Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Southern Italian Wedding Part 2

La Serenata

A lovely tradition that has gone on for generations in Italy is alive and well here in Palazzo San Gervasio. The "Serenata" takes place the night before the wedding. The groom will walk to the brides house and with the courage and support of all his friends, family and neighbors he will profess his love for the bride and ask for her hand in marriage. Of course we know in this day and age the wedding has been set by all parties but what fun is there in that? So the groom must go through all the motions with the whole town watching as he sings to her, courts her and waits for her response. This is the time for the bride to be to add suspense to the night. Will she or won't she accept the proposal?

It was a beautiful morning when we headed to Daniele's parents house. We needed to get an early start as there were many preparations that needed everyone's help for tonights serenata.

Daniele & Michele start the task of blowing up and stringing balloons all along the street in front of their parents house. This is where all the action will take place tonight.

Here two more siblings of the bride Rosanna and Marino discuss "all" the things that must get done. If looks could talk Marino would be saying: "Mamma Mia!"

Mike is lending a hand to help the brothers.

Meanwhile inside Aria is working on place cards for the wedding reception tomorrow.

These flyers, with the bride and groom, need to have written on them: "Vita and Nicola will be married today". After the serenata tonight they will be posted all over the town to be seen by everyone on the day of the wedding.

At last the street scene is set for tonights festivities.

"E` qui La Festa" -- The Party is here!

Aria, Mike, Vita and Barb

We are so happy to be with Vita and excited for our first "Serenata"

The party will not begin until about 9:00 tonight so we have plenty of time to take a walk through town and have a wonderful opportunity to see the beautiful art museum and to have a special tour with one of the owners.

In the early evening hours preparation starts to speed up. Delivery and set up for all the food to be served tonight starts to progress. The kitchen soon becomes the holding stations for endless trays of goodies.

We were amazed by all the food only to find out that between 200-300 family, friends and all the neighborhood have been invited to join in on the celebration tonight.

as the sun was setting more and more people began to arrive and take their place along the street in front of Vita's house.

The excitement grows as the groom arrives. That's Nicola in the white shirt.

Now the D.J. coaxes the crowd to clap and wave their hands to help the groom woo his bride.

With flowers and microphone in hand Nicola starts his pleas for Vita to be his wife. All eyes are looking up to the balcony doors to see if Vita will come out and accept him as her husband to be.

The crowd is now chanting "Vita, Vita, Vita" and Nicola is singing out, "Ti Voglia bene!" I love you.

The suspense mounts and the balcony doors open but ....a big owl flys out and still NO Vita!

The children are waiting patiently and asking will she come out now?
Ooooh wait the doors are opening, "Is it Vita?"

No this times it's just a big doll! Oh That Vita is playing coy.

At last Vita comes out and the crowd cheers and pleas for her to come down and be with Nicola!

Nicola and Vita are at last reunited downstairs much to Nicola's relief! Let the party begin!

Here family members look on happily!

Bring out the food


And the music filled the night air and everyone danced in the streets.

Food was replentished like clockwork...

And the eating contined into the night

with only a slight interruption for a huge fireworks display in honor of the bride and groom.

Here is Gianfranco, the bride's brother and his girlfriend Sonia. Gianfranco has arranged for the fireworks display over the fields behind this street. What a grand display it was for everyone to enjoy.

The Serenata did not end until the wee hours of the morning. I can say those italians sure know how to have fun. It was a wonderful night I will never forget.

To bed for me as tomorrow we must be back here by 8:30 for family photographs before the church ceremony at 11:00.

Buona Notte Tutti!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow - what a fabulous experience for you to have been a part of. It's wodnerful to see how other cultures recognize the various milestones in life . . .

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