her family and her new family in Italy. It was obvious how much Giovanni's family adores her.
I love how Disco never died in Italy and had a blast dancing. As I was looking through the photos from that day, I started to get a little teary all over again.
Auguri Annie e Giovanni!