Dinner at Ristorante Marina Grande

The wedding group

We arrived at Ristorante Marina Grande a bit early, but they were ready for us, placing us at a long table along one side of the restaurant, right next to the sea. Thankfully, it was a warm evening since we were dining al fresco.

Sharon and Dan peruse the menu

The centerpieces were unique

The table was elegant, but not overly lavish. Just right. Nichole’s orange bouquet added a spot of color to the simple white tablecloth. The attentive waiters served us wine and brought bread in small burlap sacks, kept fresh with drawstring tops.

How can a small hunk of bread look so elegant?

Dinner was indescribable. I won’t even try. I will let you see for yourself.

This lemon dessert made with Amalfi lemons was the bomb!

OK, now Im REALLY hungry!

Dan didnt like his much...

Andrea arrived in time to join us for dessert and plunked himself down near Tony and Gianni, the three of them gabbing away.

Andrea and Tony

But by now, everyone was getting tired

This momentous day was finally drawing to a close. It was getting late, and we were getting tired. It was time to return home. The bride and groom rode in the van with rest of us, Andrea at the wheel.  Tony and Nakita rode with Gianni in his Mercedes.

The van riders arrived back at the villa before Tony and the others. As we dragged ourselves up the steep steps, we realized that Tony had the key to get in. We would have to wait outside the green door for him to arrive.

Chris, part mountain goat

But Chris surprised us. In a flash he scaled the stone wall like a mountain goat and jumped down the other side, opening the door to let us in. So much for security. But we were grateful for his agility and clambered up the last flight of steps to the villa door.

The bride hikes up her dress to hike up the steps

Sadly, we all said goodnight. Tomorrow, we’d have to say goodbye.  In the morning, our little group was going separate ways.


Auguri in Amalfi

Andrea’s van lumbered along the serpentine coastal road to the south and soon we arrived at the foot of Amalfi, where the town meets the sea.  Andrea declined our invitation to join us for dinner, but promised to come in time to share dessert and caffé.

Cattedrale di Sant Andrea -- Amalfis amazing duomo

We poured out of the van and set about finding Kris and Nichole. Being early evening, the passeggiata was in full swing.  Everyone was out and about, strolling through Piazza Duomo which sits at the bottom of Amalfi’s dramatic duomo: the Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea.

Everyone shouts, "Auguri!" to any wedding couple they see

We spotted the wedding couple a few minutes later, smack in the middle of the piazza. They had been posing for the photographer at the top of the 62 steps leading up to the cathedral, Amalfi’s 13th century architectural masterpiece.

Now it was time to meander along as a group while the photographer clicked away. Tourists and locals alike eyed us, shouting out “Auguri!” as the couple strolled past. It is customary in Italy to call this out to passing brides and grooms, their version of  “Best wishes!”

The sun was setting as we made our way back to the waterfront. Ambling down a jetty that jutted straight into the sea, we ran into another wedding party, this one from Sweden. The two brides exchanged congratulations.

This bride is from Sweden

At the very end of the pier, a group of young adults were huddled on the ground, playing guitars and hanging out. Gianni joked with them while the photographer snapped photos of the newlyweds.

It looks like a sing-a-long, doesnt it?

It was breezy, but warm

I love this picture of my cugine Italiane, Nakita and Donatella

Candace, Allie, Chris, and Gino kick up their heels

More pictures of gli sposi and then it was time to make our way to Ristorante Marina Grande, an easy stroll away.