Il Matrimonio nel Sud
This weekend was our first experience with a wedding here in Trivigno, it certainly was a fun experience. Our friends Giuseppe and Elisa had il loro matrimonio (their wedding) on Saturday.
It all started Friday night, when we joined with friends and family of il sposo (the groom) in the piazza and then with song this growing group headed off to the house of la sposa (the bride). Giuseppe serenaded his bride-to-be with the help of friends and a good portion of the townspeople. With some friendly prodding Elisa came out and joined in the singing. In typical Italian fashion, food and drink soon emerged and the festa lasted past midnight.
Saturday morning I joined Giuseppe and a few of the other men in the main piazza and we walked up the hill to the chiesa madre to await the arrival of la sposa. A short while later the bride came walking up the hill followed by a throng of well-wishers and everyone entered for the Mass. It was a beautiful matrimonio and as the couple exited the church they were bombarded by rice and small coins tossed by all those waiting outside.
A caravan of cars soon headed off to nearby Brindisi Montagna for il ricevimento (the reception). Receptions in Basilicata are no small undertaking. We were seated at assigned tables soon after 2PM and the first plate of antipasti arrived. This was followed by a break for some dancing, and then more antipasti. More dancing then the primi (pastas and risotto) with more dancing and the secondi with more interludes of dancing. All together, over a period of six hours we had three plates of antipasti, three primi, two secondi and then cake.
While everyone broke for caffé, the tables were cleared and we returned to more dancing. Then i dolci were brought out in a grand buffet. Of course this was followed by more dancing with pauses for pizza and porchetta panini. The dancing and eating finally broke-up around midnight and we were back home in bed soon after 1AM.
The night would not be over yet for gli sposi (the newlyweds) as tradition is that their hardier, and younger, friends and family continue the festa at their house until the early hours of Sunday morning.
Certainly a more grand experience with almost 300 guests and two bands than any wedding we have attended in the US. The food and its presentation at times seemed to be as much of a focus during the reception as were gli sposi. We were honored to be invited and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience.