• Sat09April 2016
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  • My Big Fat Italian Wedding 2016: The Venue

    If you happen to follow me on Instagram (Becsinter – after Inter Milan), you’ll have noticed a few images of our recent whirlwind week in Italy where we planned our #BigFatItalianWedding. It was important to us that we could both say thank you to everyone who will be involved and also take a look again at our venue Castelvecchio in Sagrado.

    Setting the scene for an Italian wedding

    Setting the scene for an Italian wedding

    Castelvecchio – a building steeped in history

    Built at the end of the XVI century by Count Tasso della Torre, Castelvecchio is a villa steeped in history. Once the home to many a noble family, the Della Torre Valsassina is bound in marriage with accounts Hofer – Hohenlohe, its estate was used in the First World War by the command of the Third Army of General Cadorna and King Vittorio Emanuele III. Therefore, the villa is a fantastic example of Venetian style with its two grand halls on both the first and the second floor. The latter is the more elegant and provides a blank canvas for dining in style as there is original fresco detailing in the corner and stucco work throughout.

    The banqueting hall

    The banqueting hall

    The banqueting hall on the lower ground floor is however the more interesting of the two, well in my mind anyway, as it still wears the marks of the soldiers stationed there while the Italians wrestled over the territory with the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. If you look closely, you can see graffiti of the men who fought for this slip of land that lies in the region Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, which lies very close to the Slovenian border.

    The grounds

    DInner outside

    DInner outside

    While the villa may be a blank canvas for any event, it was the grounds of Castelvecchio and the views that won us over. The house stands in the middle of the Parc Ungaretti – a place of outstanding beauty – and when stood on the outdoor veranda, where cross-fingers we’re going to be hosting the majority of our ‘entertainment’, you can see as far as the sea. With enough shade to shelter people from the sunshine (if it’s a particularly warm day) and olive groves and vineyards surrounding the park, the grounds set the scene for what we hope to be a tranquil, relaxed and joyous day.

    The poet Ungaretti

    Giuseppe Ungaretti was a poet who was said to have stayed at Castelvecchio during the First World War. Unfortunately for us, he was more the Italian equivalent of Wilfred Owen than William Blake as we discovered when my partner-in-crime purchased a copy of his work. Bleak? Not half – his poems describe the darkness and solitude of war so not exactly what we’d want to be reciting on our big day.

    The wine

    The vineyard

    The vineyard

    The villa and grounds are part of Castelvecchio’s vineyards and therefore the wine served on the day has been produced by the land surrounding the venue. And I have to say, it’s pretty darn fine, thanks to the Karst land where the grapes are planted. This particular territory holds water in basins below the rocky surface, which can then be used to water the grapevines. The result is a delicious range of red and white wines.

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