I turn to her and I am almost surprised not seeing a precious tiara or a crown shining among her hair. Gaia feels observed, she smiles at me blushing and then turns to look at the priest, and I start and wake up for a second from my daydream, in which we were the prince and the princess in their wedding day. In San Giacomo church, the Baroque style embellishes our ceremony with its sumptuous and elaborate details that immediately conquered Gaia’s heart when she saw them for the first time
That day, Simona Chiavaccini, our wedding planner who followed us in every detail of the preparation, guided us to visit every corner of Villa Durazzo and its luxuriant garden. Gaia was born in Liguria, but she never lived there. “I need my roots, and I want to feel like in a fairytale” she told me, when we started discussing about the location of our special day. And I didn’t have a reason to deny it to her, it would have been a day of total happiness, I promised her so. Therefore, Villa Durazzo was the first proposal we received, and the last one too, because we were completely enraptured by its seventeenth-century beauty that dominates the panorama majestically from the hill.
Following Simona, hand in hand, we venture into the centuries-old park, through its smelling citrus groves overlooking the Liguria sea, the hedges and fountains of its Giardino all’Italiana, the pines and palms of the Bosco Romantico all’Inglese. Withdrawn in the Giardino Segreto dei Principi Centurione, which offered protection to lovers in XIX century, we whispered to each other that this must be the place.
Today is a scorching day, one of those middle-summer days in which the cicadas’ call and the waves seem to be the only sounds admitted by the universe, and everything looks like it’s inviting you to seat in the palms’ shadow and enjoy the marine breeze. However, Gaia loved summer. We met in Stockholm, where rain and cold wind ruled, and it looked like she needed sea, sun and warmth as they were vitamins nourishing her. After the ceremony, after the rice was thrown by friends and relatives and the tears of emotions were dried, we head towards the main villa, that we chose for the reception.
I observe her, charmed, and she really looks like a princess in her natural habitat, she couldn’t be more radiant.
She enters the villa imperiously, towards the Sala Vaymer at ground floor, that we chose among all for its important atmosphere. With its wall mirrors and its ancient portraits of XVIII century aristocrats, the room perfectly conforms to the precious and sophisticated style of the church. Our guests look around amazed by the stucco and the impressive chandelier of what was Principi Centurione family’s dining room. We keep on smiling without being able to stop while we taste the excellent lunch prepared by Capurro Ricevimenti with great appetite, since we couldn’t even have breakfast due to our emotion.
Between a course and another, we bolt from the cheerful chaos of the banquet and go to the terrace. Below us, directly overlooking the sea, the sixteenth-century Castle of Santa Margherita is the silent guardian of our happiness. The following day we will take photos there, we will go to the beach, we will walk through the city while Gaia will describe the seventeenth-century architecture of the churches to me and I will listen to her carefully with an ice-cream in my hand. We will go back to be just ourselves. But now we are still the prince and the princess, and, with our eyes closed, we let the July’s wind rock us in our ancient fairytale just a little more.