Friday, August 12, 2011

An Invitation to a Southern Italian Wedding Part 1

Palazzo San Gervasio, Basilicata

Last year we were honored to be invited to the wedding of our lovely friend Vita Forlino, the sister of Daniele, Aria's boyfriend. We planned our summer trip to Italy around the wedding which was held August 14th.

The wedding and the celebrations prior to and following the wedding were so much fun and truly amazing. Talk about knowing how to celebrate!

We felt so privileged to be a part of this wonderful italian experience. I hope to give you a peek into what a real southern italian wedding is like. This one lasted for three whole days!

Here are Vita Forlino and her fiance Nicola Paradiso a couple of days before the wedding in their new home.

Aria, Daniele, Savino (nephew), Rosanna (Daniele's other sister)
We arrived in Palazzo mid afternoon and were greeted by Daniele's family. I had been to Palazzo once before but this was the first time my husband Mike was meeting Daniele's family and visiting this area of Italy. It was wonderful for us to be there at such a happy time, meeting all the relatives and sharing in the festivities of Vita's wedding.

There is a wonderful view of the vast fields behind Daniele's parents home. Here Marino and Daniele are pointing out the different areas to us from the family balcony.

I was so happy to see Filomena , Daniele's mother, again. She is such a dedicated wife and mother to all her family.

I felt greatly priviledged to be invited by Filomena to accompany the women of the family to the bride and grooms new home. There the mothers of the bride and groom along with sisters and sister-in-laws prepare the matrimonial bed.

Everyone helps out to dress the bed in the finest, most elegant linens that Filomena has bought and kept in the hope chest for her daughter Vita. The week prior Filomena has ironed and laid out for display all the beautiful hope chest possessions for neighbors and family to see. There were so many luxurious linens she had stored away for this moment.

Filomena is making sure everything is done perfectly.

It was fun for us all to be there.

Every fine detail is attended to with loving care.

The bed is finished and looks so beautiful!

The softest finest sheets and pillow cases.

Such beautifully detailed fabrics.

What a fun experience to witness.

Now there are several hours to relax before the women take Vita out for a Bachelorette party. The two moms will go along with sisters, sister-in-laws, some nieces and friends.

Before this evenings girls night out, Filomena works hard in the kitchen preparing food for all the men. Mike will join Daniele and his six brothers and father for dinner at home and then an evening walk in the piazza (the traditional evening passeggiata in town).

Aria and Savino play a grocery shopping game that gives him practice learning to speak English

Later, all the girls met up at a local outdoor recreation spot that was a fun venue with pool, patio dining and live music. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know the other women and to spend relaxed time with Vita before the wedding.

Lots of nice presents to be opened,

some surprises with a few

funny and racy gifts to make the bride to be blush a little. All in good fun.

It was well after midnite as the patio emptied out leaving us with the place to ourselves. The singer was dedicating songs to Vita and everyone was dancing and having a great time. By now we had eaten our pizzas and had our wine.

Let's just say we partied until the wee hours of the night.

Now off to bed all you "belle ragazze" tomorrow is the day before the wedding and there's much more celebrating ahead!

See Part 2 for "La Serenata".

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