Destination Wedding Chapter I: Apulia
In such a wonderful country like ours, so rich in architectural and natural beauty, Destination Weddings were bound to happen. Couples from all over the world, after visiting our historical towns, our landscapes and our beaches, they decide that the most beautiful day of their lives has to happen here, in Italy. Weddings like these blend with the honey moon trip to become a long trip trough some of the most famous places in Italy, such as Rome and Venice, or the coasts of Tuscany and Liguria. Destination Wedding, though, must not be seen as an exclusive of rich tourists from abroad, but it is something that we all can enjoy if we plan it properly. The love stories that fascinate tourists and that take place in Italy, like Romeo and Juliet with Verona, can be an inspiration for all of us to make our most magical day even more magical.
There are countless locations in Italy that are perfectly suited to stage a wedding, and there is no need to waste huge amounts of money to make everything memorable. If I have to name a place, the first that comes to mind is Apulia. Its sea and landscape are the best decoration that money can buy, and for the food, there are really no words apt do describe it. Even after a few years have passed, you can still think about those orecchiette, and how incredible it is that, even though it is a poor’s people dish, you have never been able to find them again, just like those. Unless, that is, you are going back to Apulia.
Trapped between two seas, the Mar Ionio and the Mar Adriatico, this lands offer hundreds of kilometres of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean Sea, and probably the most underestimated. The sea breeze reaches the inland and gently weeps through the Unesco World Heritage sites, which are the trulli, Castel Del Monte and the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo. Apulia is not, though, a single destination, but a cosmos made of a multitude of different scenarios, which include Salento, with his pictoresque beaches and famous nightlife, the National Park of the Gargano, the so called Magna Grecia with his borghi, the Valleys of Itria and, of course, the land of Bari, not counting an infinite number of individual beautiful spots.
To stage a wedding in an old masseria, or in a frantoio, which it is where they originally made olive oil, is something truly unique, bound to last in your memory. The climate is usually perfect for outdoor events, giving the possibility to create all day parties and ceremonies, with people going from the beach to town, and to medieval Villas to nightclubs. The catering is a chance to explore some of the gems from these places, since you can feast on a great variety of food, from wonderful local fish, to traditional popular cuisine. This, even though it might be “poor”, will definitely amaze even the snobbiest guest, who will eventually fall for it. The roasted meat, the wine, the olive oil and the cheese, these are only a few of the amazing discoveries that you will make, and that for some people are worth all the money in the world.
There are also occasions for a little extravaganza, at least for those who can afford it. You can find wedding parties that take place in some historical town, with their unique architecture, by the seaside, and the guests keep going back and forth from the water in their yacht and ships to the land, as you can see for example in the famous Polignano a Mare. There are also those who dedicate themselves to the inland alone, as you can find near the old capital, Taranto, where ancient cathedrals stem like flowers from the grass throughout the valleys, and they make the perfect set for dinners beneath the stars at night, where you can taste the local soft cheese variety, the burrata.
From my own professional point of view, I can say that it was inevitable for me to fall for Apulia and its places so perfect and so full of visual motivation, ready to be captured and put in a picture. The historical and cultural locations, the seaside and the natural settings, are a dream for every professional photographer. The climate is always wonderful, so that I have the lighting under control all the time and I can concentrate on the pictures, being ready to shoot as the occasion comes along. The nice food, and the wine I may say, always put people in a good fun loving mood, so that all the pictures result warm and sincere, the perfect memory of a perfect day. Destination Wedding is an unusual event, lasting longer than a traditional wedding, so that I have the possibility to shoot people in different settings, like the beach, the ceremony, the dinner and the party. What more could I ask for?