The good thing about living away from your home country is that you can get married wherever you like. The good thing about getting married away from for your home country is that you have to go back to celebrate with relatives and friends that cannot come to the wedding.
The even better thing about going back and celebrate at home is that if you and your partner come from two different regions you get a double party!
So, after the big cocktail party framed by the medieval castle in Abruzzo, on the 3rd of January this year another party was about to begin, this time in the historical setting of the famous Caffè Pedrocchi in Padua.
The building was conceived in 1831 during a meeting between two talents: the business man Antonio Pedrocchi and the architect Giuseppe Jappelli. Antonio was able to transform in a few years the coffee workshop that he had inherited from his father into the neoclassic building well known all around the world. Antonio Pedrocchi made his fortune with coffee roasting and then decided to invest his money in the ambitious project of his friend Giuseppe Jappelli. Antonio wanted to divide his building in two clearly distinct areas: the Caffè situated on the ground floor and open 24 hours a day for anyone who wanted to stop by, a traveler, a business man, and the Ridotto on the first floor restricted to the top level of the society. The Ridotto became a reserved area for parties, dances, Masonic meetings, business meetings, a place for commercial negotiation.
In 1842 the rooms of the Piano Nobile (the first floor of the Caffè) were completed and were inaugurated with the fourth Congress of the Italian Scientists, a very important event at that time. In 1852 Antonio Pedrocchi died and entrusted the management of the Caffè to Domenico Cappellato, son of his loyal shop boy. A little before dying Domenico Cappellato decided to donate the building to the “concittadini, rappresentati dal Comune di Padova” (citizens, represented by the municipality of Padua).
The evening started at 6pm when we arrived at the Caffè with our families, a little before the time written on the invitation. My good friend Max was our personal photographer for the whole night. As soons as we got inside he took me and my husband for some shooting in the frescoed rooms on the first floor of the Caffè, all around the main room assigned to us.
When we returned to the main room some guests had already arrived and were becoming familiar with the space around them.
Waiters with all sorts of cocktails and aperitif-style finger food on trays begun to make an appearance. Everything looked sophisticated and elegant to me. Different from the other wedding reception that we had in the Castle in many ways: this time I didn’t know a good three quarters of the guests, mostly my husband’s relatives. As usual, I didn’t touch any food, I moved from one new acquaintance to the next, greeting and meeting, smiling and answering questions on us, the wedding and Australia. There is always curiosity around us and our life choices, recently I started feeling different on our visits in Italy, I feel like an emigrant.
I felt some sort of understandable pressure during the night: I not only was the bride, I was Nicola’s adventurous other half, and more importantly I was completely new to a lot of them. But I passed the test! I remained as calm as possible and confident. Being a theatrical actress really knows how to repay you in situations where you need to have everything under control, especially your emotions.
I made my way throughout the night and started relaxing a bit when we set down for a so-long awaited dinner. We had: mantecata di riso con zucca e tartufo (creamy risotto with pumpkin and truffle), mozzarella in carrozza con finghi e patate al rosmarino (mozzarella with mushrooms, rosemary baked potatoes, a treat for vegetarians like me!), monoporzione al cioccolato (small chocolate ice-cream cakes), caffè Pedrocchi (the famous Pedrocchi coffee with mint, chocolate and whipped cream!).
The ritual photos at every table were taken and the moment of Nicola’s speech arrived. I think I had seen him this nervous maybe four times in his life (you can imagine at least two of them!). I stood next to him as an encouragement while we was opening his heart to the crowd.
One other detail that made this night different from the one in the Castello Chiola was the missing of the entertainment. Soft background music played during dinner but nothing else was planned. This gave us a chance to enjoy the company of our families at the table, and to move around and talk to the guests. While the other reception was a reflection of my mum’s bubbly and energetic personality, this night was my in law’s dream, a simpler, classic yet calm and enjoyable reception. I loved them both! And I do believe I have been so lucky having these many happy moments of celebration and memories to cherish.
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