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Category Archives: Italia

Viva!

The Colour Purple

I think I have mentioned previously that I was never one of those girls who by the age of five had their whole wedding mentally figured out.

I had never really been too bothered about it. Of course, I had always believed in the depths of my mind that I would get married one day but the finer details of the event were a haze.

Once the arranging of our Italian nuptials were underway, my friend kept asking me so what kind of dress? What kind of place? Church or hall? Summer or winter? What’s your colour scheme?. I knew about the dress but didn’t tell a soul about it, not even my bestie! I knew it would be a hall of some description and I knew I wanted it at the end of summer. It’s far too hot in Italy to have a July or August wedding and far too cold in December and November for a winter wedding!
About the colours, I had no idea at all.

Over a usual coffee and cake brunch with my bestie and made of honour, she grilled me, even forced me, into making a colour decision. Peach? No! Mink? No! Olive? No!

Every colour option just seemed a bit, well, obvious. Until she had a beautiful brain storm.

What was your Grandma’s favourite colour? As she can’t be there, choose that and you’ll feel like she’s involved in some way.”

Perfect. Purple it is!

My Grandma had passed away not long before and I was really upset at the thought of her not attending my wedding. This was a lovely sentiment and the fact that my bestie came up with the idea made it even more special (she knows me well!).

So the hunt for all things lilac and purple began. I only wish that Pinterest existed then because these pictures from my board, La Mia Bella Matrimonio, would have been my absolute guide and Bible. How lovely and rich does a purple wedding look?

Love how elegant lilac looks – so fresh! Well done Trendy Bride for putting this little collage together. foto

These delish purple cup cakes frpm Style Me Pretty are a delish alternative to a wedding cake and the setting looks exactly like where the Italian is from, at the bottom of the Dolomites! LOVE! Foto

Gorgeous outdoor weddings like this are so feminine, shame it rained.. and rained on my wedding day! Aixoo got it just right. Foto

Purple flowers, peacock feathers and candle light – absolutely gorgeous for a romantic setting.  Again, Style Me Pretty have outshone themselves! LOVE Love loooove. Foto.

And my very own wedding bouquet incorporating all my Grandma’s favourite colours and flowers!

What colour did you choose? I’m interested to know your sentimental feelings. Do share!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Italia

 

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The Big “C”…. Again!

I’ve been having a semi break from blogging recently, just too much important stuff going on.

I mentioned a while ago in a post for Clic Sargent that my mother in law had beaten the odds and recovered from Colon cancer fifteen years ago. Two years ago, the day before our wedding, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and after a two-year haul through chemo and radiotherapy, she beat that too!

However, the demon that is the “Big C” is determined for her to lose the fight as it has reared its ugly head once more. Three times?! How unlucky can one woman be?!

After a well deserved trip to Liguria a few weeks ago, my in-laws returned home with my mother in law complaining of headaches. The man of the house surely sent her off to bed with an aspirin and a hot water bottle thinking it was the change of weather having an effect.

The next morning my mother in law couldn’t stand. She had lost the use of her legs and all sense of balance. The headaches had worsened.

Numerous tests and cat scans at the hospital ensued and then the phone rang. My father in law, through choked back tears, told the Italian that the doctors had found three, not one, but three tumours on his mothers brain. We were stunned! Again? All this, again?!

As soon as you hear the words cancer and brain in the same sentence you automatically think negatively. The Italian, in his panic, wanted to get on a flight straight away but what could he do?

He is in the fifth week of a new job, I’m seven months pregnant and we live in another country. The feeling of uselessness is incredible.

I can’t begin to imagine what my husband is going through right now. I can’t imagine what my mother in law is going through right now. She’s sorry for the grand children, she said. Sorry for the grand child that I hope and pray she gets to meet in a few months time.

But that’s it isn’t it, time. Time. Far more precious than we give credit for.

I pray for time to stand still while the doctors do their tests. I pray for the time to hurry up while the doctors get the results and do something . I pray for time so that my mother in law meets her newest grandchild and that Bambina gets to kiss her Nonna again. I pray for time that my husband gets to say goodbye to his mother properly, if that’s what it comes to.

