It was July this year when we made our journey for the first time to this little Italian town called Conegliano in Treviso- where Prosecco originates. Not your typical destination when travelling to Italy but we were very much looking forward to our friend's wedding there!!
We travelled via plane, train, car, boat, from LA to Florence to Conegliano to Venice, it was quite a trip mostly because of the heat!
SO! The slow but stylish Italian way... there's this series of photos on social media using two cows to explain different types economic, political and corporate system, out of which "An Italian Corporation" is explained quite precisely as...
SPOT ON! On many occasions when we asked a question and the answers we got were either a heavily Italian accented
"SOOOOOrrrrriiii... we dont know... (smile)" or
"ahhhhh... well... it's Eeetaly... (arms up, shrug and smile)"
We stayed at the Relais Santa Corce in Florence where the three michellin starred Enoteca Pinchiorri resides, we had a tour of their cellar which apparently hold one of the biggest wine collection in the world. The food was of course exquisite!
They even had a water menu stating some apparent "key indicators" such as the pH level and origin of each bottle...
The encyclopaedia-sized wine list..
With many magnum Domaine de la Romanée-Cont worth millions.
When in Tuscany... we did the vineyard in the beautiful but boiling hot Italian country side
We stopped by the now 8th generation proscuitto maker in Chianti - Antica Macelleria Falorni and had an ice cream!
The photos with the leaning tower of Pisa were obligatory
Florentine tripe (Trippa alla Fiorentina) at the local market.. WAS HEAVENLY..
We wrapped up our Florence trip with a Florentine steak also from the market
Top: Derek Lam / Sunglasses: Tom Ford
We headed to Milan from Florence on the local train, it was almost 38C. By now we have established that punctuality definitely isn't Italians strong suit, with that in mind we still booked our transport to the train station a hour in advance just in case there were any unexpected Italian-ess..
Arriving at the hotel bar at least 40 mins prior to our departure time thinking to cool off, get a quick G&T before we leave, there were no one to be seen (at this point we weren't surprised anymore, getting used to the whole Italian-ness and beginning to find it quite amusing how relaxed people are), 15 minutes later someone casually walked towards us and politely asked what we wanted to order... 15 minutes later.. our cocktail arrived, we of course had to down our drinks thinking our car would be here soon..
To our surprise the car arrived on time (-ish.. definately not by German or Japanese standard, but very much punctual in Italy). Our driver was very friendly and explained to us that we would have been very early as the ride to the station was short. When asking if the train usually departs or arrives on time, he smiled, shrugged, "ahhh... i dunnno.... i mean, it's Eeeeetaly.. ha ha ha, on time might be 5-10 minutes late or even longer, ha ha," We laughed with him while secretly hoping that's not the case.
There isn't much at the station, it was crowded, it was scorching hot and humid, we found this bookstore and made a corner our waiting spot for the next 45 minutes. THANK GOD the train was on time and the ride, very pleasant!
Arriving at Conegliano, a day before the wedding we all went to the groom's house for a pre-wedding party, as guests have arrived from all over the world, there was a buffet with yummy food, a lady singing with a guitar, a cocktail station and many many bottles of prosecco...what a great night and we had started talking about all the Italian-ness we had encountered to our Italians from London... my conclusion was all the most organised Italians have moved to London! haha!
The amazing thing about the Italians are, even though they are not the most organised, they are very willing to help, everyone is so friendly, warm-hearted and enthusiastic..
Speaking of which, on the way back to the hotel from the pre wedding party, I left my phone on the Taxi, tried to "find my iphone" it but it was no where to be detected, I was worried as there are so many photos in there that I had not backed up... we were still drinking at this point and my friend assured me that I'll get it back.. and it was an 100% certain
"Don't worry, you'll get it back!"
I thought to myself, yeah right.. but then thought there was nothing further to be done at that point so we kept the night going with more prosecco..
