Dreaming of a Southern Italian Wedding?
Keeping our blog has proven a great way to inform all of our readers, including our past and future clients, about the culture found in the South of Italy. From the food to the festas, we've always enjoyed putting together shorts blog posts that give readers just a little glimpse into the authentic experiences that can be found in our special part of the world. Well, now it's time to turn our attention to another part of our culture and tradition - a part that wouldn't usually be covered in one of our unique La Lucana tours: Weddings!
As you can probably imagine, Southern Italian weddings are famous for being HUGE and extravagant affairs, filled with tradition, beautiful clothes and of course, FOOD! It just so happens that we've recently been involved in a couple of weddings here in the South of Italy and we thought we would take this chance to let you take a little peak into these often grand and always beautiful events.
The first wedding that we'll talk about in this post actually took part in our neighbouring region of Calabria, in the beautiful seaside town of Tropea. It was in fact a marriage of two regions, with the bride and groom coming from Calabria and Basilicata respectively. Like in many parts of the world, here in Italy it is custom for the wedding to take place in the hometown of the bride.
As you can see, they both looked stunning, each boasting classic Italian fashion and style for their special day. After the church ceremony (which unfortunately we couldn't get to on this occasion), the Southern Italian 'sposi' (newlyweds) can choose to arrive at the wedding venue in some type of fashionable car, announcing their arrival with the honking of the car horn – not that Italians need the excuse of a wedding to blow the horn on their cars of course! ;)
Everyone welcomes the 'sposi', including the staff at the wedding venue (along with the professional photographers and videographers), as they get out of their car and prepare to greet their loved ones and receive 'auguri' (meaning congratulations).
After the welcome, it was time to move on to the next phase of the day: The world famous Italian Aperitivo!!! Now normally, ANY aperitivo in Southern Italy would be considered a feast to others from around the world but an aperitivo at a wedding in Southern Italian is truly a sight to be hold. At this particular wedding, all types of food were served in a buffet service offering everything from a range of miniature pastries, to barbecued meat skewers, seafood in delicious sauces and of course local delicacies. In fact, the local delicacy of Tropea (and Calabria in general) is 'nduja', a type of pork based spicy pate served with bread. Of course, the fact that the groom was indeed from Matera, it only made sense that 'Pane di Matera' was served with the Nduja!
So it's after the aperitivo at a Southern Italian wedding that foreigners (like Greg) will start to feel a little overwhelmed. That's because of course they soon realise that the aperitivo, with ALL that food, is just that: an aperitivo! It's just the beginning!! Without a moment to lose, the guests are led into the dining room of the venue where the real eating is about to commence (gulp!!).
Usually the first thing guests do when they find their table, is go straight to the menu and try to get a sense of what is coming....
As you can see, it was a pretty serious menu heading our way and it's nothing less than what you would expect at a wedding in these parts! Of course the food, as you can imagine, was really delicious and it's only a shame that these pictures can't give you more than just a mouthwatering glimpse of what it was like!
So after several hours of eating (and yes, we DO mean several HOURS), it's finally time to move back outside and towards the next phase of the wedding reception: The Wedding Cake. Now we're pretty sure that by this point, we don't need to explain to you that 'The Wedding Cake' part of a Southern Italian wedding doesn't simply involve one lovely cake and that's it. Why would you want just a nice cake and say 'good night' to everyone when you can have LOTS of cakes, little ice-creams, fruit, chocolate fountains, fireworks, a HUGE bottle of Vodka and THEN a cocktail party disco?! Of course right!?!
It was a wonderful day and evening and we felt very privileged to be there. We really wish the couple the very best for their future together and will always treasure the memories created on their special day.
Getting married at a big 'ricevimento matrimonio' (wedding venue) is a popular choice for many Italians, particularly here in Southern Italy. Some of these venues are incorporated into hotel resorts or they are even specially built venues that only provide this service (i.e. wedding venues). However, increasingly, some Italians are choosing to host their wedding parties at an agriturismo and a few weeks ago, that's exactly what some relatives of Silvia decided to do. We don't often hold weddings at L'assiolo, perhaps every few years or so. However, this recent one we held got us to thinking, 'hmm maybe some people in the English speaking world could be interested in holding their dream Italian wedding here with us in the beautiful Basilicata countryside and the city of Matera?' So, if you're reading this because you're researching your dream wedding in Italy, or perhaps any type of celebration, or maybe you're just curious, please allow us to show you a little bit of how an important celebration might look with us.
Certainly looks appealing doesn't it? Having all your friends and loved ones together in such a beautiful place, full of nature? The photo above shows just one part of the venue we could offer you for your special celebration. Of course, for the lunch/dinner part of any celebration (the Italians' favourite part of course) we'd set you up in our dining room, which can hold up to 150 people.
Here's the menu we offered at the most recent wedding reception.
Of course, as with the wedding we went to in Calabria, the arrival of the 'sposi' (bride and groom) and the welcoming aperitivo is an important part of the reception party and it works really well at the front of our farm, with the surrounding olive and orange groves.
A wedding in Southern Italy (or indeed any type of celebration for that matter) wouldn't be complete without live music and dancing. This usually happens throughout the whole party and in between the copious amount of food that keeps arriving, guests can really get into the spirit of it all with one the many great local bands.
So there you have it, a little glimpse into what a grand celebration like a wedding might look like with us here at Agriturismo L'assiolo and again, we wish this couple the very best for the future and we'll look forward to seeing them here again soon. Of course, an experience like this with us wouldn't necessarily have to stop here. Why not have your honeymoon in Italy also? Indeed the origins of the 'Luna di Miele' (honeymoon) can be traced back to Ancient Rome when newly weds would spend the entire phase of a moon together and eat honey at every meal time. With all of the amazing experiences available here in Basilicata, it could be the idea place to start your life together and create memories that will last a lifetime.
For more information on how we might be able to organise your special event, such as a wedding, honeymoon, birthday party, retirement party or indeed any type of celebration, please do get in touch with us by email or visit our website www.lalucana.com
Ciao for now and we hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about weddings here in Southern Italy.