Saturday, August 25, 2007

the bride wore shades of red and orange

So the whole reason I'm here in Italy in August is because my old chum Jami, is getting re-married to her husband, Daniele. I say re-married, because they were already legally married in Chicago a couple of years ago, in a rather smartly staged elopement. Daniele is Italian, so we're all here, Americans, Italians, at least one Spaniard, various others, all family, to celebrate. Celebrating an Italian wedding includes lots of cheese, with at least one godzilla mozzarella bigger than my head. Unfortunately, it was decimated by ravenous wedding guests before I could get a picture, but here's a slice of it, surrounded by it's smaller brethren and some other members of the cheese family.

I still don't have a good idea on how an Italian wedding is handled; seems to be mostly controlled chaos, and things sort of happen when they happen. The tone is set as soon as we arrive - four of us arrive separately on the same train in Allerona, a tiny town 1.5 hours northish of Rome. We want to call someone to pick us up, but the one pay phone in town doesn't actually have a phone, just a couple of wires sticking out. Since none of us know how to hot wire the Italian telecomm system, we revert to the next public phone, located in the back of a bar next to the train station. This time the phone actually exists, but doesn't want to recognize any input from the keypad, leaving us stuck on the language menu. Out of public phone options, a couple of us try our luck at a cafe, and find a group of teens, none of whom speak English, and all of whom have cell phones. Two one-sided conversations, and lots of dialed numbers later, we have a ride. Or at least we think we do, having been given the vague assurance that "Someone will surely come to pick you up." Hmm. During the 1.5 hours that we endured this ordeal (not really - it was a nice afternoon), we noticed that cruising is the main pastime in Allerona, as the same group of cars and scooters keep zipping around the block and cutting through the train station parking lot.

Someone surely does pick us up, and we spend a day and a half lounging around farmhouses on the Monte Rufeno Natural Reservoir, wondering when dinner was going to be served (late), being bitten by mosquitoes, and making new friends. I drank only about 4 ounces of coffee the entire weekend, after an effort that required 3 people, 40 minutes, a broken perculator, and a spoon. Remember what I wrote about languid life in Rome? It's everywhere else in Italy, too. My lack of caffeine is ameliorated by mozzarella left over from dinner being served for breakfast.

Here's a pic of the bride, groom, and a multi-tiered tart with sparklers (served at 2:00am):

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