Elisa and Massimiliano were married September 27, 2014, in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, at San Giacomo di Corte, the Catholic Church on the hill next to Villa Durazzo. A luncheon reception followed at Hotel Metropole, with dinner and dancing at La Torretta (“Little Tower”) in Recco, where Elisa grew up.
The back story and how Geri and I ended up as the photographers for this Italian wedding started during World War II, when Geri’s father, Jim, met the bride’s grandmother, Carla, in the town of Moena in the Dolomite Mountains of northern Italy. When the war ended, Carla told Jim, “see you in Paradise” – meaning “see you in heaven”. Heaven didn’t wait and 30 years after the war Jim and his wife, Pat, took a memorial trip to Italy to revisit the route and travel to the places Jim had seen during his military duty. When they arrived in Moena, they searched for the hotel which had been owned and run by Carla’s mother, and had housed Jim and his fellow soldiers during the war. Jim only knew Carla by her first name, and he didn’t speak much Italian. With the help of locals, he learned that Hotel Moena was gone, but discovered that Carla and her husband, Alessandro, had built and operated Hotel Laurino. The year was 1970, and since then the two families have had many exchanges and visits over several decades.
We met Elisa and Massimiliano 10 years ago while vacationing in Tuscany with Geri’s family. Elisa’s parents, Luciano and Luisa, have guided us on several of our trips to Italy, and a few years ago we treated them to a tour of the Front Range, when they stopped in Colorado during a visit to the United States.
It was a huge honor to be not only invited to Elisa’s wedding, but also to be asked to be her official photographer. Geri and I decided to take most of the month of September off, to spend time with our Italian friends at both their country home and vineyard in Tuscany, and at their seaside home in Recco. This was really a trip about immersion into the Italian lifestyle, and blending with the Cinotti family. We accompanied Elisa on a trip to the optometrist in the small village of Cerreto Guidi, on a test-run to have her make-up done, to the last wedding dress fitting, and to the local florist for some quick decision-making. We also tried to make ourselves useful by helping with the grape harvest, assisting with dessert prep for the post-wedding party, and cleaning up the roof top terrace by trimming, moving, and re-potting plants at the flat in Recco. We also found time for a few casual day trips, traveling by train, bus, or (sometimes) car, to the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci, in Vinci, Florence, Siena, Lucca, Pisa, Genoa, Portofino, and a two-day hike and overnight in Cinque Terre. This was really a labor of love and a great opportunity to finally meet Carla, who is 91-years-old!
Warmly, Geri & Kent
If you would like to see a short slideshow of our trip, please click the box below!