I’ve been separated from my good friend ‘baking’ for a short stint, but only because I traveled out to northern Italy, specifically the Veneto region, to attend a very important wedding: my brother’s! His fiance and her family live in the area but most of my family is in the south, with just a few up north, and so it’s a convenient central point for everyone to congregate and celebrate — and we sure did. Countless bottles of prosecco, sent back for recycling with nary a drop, provided ample proof of the full-day event. Prossecco is the life-blood of this area and every square inch of farmland has a vineyard placed on it, soaking up the rich soil to produce those lovely little pale grapes.
This area of Italy is certainly my favorite. Vineyards as far as the eye can see, wispy clouds always threatening to drop rain, and the slight smell of burning wood on the nose from fired ovens cooking slow meals for those who probably see them more often than not. There is a peacefulness out here that can only be found out in the Italian farmland, a peacefulness you don’t stop to take notice of until you’re out on vacation with no timeline and no strict work hours — you’re a spectator. Just another naive youth among ancient vines and olive trees that could tell stories of things far back before you were born. It’s humbling, and it makes you slow down, if only for a few moments, to take it all in and imagine yourself working and living here. Very hard work, to be sure, but more gratifying and fulfilling than working in a city behind a desk? Perhaps.
One thing is for sure: a nice afternoon walk through these vines wipes your day’s troubles away.
I watched the farmers toil the earth, the grape leaves turn ever more green in the rain, and smoke slowly rise from chimneys like smoke from an old man’s pipe. Yes this truly is a perfect place for an event such as this. The reception hall was a small bed and breakfast, Moro Barel, with an ever-turning spit jam packed with meat. That smell permeated the entire place day and night, there was no escaping the siren’s call.
The homestyle food at the reception was stellar. Each dish better than the one previous, and a special award goes to the stinging nettle risotto I wish I had taken a picture of… I couldn’t part with my fork long enough to document the dish.
Before the reception the actual wedding was at the Municipio, essentially the town courthouse, and what Italian wedding is complete without the fully restored Volkswagen Beetle dropping off the bide-to-be?
Awesome, right? That blue color, just perfect.
It’s a big thing in Italy, the restoration of older cars and scooters, especially VW Beetles and old Vespas. It’s an interesting movement actually as most people desire older cars back when they had heavy curves and a soul to their design. Not to say a brand new Ferrari or Lamborghini isn’t a beautiful sight to behold, but I can appreciate these older models and the work they put into them just as much.
It was a great ceremony and I’m incredibly happy for my brother and new sister, but truth be told she’s been a part of our family long before this event. I’m excited for them to start their new life together — auguri!
After the wedding ceremony I spent time with family for the most part with a few little trips out to see some sights and some more vineyards. One off the beaten path site we visited was Canova’s Temple in Possagno, a stunning church made in the likeness of Rome’s Pantheon (one of my favorite sites in all of Italy). We spoke to the person taking care of the place and he let us go behind a locked wooden door to climb the several flights of stairs to the top of the dome. What a view from up there. If you’re interested in architecture I highly recommend seeking out this temple, it has a wonderful mix of styles with the Doric columns, Catholic church inside, and blend of Greek and Italian influences running throughout.