Still June 10, 2010
This evening, the beloved upper deck of the villa would be transformed into the venue for Kris and Nichole’s romantic symbolic wedding, symbolic because the official civil wedding had already taken place in the morning.
After our breakfast at Hotel Margherita, we still had several hours before the symbolic wedding would take place, scheduled for 5:30. We returned to the villa to relax. Everyone was in an ebullient mood. Donatella had forgotten her swimsuit, so she simply rolled up her pants and strode into the pool.
Kris, Gino, and I decided to zip down to the beach for a celebratory swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Kris stuffed three wine glasses and a bottle of wine into his backpack, and off we went, heading towards the tiny beach below the main part of town.
As luck would have it, on this lucky day, the Flavio Gioia rumbled past just as we hit the road. We climbed on and a few minutes later hopped off at the top of the circuitous trail that leads down to Gavitella Beach.
The trail down to the beach was amazing, filled with a variety of unusual sights.
The beach was almost all ours. Parking ourselves on a rocky promontory that jutted into the sea at the foot of the hillside, we spread out towels and plunged in. After our dip, we stood in a triangle, raising our glasses for a congratulatory toast.
“Just think!” I said to Kris. “You’re swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in Italy on your wedding day!”
“I feel different,” he told us, an earnest but twinkly look in his eye. “It’s a subtle but distinctive shift. I can feel that something has changed.”
We made another toast and sipped our wine, enjoying the sun and the lingering magic from the morning.
Not wanting to lose track of time, we gathered our things and hiked back up the hill. Oddly, the way up seemed much shorter than had the way down. Back on the main road, we decided not to bother waiting for a bus and just trek up the steep incline, enjoying the views as we walked.
In the meantime, Dan had secretly taken the Amalfi Coast book that Pasquale had presented to Kris and Nichole that morning and scrambled over to Angelo’s house, identifiable by the flags Angelo was supposedly flying in our honor.
Dan knocked on the door and after a few minutes Angelo appeared, wearing boxers. He had been taking a nap. Dan asked if he would mind autographing his picture in the book as a surprise for the bride and groom. Angelo readily obliged.
Slowly, the afternoon hours lazily drifted away. It was time to prepare for yet another wedding.