I travel back and forth to Rome since I was a kid. My mother’s family is from Rome and that heritage is still very strong. Just the smell of a dish of the Roman cuisine or hearing someone talking with the typical accent, and I feel at home. I remember, when I was a child, that leaving to Rome from Milan required a lot of efforts, and it took forever to arrive, no matter you went by train or by car. But it was an adventure every time, that I shared mostly with my grandparents, who used to take me there on vacation after the end of the school year, in summer. Our destination was a small town near Rome, where my great grandparents used to have their holiday’s residence. I’m not sure how and why, from Rome, they relocated there. I know it happened between the two wars. I really wish I knew better, it seems quite an interesting story. Anyway, my grandparents grew up, met and spent the first part of their lives there, and I like to imagine them in black and white, like in an Italian neorealist movie (I actually have pictures of them like that).
So to me Rome, aside from being a collection of wonders and history, also means family and home and nowadays that traveling is much easier, I keep getting back there quite often. Like the time I reached Melissa and Marcus who came from Australia to celebrate their wedding in Italy.
Melissa’s family has Italian ancestors, while Marcus is fond of ancient history, so what better choice than getting married in Rome!
I was really, really happy when Melissa booked me and I started to plan an itinerary which was supposed to be fitting the timings of their event and will allow us to take iconic but at the same time less obvious pictures.
I knew they were going to celebrate a catholic ceremony in Santa Sabina Church, probably the most renowned church on the Aventine Hill, which lays between Giardino degli Aranci and Villa del Priorato di Malta (if you’ll be passing by, you’ll be surely want to take a look a its famous trompe l’œil). While the reception would be taking place at Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora in Via Veneto, the “dolce vita” lane.
Of course I didn’t miss the chance to stay near there as well and, since the Spanish Steps are pretty close too, I went again to visit the Keats – Shelley House. You might have noticed that this very site is full of Keats’ quotes and it’s just too easy for me to let myself linger on his poetry and on these moods.
Then, after having filled myself with timeless moods and inspiration, I reached Melissa for her getting ready. We never even had a Skype call so I didn’t expected such a lovely person inside and out! I loved her style and she was really beautiful in her Karen Willis Holmes sequin dress, enriched by all the precious details, such as the beautiful Yves Saint Laurent Tribute shoes, the rings and accessories by Tiffany & Co and Valére, and the lovely unstructured blush and green bouquet by Floreventi, which also took care of all the floral design.
As soon as she was ready, together with her family she walked down the road towards the limo which was supposed to bring her and her husband-to-be to Santa Sabina. I remember the traffic and I remember I felt grateful that the chauffeur chose to pass by the Coliseum, so I could took a couple of my favourite pics of that day.
As Melissa and Marcus asked, I planned a layover at the Pincio Terrace before the ceremony, to take some portraits of the couple there. Unfortunately the limo was too big to access the narrow streets which lead to the terrace, so we fell back to Gianicolo. To my taste, Gianicolo isn’t really the ideal place to take intimate portraits, because of the crowd… I mean, every place in Rome is usually crowded, but maybe the fact that you can access the panoramic spots directly by car, which turns them basically in huge car parks… Nonetheless, Melissa and Marcus were so nice and lovely that I could snap a couple of beautiful portraits, and then we flew to the church.
The catholic ceremony was solemn and touching. Santa Sabina’s interiors are really majestic, without being excessive. Something like a minimalistic grandeur, I guess.
After the vows, Melissa and Marcus took their guests for a walk in Giardino Degli Aranci, which is immediately next to Santa Sabina. The sun was already setting, so they had the chance to enjoy Rome cityscape with Saint Peter’s dome at the horizon, and the silhouettes of maritime pines against the sky.
We then reached the wonderful terrace of Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, where they had a delicious dinner, laced by a lot of laughs and the speeches.
The reception took place in the most cheerful mood and in front of the wonderful panorama, with the ubiquitous dome.
When the cake cutting moment arrived, I was delighted to see that Melissa and Marcus chose to serve the most delicious sfogliatelle napoletane as dessert, and tiny limoncello bottles as wedding favours.
It’s really been a wonderful day, made even more precious by the small unexpected hiccups, because life is what happens while you’re busy making plans about it. ; )
a very special thank you to Erica – Les Amis Photo
published on: love my dress