Our recent trip to Poland and Italy is one that storybooks are made of. It was full of visiting family and friends, discovering family roots, amazing food everywhere, renewing friendships and partaking as family in a Tuscan wedding.
Are you jealous?
Let me tell you about the wedding in Italy first as Poland deserves a whole other post.
Our oldest son did his university semester abroad in Arezzo, Italy some ten years ago and lived with an Italian family in a gorgeous modern house (as only the Italians can do), high on a hill overlooking Arezzo in Tuscany. Here is the view from their house.
The family, Tiziana and Andrea, have a girl, Bianca, and a boy, Giulio, sandwiched between our two boys in ages with Giulio being the youngest. While our son was there, we went to visit him with Zach and both families hit it off splendidly!! Tiziana was interested in having her family learn English better and of course our son needed to learn Italian. Now I really need to learn some Italian!
During the past ten years our boys have been back with their girlfriends to visit the family in Arezzo and Bianca has come to visit us many times, sometimes escorting a Prada bag but always with some Parmigiano and Pecorino cheeses and some olive oil from the olives that grow on the trees in their front yard.
I know. Aren’t I lucky?
So Bianca married Cesare and our whole family (our boys with their fiancées) met up in Italy to celebrate this joyous occasion and let me tell you, this was one big spectacular visit and wedding. Tiziana and Andrea are so very gracious hosts and they insisted our boys with their girls stay with them as Tiziana thought, “Bianca will be much more relaxed if her American brothers stayed there.” And we stayed nearby in a gorgeous hotel while they provided one of their cars for us so we could get around.
It was just so good to be back and visiting and really, it was like no one missed a beat, it certainly did not seem like 10 years had passed since our first meeting.
I got to spend the day with Tiziana on Friday catching up and shopping for cheeses, last minute vegetables and flowers for the family party that evening at their house. Here is Giancarlo Canti, who makes world renown, award-winning cheeses, with Tiziana. Look at all of this Parmigiano!!
We all helped in preparing the two pasta dishes and an amazing porchetta was delivered and carved at the table. The cheese, the wine, the prosecco, the sausages, the pasta, the prosiutto, bresaola, were all to die for. Tiziana buys all of these meats as large pieces and slices them on a meat slicer that holds a permanent and prominent space on her kitchen counter.
While here in America, rehearsal dinners are common on the Friday night before a wedding, that is not the case in Italy. It is usually just the immediate family having a quiet meal at home, getting ready for the big day. So Tiziana, in throwing this party for 50 of their closest friends and out-of-towners broke tradition in the most beautiful way as getting to know Cesare’s family and their close friends before the big day was so special.
Here is Cristina on the right, Tiziana’s best friend, (who graciously took me to the Prada boutique on Sunday), with Antonella, Cesare’s mom.
Bianca and Cesare were married in a gorgeous church, the Basilica of San Domenico especially renowned for housing a crucifix painted by Cimabue, dated 1265, which is considered an authentic masterpiece of art.
Cesare arrived in a 1974 red-orange Porsche while
Bianca arrived with her Dad in a ‘70’s white Alfa Romeo. Isn’t this just so cool?
The bride and groom greet each other outside the church first – so beautiful!
Bianca looked like a Roman goddess.
Here’s Bianca with her father, Andrea walking her down the aisle (I’m happy to report that Andrea has used my shot here as his new profile picture on Facebook!)
Here’s Bianca with our oldest son.
And here’s our whole family.
The reception was held at Santa Maria a Pigli which is a beautiful outdoor venue with an amazing cocktail time with various different tables featuring oysters and crayfish, sushi, tempura vegetables, cheeses, smoked meats, tripe sliders, and cocktails smoking dry ice. The dinner started with risotto, then a traditional pasta and then Florentine steaks grilled on an open flame with roasted vegetables.
All luscious and delicious and best of all, leisurely paced, which was so nice. Dinner and some dancing ended around 11:30 and then the real dance party started in another tent that lasted until about 5:30 am!! We left at around 3:30 as we were danced out, even with switching out of heels and into flip-flops. Our boys were there until the very end and then watched the sunrise back at their house.
It was an amazing, beautiful, perfect party!!
And Sunday, was lunch at the hotel, Prada store with Cristina – here’s my husband having coffee with Cristina at the Prada café and then another great dinner at Tiziana and Andrea’s.
And here we all are, oohing and ahhing over all the pictures.
It was an amazing, awesome trip and we are hoping that Andrea and Tiziana will be coming to our home for Thanksgiving! Cesare and Bianca will be here in September for our oldest son’s wedding. So fun, so special!!
I hope you enjoyed this story and photos as much as I enjoyed putting it together and sharing it. ☺