Sunday, June 23, 2024

Italian Days

The Milan Duomo, which has been worked on for over 600 years.

TD and I on the roof of the Duomo, which is decorated with sculptures, pinnacles, spires and flying buttresses.

The cool and chic Villa Necchi.

At the charming shop Solamente Giovedi with its delightful proprietress Enrica Stabile.

Bello Lake Como.

The wedding ceremony of my nephew Aaron (right) with his beloved Brandon.

     TD and I are back from a recent, memorable trip to Italy. The main event was the wedding of my nephew Aaron to his beloved Brandon at a villa on the edge of Lake Como. But first we visited Milan. Both destinations were new to us and we had a wonderful time. 
    In Milan, we met our dear Dutch friends Jeannette and Dick from Amsterdam, and we stayed at the old world Antica Loconda Leonardo hotel in a second floor room that had a balcony overlooking the garden and courtyard below where we enjoyed breakfast in the morning. Milan is a big, bustling, working city, and we ventured on a hot day into the City Center to visit the great Duomo Cathedral and take an elevator up to it roof which is decorated with over 2,000 statues. The next day was not as hectic, with a visit to the chic and refined Villa Necchi house museum, which was the home of the stylish Necchi family that made its fortune in sewing machines. I loved the cool, spacious elegance of its rooms. 
   I'm pretty good with directions and quickly mastered the Milan trolley car system, which I like much better than an underground subway; you see so much on the street level from a trolley car. TD and I took two trolleys to get to Solamente Giovedi, a delightful shop that I have been following on Instagram. We went through a locked gate and the guard directed us through a courtyard where we ascended some steps into a shop where we met its proprietor, the extremely charming Enrica Stabile. We chatted for a while and I bought a green vintage plate which I carried home on the airplane. It now stands on our fireplace mantel and I love its bright color. Then Enrica suggested a great place for lunch two doors down. 
   On we went by train to Como for the main event - the wedding of Aaron and Brandon. There was a volley events -- a family dinner on Thursday night, a wedding cocktail party on Friday, the wedding on Saturday and a brunch on Sunday. All were lovely and wonderful.
    The wedding in particular was a dream; the boys conjured up a vision and created an unforgettable event. Saturday afternoon we arrived at Villa Pizzo perched on the edge of Lake Como and walked down an ancient gravel path to a terrace over the lake where chairs were set up for the wedding ceremony, which was officiated by Brandon's two sisters. After the ceremony, we walked back up the path to a cocktail hour set out of the lawn, all beautiful and elegant but relaxed. Then it was inside for a dinner with gorgeous pale golden flowers, delicious food by a Milanese chef, and great wines. A gifted DJ led some raucous dancing and later there was an after-party in the villa with colored lights on the ceiling. TD and I headed out to get a car back to our Airbnb around 12:30 or 1:00 am. It was all so fun and we were so happy to be there to celebrate the boys with family and friends. A couple of days later we flew home and now have great memories. Everything worked out very well - flights, hotels, reservations, trains, drivers, etc. We hadn't been to Europe for awhile and it was great to travel again and discover a special part of the world --