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Big, Fun, Tuscan Wedding

When is the perfect time to get married? First, you need to find someone that wants to spend the rest of her of his life with you. But still, there are other variables to consider. In Italy, in the last decades, the average wedding age has stretched beyond thirty years. Especially for the males, it's hard to leave the comfort of their Italian mom's home. One may argue that economic factors, too, had significant implications in delaying the departure of Italian children from their parents.

Accustomed to this new trend, I did not expect my nephew, who lives in Florence, Italy, to get married any time soon. But then, to my surprise, I got the good news that in September, he was going to say "Yes, I do." Egidio is the only child of my oldest sister, Gianna, and her husband, Giovanni. He is also my first nephew, and I am his youngest uncle, which makes for a special bond between us. Viktoria and I were not going to miss the festivities.

The ceremony was held at Chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Castellina (Saint Lucia Church), Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy. The convent and church of the Carmelite order sit on top of the hills surrounding Florence; inside, the nave of the church is filled with frescoes, decorations, and stuccos in an elegant Baroque style.

Egidio arrived with his friend on a Harley Davidson - long gone are the times when Guzzi and Ducati dominated the motorcycle scene in Italy. He wore a stylish, modern, and elegant suit, while Diletta, his future wife, had opted for the more traditional white wedding dress. My sister Gianna and Giovanni also got the spotlight, as they have that touch of class and smile that make them always get noticed. And then there were my parents, who could finally relax, as it was not one of their five children who were getting married and they did not have to foot the bill of an expensive wedding this time.

The newlywed couple left the church and was cheered by "Viva gli sposi" (Italian for: long live the spouses) and the confetti throw to them by the excited crowd. Then, it was time to get the party started, the Italian way: good food, wine, singing, dancing, and laughing.

The reception was at Villa Il Cerretino, Prato, Italy, a residence that used to be part of the estate of the powerful Florentine family Medici's. The catering was provided by one of Egidio's family friends and the well-known owner of one of the local pastry shops, Pasticceria Bar Roberta, famous for its "bomboloni," (filled doughnut) which obviously were served among the many desserts and the wedding cake. Bomboloni must be served warm, both inside and outside: a good connoisseur like my brother-in-law will tell you that the cream inside, too, must be served warm to deserve his approval. Even my dad, who is diabetic, could not pass on getting a few of them, hiding among the crowd from my vigilant mom.

The evening continued with an excellent old school jam of Italian and American classics, which made everybody move on the floor, including myself; indeed, Viktoria came and grabbed me while I was reaching for my umpteenth bombolone – it's one of my favorite pastry, what can I say?!

After Egidio and Diletta took the due photo portraits with each one of the present people in the room - because everyone must be in the wedding photo album – the party started to slow down. It had been a long day from the morning to nine at night, but Italian weddings are well known for being an all-day business.

The wedding couples who have their reception at Villa Il Cerretino are offered to spend their first night in one of the rooms of the villa. However, Egidio and Diletta had to prepare to leave for their honeymoon and decided to pass the offer to Viktoria and me, and we - exhausted after a long but fantastic day - were ready for bed.

Viktoria and I have been to many weddings, but Egidio and Diletta's was one of our favorites. It was indeed a jovial celebration, with lovely people and a happy atmosphere, and a day that we will always treasure among our memories.

Church: Santa Lucia alla Castellina Via del Bronzino 9, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy

Reception at: Villa Il Cerretino Via Mastrigalla 51, 59016 Poggio a Caiano, Prato, Italy

Catering by: Pasticceria Bar Roberta Via Cancellieri 53, 59016 Poggio a Caiano, Prato, Italy

Egidio's website:

~ Written by: Viktoria Rusnakova & Samuele Bagnai, authors of Enthusiastic All the Way & Tuscan Who Sold His Fiat to the Pope, respectively.

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