Last weekend I had the chance to attend a beautiful wedding in Rome, a Pugliese-Expat wedding much like our own, but on a much different scale. They had the wedding everyone, in and outside of Rome, would love to have in Italy. And they were lucky enough to have it on a beautiful, rain-free day, compared to the previous week.
The ceremony was in the beautiful Santa Maria in Trastevere, a view I used to see every day when I lived in the building directly across from it. The original church was built in the 4th century, with the current building rebuilt in the 12th century. The mosaic facade is its most distinguishing characteristic, and every evening it is illuminated.
After the ceremony, which was in English and Italian, we climbed the Gianicolo hill directly behind Trastevere to Villa Aurelia. Besides being surrounded by 11 acres of beautiful gardens, its position on one of the highest hills in Rome gives it a great view!!
One of the most popular things offered in the antipasti was the Fry station where two chefs constantly fried up little paper cones of fritti misti for the guests. My favorite were the fried basil leaves, which I had never seen nor eaten before. Other types included fried stuffed olives (olive ascolane), fried mozarella, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, potato or crochette di patate and arancini, or Sicilian rice balls.
Other antipasti included braesola e rucola with lemon, different types of salame, fresh cheeses, spigola – a bass that was also served later for lunch, sushi, and shrimp that were artfully arranged coming out of a carved pumpkin. I regret not taking a picture.
After lunch, which took a few hours, we were presented with a dessert buffet – ciambelle di pistacchio gelato – pistachio ice cream in a ring form, coffee and lemon granite (similar to a slush, but no 7-11 quality here) with fresh cream, fresh cut fruit, custard cake, and a flan-like custard whose name I don’t know.
And then, after all of us had eaten as much as we could in the six hour smorgasbord, they called us out to the garden to cut the cake! Life is definitely too hard, my friends.