I pray that time will heal her… Again.

Related Articles:

The C Word (Tea & Biscotti)

Stand Up to Cancer UK

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Italia

 

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Finding “Our” Place

When the Italian and I decided to get married, it was an automatic decision that the wedding was to be held in Italy.  Other than the obvious Italian luxuries like food, good wine, prosecco and extremely picturesque locations, the Italians Nonna, who was 90 at the time, had breast cancer and couldn’t travel.  So, we wanted to bring our wedding to her.

The location choice was really hard as the town where the Italian is from is literally forty minutes drive from everywhere, in every direction: mountains, sea and city.  I knew I wanted to try to aim for an English rose garden affair, but in Italy.  That wasnt going to be an easy feat.

We started scanning the internet for ideas and locations and when we found various places we liked the look of, the Italian called and enquired about prices, menus, catering etc.  however, the huge problem with wedding planning in Italy that we came across was that the Italians just don’t use the internet.  Websites are old and pictures are ancient.  You don’t get a good feel of how a place would look in reality.  It’s still very much a case of recommendation and word of mouth, which isn’t easy when you’re trying to arrange a wedding from another country.

We had a few trips to italy to view venues and after various trips back and forth I was in love with three places.  All were very different and offered us different things but we had a strict list of considerations to stick to.  Some  our guests were coming from England so we had to consider distance from the airport, local bars, transport from the hotel and transport from the wedding venue.  So, my (I say my, because the Italian really didn’t have a choice in this one!) first choice was out because it was too far from everywhere and a nightmare to transport everyone to and from.  I was heartbroken! Let me introduce your to Castle Brando:

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I think I actually shed a tear when we realised that this place was out of our reach.  I had never imagined getting married in a castle before.  I’m much more a jeans and flip-flops kind of girl so I was quite surprised at myself that I was so upset.  Alas, there was a plan B.

One one of our trips I had convinced the Italian to visit a place that I had found on the internet.  Their website was ancient and photographs were terrible so he was really reluctant.  However, when we got there it was amazing! It was a Venetion country palazzo adorned with old furniture and regal looking decor.  The gardens were breath-taking and again, I was in love. Let me introduce you to Villa Luppis:

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We were treated to a fabulous dinner at Villa Luppis and even today, I still remember how good the food was.  It was definitely the best food were tasted from all the venues we visited.  I loved everything about Villa Luppis but the only thing that we had an issue with was space for the children.  We had a handful of children at our wedding and this villa, although stunning, is a very grown up, very sophisticated kind of place.  That was the only thing that we stumbled on.  So, cue more tears and side step to plan C.

A neighbour of the Italian’s parents told us about a venue that their daughter had recently got married at and suggested that we definitely take a look.  I wasnt convinced.  Knowing his parents neighbours and their daughter, I wasnt sure her taste of venue was exactly and true match for my taste.  Nevertheless, we made a trip for a viewing.  How surprised we were!

We drove through a small town and followed the directions up a meandering hill, into and above the prosecco vineyards of Conegliano and then, there it was.  Let me introduce you to Casteletto.

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Turning the corner through the vineyards to discover the iron gates that led to a gravelled driveway was a surprise.  As we approached the top and walked forward we were totally blown away by the view.  It was stunning!. There it was, a tiny little castle with a chapel, on the hill, hidden amongst the trees.  From the outside it was perfect.

Was this really a castle fit for a princess?

Did you have the in love feeling when you found your venue?

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Italia

 

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A Band of Gold

When the Italian and I started to look at wedding rings he knew instantly that he wanted something Italian, traditional and durable. For him the choice was easy: a plain yellow gold band.

I on the other hand initially started out looking for all the flashy diamond bands: half bands, full bands, bands with filigree detail. I think I was so overcome at the absence of an engagement ring that I was trying to make up for it in the wedding band. How silly.

