Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Casa Nostra

After what has felt like an eternity we finally settled on our property in Le Marche and are now the proud owners of a piece of Italy.
I have to say that for Italy 8 weeks is pretty quick as far as a purchase goes especially as we had to have a mortgage approved. It certainly helped to have a bank manager who went the extra mile to get every thing in place for us, as usually you have to show at 3 years of business accounts or tax returns before applying. We have only been in business for a year, though he was able to pull a few strings!
The rogito was certainly an experience, every one had to be there,the buyer, seller, estate agent, witness, sellers translator, notaio and a banking official. It took 3 hours from start to finish as every single thing had to be read out from the deed and mortgage papers and for those of you who live in Italy already know, they just love paper!
Casa Nostra
Nearest Neighbour
As soon as the Rogito was finished we were given the keys and headed straight to our new home.
I can't believe how peaceful it is compared to Rome and sitting outside in the evening with the fire flies is amazing.
Today we are back in Frascati to start the packing and moving process though it is so incredibly hot that I have no energy to be shifting boxes. Hopefully by the weekend we will have everything sorted.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My First Italian Wedding

Well it has been a busy couple of weeks entertaining, our guests have all gone into Rome for the day so I am left alone to catch up on a few bits and pieces.
Domenico 's brother Renato arrived last week with his wife Debra and four of his six gorgeous daughters.
Stefania & Manuela with DJ.
We had a wedding to attend in Napoli (my first in Italy) and it was going to be a big affair with Arianna being the first of the children to marry.
We arrived just in time at the family apartment which had been transformed into what resembled a jungle, as well as all the bouquets of flowers, the outside of the apartment right down to the ground level had been decorated with different types of palms and other greenery, this was for the first 'grand exit' of the bride with her dad.
As soon as they got into the car and headed to the church all the greenery was packed away in a matter of seconds and carted away.
We got a bit lost on the way to the church so arrived half way through the ceremony which was being undertaken by a very 'gay and flamboyent' Neapolitan priest.We were terrified to walk in thinking it would be very rude to be late, though the ceremony itself appeared to be very casual with people coming and going off the street and some not dressed up at all.
Arianna & Gianni
After about another hour of standing and sitting and having water sprinkled on us it was all over, lots of 'auguris' later we headed to Villa Lucrezio at Posillipo where the reception was to take place. This was a beautiful venue overlooking the bay of Naples, towards Vesuvio and the Sorrentino Peninsula.
It was lovely to catch up with family members before the bride and groom finally arrived, that is when the feast began. Two huge buffet tables were set up on the outdoor terrace, one with every type of Fritti possible, as well as proscuito sliced of the bone and various types of cheeses from buffalo mozzarella to the creamiest ricotta I have ever tasted. The other table was overflowing with seafood, whole octopus had been cooked up and chopped and dressed to order, baby octopus' in a rich tomato and olive sauce, grilled prawns..... the list goes on, it was very impressive.
As we had left Rome without eating breakfast we were all ravenous by 3 in the afternoon, so we really let loose on the Antipasti and were all pretty full. This was a huge mistake! We were then told to make our way to the dining room where dinner really started. Over the next 6 hours we were fed two pasta courses, two secondo (one fish and the other meat), and a fruit course. It was all fabulous, though far too much, we had to stagger from the dining area back to the outdoor terrace where the buffet was set up again with Neapolitan desserts, I wish I had room to indulge but my body was crying out to stop!
The wedding cake was cut, toasts were made and then there was gelato and liqueuers.
After the handing out of individual photo albums and bonbonerie we all said our goodbyes and headed off. It was certainly a lavish wedding and an awful lot of money must have been spent, but that is how it is in Italy, it has to be a big show.