I came across this post and it sparked a lot of memories so I decided to update it and share again. Gina and Michael were married 10 years ago in September so I think this is an appropriate time to share. I definately got emotional seeing many of these photos again. For anyone wondering, Gina and Michael now have 3 children and are living their best life!!
There are so many things to say that I just can't get all of it in here. I want to start by thanking Michael and Gina and their families for making this experience possible. Not only was it an amazing opportunity to photograph Michael and Gina's Destination Wedding in Rome, but I've made some friends and enhanced other friendships in ways that would have never happened any other way. That to me, was the most valuable part of this trip.
Some interesting notes:
1. Though I was aware of the historical significance of running water in ancient Rome, I was unaware of just how proud they are of their water still today. They still get their water from an aqueduct that supplies all the fountains in the city and makes all of the water not only drinkable, but also cold and tasty! One of these fountains is the beautiful "Aqua Felice" across the plazza from Santa Susanna you see pictured below which was reopened about two years ago and is a great source of pride.
2. In the states, every building is no more than a few hundred years old. In Rome there have been buildings dating back to 2500 years ago. So ancient Roman Ruins lie throughout populated areas in downtown. Historical digs are not in the desert or in a park, they are under current buildings! I guess this should have been obvious to me, but current Rome is build on top of ancient Rome. Santa Susanna is no exception. There are multiple buildings and great history at this location. The site dates back to the time of Jesus Christ and a home was built there in 280 A.D. which became the home of Santa Susanna. You can read more about the history of her family and her somewhere else! The building was converted to a place of worship in 330 A.D. and rebuilt in 796 A.D. The great earthquake in the 12th century as well as the general demize of Rome made necessary to restore the building complete with the frescos we see in the wedding photos here in 1602 A.D.
A couple notes that are unique to the Roman Churches that we don't see here. In the states, the front of our churches are steps to an altar. In most Roman basilicas the steps go around to the side as the crypt is in the center. The crypts are what you see Tom Hanks entering in "Angels and Demons" with was partially filmed at Santa Susanna. They are also ancient. Also since this was built on top of historical sites, there are archeological digs underneath it. In the room where Gina got ready, there is a glass floor to see some of this history. Another major difference is in the artistry. Many Roman basilicas were built in the renaisance period where the artists of the time were often used to decorate the churches. As a result, the architecture is beautiful, but the artwork is breathtaking. For example, I couldn't count on my hands how many churches with more beautiful architecture I've been in than the Sistine chapel. But the artwork of Michaelangelo is utterly ridiculous. You can see some photos of that on my facebook page.
On to the wedding! Linda and I arrived a day early which made us experts on Roman culture, the best restaurants and how to cross the street! If you're wondering about that, you'll just have to ask me. I found it amazing how everyone yeilded to you there at crosswalks, intersections and wherever. We spent some time walking around, sampling food and wine and enjoying the sites. On our first night with Michael, Gina and their family and friends we almost passed what turned out to be one of the best experiences of the trip. La Fontana al Viminale. After that night, Evo and Mina were invited to the wedding and after a follow up trip the next day, sure enough come Tuesday they showed up with two beautiful floral arrangements and some roses which turned into bouquets and for bridesmaids and flowers for Mary. That night they had their wedding dinner at that same restaurant served by those very same people complete with traditional Itallian wedding cake and street vendors playing "happy birthday" because they must have thought that we played that at all American celebrations! It's the thought that counts right!?
There are many more stories to tell, but I'm hoping Chris, Gina, Michael, Brooke and CC will fill some in for me in the comments section.... and maybe if we're lucky.... Jill?... Jill! Looking for Jill here! Or not!!
To see some additional photos from this Destination Wedding check out our fan page on Facebook!