20015 - 04 SPRING TOUR - ITALY
...or Celebrating the marriage of Tim Huggins to Maria Elena Mannarelli

We were delighted to hear that Tim and Maria Elena had decided to wed - even more so that they wanted ESMM to join their celebrations at Anguillara Sabazia in Italy. The date of the wedding was close to our usual timing for a spring overseas tour so travel plans were made - with the enthusiastic help of Tim, Maria Elena and their family and friends. Kevin Blatch was our anchor man at home

Thursday 16 April 2015

Our accommodation was found at a campsite - Camping Porticciolo on the side of Lago di Bracciano where there were a number of four berth fixed caravans which were to be our homestead for the stay. They also had a bus and driver which was most helpful in getting us around - including airport transfers

Having arrived on an early flight,we were too early to take up the accommodation - and were hungry for lunch. Tim had arranged for us to visit an aircraft museum on the lakeshore where we ate and had an excellent guided tour of the museum and site.

Our casa - Camping Porticciolo is situated right next to the lake with a bar area, shop selling beer & wine at very reasonable prices and a marquee used for communal eating. It was early season so there were not many visitors to disturb our raucous dinners, singing thereafter and impromptu dancing. Gradually over the next 24 hours we were joined by other wedding guests from Tim & Maria Elena's workplace and friends.

Friday 17 April 2015

After breakfast, a free day today for a trip to Rome. We went in kit, but were warned that it may be difficult to dance - which proved to be so because of local regulations. The bus took us to Bracciano station and thence to Rome by train.

All the sights were there and so were the tourists even this early in the season. It was disappointing that many sights which were accessible in previous visits have now become entry by payment. Nevertheless we covered a great deal of ground for a day trip.

However some found a space - with a little help from our friends - just to add Rome to our list.

Evening refreshments and dinner , and exactly where was Bob's hand? then a trip home with a final dance on the station platform.

Saturday 18 April 2015

The big day! The camp side bus took us to Anguillara Sabazia for the wedding - a beautiful village overlooking Lac Bracciano. The Bride arrived and we stared up at the venue waiting for the happy couple to emerge to a selection of our wedding dances.

Wedding photos in the grounds the off to the reception at Cassale di Martignan on a remote part of the Lac shore for a sumptuous reception. We danced while anti pasta was served under umbrella shade in the grounds. Tim produced his usual selection of lingerie after the bridal dance.

The reception was formal with ESMM dispersed amongst Italian family and friends. Places were marked by labels styled as chickens. By tradition, the Bride & groom were isolated at a table of their own (with priority service) and it was the custom for guests to approach and offer their congratulations.

Then there was the Play - hopefully a surprise to all guests, based on the Shakespearian Roman play - a classic version of the Mummers tradition. Not sure if the Italians understood!

In the aftermath recovery period ESMM danced as a digestive

And then we lead communal dancing for all. Must say, the Italians joined in with enthusiasm with The Morris and country dancing.

Alas, time to go home collecting favors on the way - but not before Maria Elena tossed her bouquet. Kevin caught it and his partner Tracy was none too pleased when he told her.

Sunday 19 April 2015 - Viberto

Hangovers over, our Sunday tour was to Viberto an ancient town north of Bracciano. we traveled by train

This is a delightful medieval town and being Sunday was not too busy - except for a flea market. A shop holder provided a glass in exchange for a group photo outside his shop. His motorbike and sidecar turned out to be a Chinese copy.

Off back to Bracciano there was a long wait in a nearby cafe with limited seating and a strange man.

Back at the campsite there was an opportunity to wind down with a few more dances, a few beers with Tim & Elena Maria's friends and an evening meal.

Monday 20 April 2015

Last day and travel home - but not until a late flight. Time to walk into Bracciano town and have a look around there.

Our thanks to Tim and Maria Elena Huggins for inviting us to their wedding and making this trip so immensely enjoyable. We wish them every good luck and happiness in their life together.

Dick Thornborrow