After walking inches off the Italians legs through Hatton Garden in London, I discovered that all the flashy bands didn’t suit me. And so plain Jane struck again, a simple gold band it was to be for me to.

However, on one of our wedding arranging trips to Italy, I was introduced to a jeweler in the Italian’s home town. He told me about Damiani. I fell in love. Their designs are so classic and understated yet elegant and pretty. Not at all plain.

Damiani are most famously known for being the wedding ring designer of choice for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Brad and Jen designed their own rings but Damiani controversially used the design without their permission (allegedly).

Although the rings didn’t hold much luck for Brad and Jen’s life time commitment, I wasn’t put off. I chose a simple gold band, squared at the edges, with one simple solitaire diamond embedded into the middle.

Here are a few pics I took of the latest Damiani collections on my last trip to Italy. You can also find them on my Pinterest board, La Mia Bella Matrimonio.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Damiani bands!

And, if you’re going to have a diamond necklace, have a Damiani heart full of them!

Anyone for tennis….bracelet? Si Si SI!

Love diamonds, love Damiani!

Is your band of gold plain and simple?

*All fotos are mine

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Italia

 

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A Little Diamond

When the Italian proposed, it wasn’t like every girls dream where the knight in shining armour races in on a horse then gets down in one knee to reveal a giant whopping platinum diamond ring.

Believe me, I could forego the knight and horse no problem but if I’m really honest, the ring would have been nice. However, at the time the Italian was a mature full-time student so I knew I was about to say yes to marrying him because I saw a good future with him. That meant that in the present, some things had to be sacrificed including the whopping diamond ring.

To my surprise, I didn’t care thatmuch. I was just happy to be marrying him. It doesn’t harm a girl to dream, does it?

Here are a few whoppa’s from my Pinterest board La Lia Bella Matrimonio, that, given half the chance, I probably wouldn’t have turned my nose up at!

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This is massive and way too big for me but I can’t help swoon!

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I do like matching ring sets but I feel they’re a bit over done these days. Still, I wouldn’t say no if I was gifted one!

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When we went window shopping to Hatton Garden I tried on mostly precious stone rings as solitaire diamonds don’t suit my hand. I absolutely adore sapphires and this vintage style sapphire and diamond ring is right up my strada! Yes please!

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I could also be partial to an emerald. In fact, I have four lovely little emerald stones sitting in a box in my bedroom that were gifted to me by a friend for my 30th birthday. One day I’ll turn them into something beautiful!

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I think Aquamarine is also really elegant and obviously paired with diamonds it’s just stunning. I always swoon over the massive rock that Kirsty Allsopp wears on Location, Location, Location. And, Mummy Rates It… Don’t think I didn’t notice yours! Stunning.

And last but by no means least, any of these would go down a treat – I’m not fussy! (and if you believe that, you believe anything!).

Was your other half a little diamond by gifting you with a stunning gem?

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Italia

 

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It’s Only A Suggestion!

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Firstly, I apologies for not keeping the momentum of the whole Italian Wedding thing going at a smooth steady pace.  As you may imagine, I have had rather a lot going on recently but alas, without further ado, I will continue:

When we got back to London we called our parents to break the news of our engagement.

My mum was delighted. The Italian, in her eyes, is a good man who will look after me. He made quite a few sacrifices to be with me and she has always admired him for it.

The Italian’s parents, as usual, had something to say. Why didn’t we tell them when we were in Italy? How long have we known? You get the picture. Well, we’ve known for like, five hours, and we didn’t tell you in Italy because it only happened, like, five hours ago!

Like any Latin mother, this opened the flood gates to various “suggestions”. Where we should do it, when we should do it, who should be invited.

The Italian is rather stubborn and immediately his mind was set: wedding in Italy (fine by me), in the autumn (fine by me), only close family, no aunties/uncles/cousins that we don’t see regularly (fine by me, not fine by his mother).

I can count my favourite relatives on one hand so I wasn’t put off by this arrangement at all. His mother however had already drawn up “her list” and had pulled it from her handbag quicker than Clint Eastwood can brandish a pistol from a holster!

The list consisted of venues, invitees, thoughts and ideas. Thanks but no thanks.  The Italian was quick to draw a line through the various names of neighbours, cousins that lived hours away, aunties and uncles that never telephoned him let alone visited.  It was only bound to cause controversy.  Pens at the ready! On the list, off the list, on the list, off the list!

My spoken Italian back then wasn’t great, which in hindsight, really was a wonderful thing as it didn’t allow me to tell her where to shove it!  The Italian did a pretty good job of that on his own.

We were on a tight budget and the Italian spent a lot of time on the phone making enquiries.  His mother in law couldn’t believe that we, mostly he, could organise a wedding in Italy, from England, using the internet and the phone.

Meanwhile, my mother kept herself busy organising my hand-made wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, at my pleasure and request, whilst his mother kept herself busy “making suggestions” and getting annoyed when we said thanks but no thanks.

That was the first sign that I was marrying in to a Latin family and probably faced a life time of suggestions.

So before it got too out of hand, the Italian thanked his thoughtful mother for thinking of us and being so helpful but for now we had everything under control.

We had a tiny, friendly suggestion for her…….Back off!

Do you have issues with your mother in law? Do share stories!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Italia

 

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The Italian: A Romantic Proposal?

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on the story of how the Italian and I came to be in wedded bliss but you might recall I told you about how we met, our first date and how we came to live over the brush.

You would think that dating, let alone being married to an Italian means that i wake up every day to a rose on my pillow, sweet nothings whispered in sensual Italian in my ear and that I’m showered with romance at every given opportunity.

If you think that, you would indeed be incorrect. Our engagement is a perfect example of how romance doesn’t feature much in our lives.

We had been visiting the Italian’s family and friends in Italy and despite the usual rows with parents, we had had a wonderful time. We were both sad to be going back to london, leaving behind great weather, good food and fabulous friends.

When we got to the airport, I saw a vulnerable side to the Italian that was quite endearing. He is normally the type of person who talks incessantly, sometimes mostly rubbish just to fill the gaps, he’s not overly tactile or overtly emotional for an Italian and often prefers to keep his true feelings hidden rather than get into a situation where he feels the need to explain himself.

He was very quiet. Subdued almost. As we approached the gates to departure we thanked his parents for a lovely time and for the first time I saw the Italian get emotional upon his leaving his folks behind. This wasn’t normal, he usually can’t wait to leave.

Once we were through customs, I asked him if he was ok.

“I’ad a loverly time you’a know. This’a time. I’a always enjoy’a myself when’s you are’a by me.” he said softly, almost thoughtful.

“I’a don’a ever wan’a be in a situation when’a you’re’a not ‘ere.” he continued. Then, out of the blue, right there in the middle of the departure lounge, like it was an everyday statement, he looked me straight in the eye…

“I think’a we should’a get married!!”.

A statement. Not a question. Not on one knee. A statement. In the middle of the departure lounge in the most rubbish airport in the world (it didn’t even have a duty-free where we could by champagne!).

“Well that’s not what every girl dreams of but on then.. Let’s get married!”.

Like every other little girl, I had imagined fairy tale romances, hearts and flowed, candle lit dinners and a Milk Tray man delivering my enormous diamond engagement ring via circling helicopter over a snow-capped mountain!

“You really mean it? Married? Are you sure?” I double checked.

“Look’a, I love’a you, you’a love’a me…..”

“Ok!” I said rather blazé like we had just had a normal conversation and not like we had just made a life changing decision at all.

As we headed to the departure gate to catch our flight to London Stansted, we grinned from war to ear at what had just happened. When? Where? There was a lot to decide!

Once we had boarded our Ryanair flight and made ourselves comfortable, we started the celebrations straight away, with two large coffees and a large bag of peanut M&Ms!!

And that was it, our romantic airport proposal. There was no down on one knee, no ring, no fuss. It was perfect!!

How did your man propose? Do tell!

X-O-X

 

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Italia

 

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