The next morning, i "find my iphone again" and it showed up as the phone being at the hotel!! NO WAY, i thought... surprised, suspicious and excited at the same time I quickly grabbed the phone and called the reception,
"Yes yes madam, your phone is here with us, the taxi driver brought it back this morning, and a packet of cigarette,"
God bless you!!
Not at all surprised at this point, no one in our group were sure exactly how and when we are getting to the church, but apparently miracles do happen, you just have to not stress too much about it, when in Italy, take it slowly...
Just as we were getting quite puzzled, this guy came along claiming to be the bride's brother's friend, a guy we've never met, with 2 other friends of ours we were like.. Oh.. ok, then we all got in the car.. (thinking back, isn't this what mummy told us exactly NOT to do when we were little... ) and then there we were at the church!
Dress: Lavish Alice from ASOS/ Sunglasses: Tom Ford
Bag:Bulgari/ Shoes:Pierre Hardy
I was so surprised how stylish everyone looked it as it was such a small town, but every one looked like they had just walked out from a photo taken by The Sartorialist .. I couldn't help but snapping a few shots.. From toddler to old, men to women everyone's outfit were perfectly assembled and tailored.
Necklace: Van Cleef
So it happened again... while we were just wondering.. huh? how are we suppose to get from the church to the next destination? and when were we suppose to arrive..? A guy miraculously appeared! "Hi guys! I'll take you!" without a hint of hesitation we all got in his car, no questions asked.. I guess the fact that I was able to get my phone back after having lost it gave the town great credibility and I had zero guards for anything that could potentially be perverse.. (even though mummy did say not to talk to strangers.. let along repetitively getting into stranger's cars..)
.. But then of course we arrived safe and sound at the banquet, it was at an old monastery, cocktails and drinks on the lawn before going inside
The long arched corridors surrounds the monastery was filled with various food stations, THE FOOD WAS SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOD!! I must have eaten a whole baby's weight amount..
The amazing tempura station with parmesan tempura as my favourite... see how in the picture there's nothing on the plate? yep! they were all on my plate.. haha FOR EVERYONE TO SHARE of course... haha but I easily gobbled 10+ piece.... (slurp...)
And we partied through the night... was such a beautiful wedding!
We were all leaving the next day and what else is there to finished our meet up and the amazing wedding weekend with yet more prosecco!!
Upon arrival at Congeliano, I asked the hotel reception whether we should book a taxi in advance for our journey to Venice,
"Noooooooo," (as if I've asked the most ridiculous question..)
"There's always taxi, just tell me 10 minutes before you leave,"
So we went to the reception in the morning of the day we were leaving and OF COURSE there wasn't any transportation available on the day.. and of course they were all booked...
"I am sooooooooriiiiii... it's Eeeeetaly... it's Sunday... (smile and shrug) "
(but.. but that's not what you said 2 days ago.....i thought to myself...)
By this point even my crazy planner enthusiast hubby was finding this quite amusing and was smiling and shrugging...truly blending in.. (for about 5 seconds..)
Just while we were wondering what the next step was..
Our (now) friend - Mr. stranger no.1 who drove us to the church, made a few calls.. and minutes later, this lady who spoke minimal English showed up, with a very un-taxi-like-old-ish-looking hatchback Volkswagon.. after greeting our friend, she came to us, friendly, smily,
"Hi, you going to Venice?"
We said yes, no questions asked, we hopped on and
headed to Venice.
Dress: Sisley/ Sunglasses: Tom Ford/ Bag: Givenchy/ Slip-on: Vince
Venice was touristy as usual, the part that's worth mentioning the most was our visit Da Ivo, as recommended by our friend, this is the place where George Clooney had his bachelors party before the wedding, the food was unpretentious and super yummy!
Before leaving for the airport, we called the reception to order a water taxi and asked to schedule a time to have our luggage brought down, we were told
"ohhh,, don't worry, we'll come and get the luggage now, and the water taxi would take FIVE minutes..."
..... 40 minutes later, we left for the airport and bid our farewell to Italy!
See you soon Italy~ Ciao