Tracey and David met, as Drew and I did, online many years ago. After four years of courtship, David proposed to Tracey in 2007 while they were on vacation at in Costa Rica after David had completed that other grueling mountain bike stage race, La Ruta de los Conquistadores. The Costa Rica race is where we first met and traveled with Tracey and David, so we are especially lucky to have now been a part of two of the important milestones in their life as a couple.
On Monday morning at 11 o’clock, we met the interpreter, Tainia, at the Municipio (city hall) of Malcesine, a 30-minute taxi ride from Riva, to sign the paperwork. Because of the sprained or broken finger impairing Tracey’s ability to put her normal signature on the paperwork, we are skeptical that this wedding is legal. Just kidding.
After the paperwork, we were able to walk around beautiful old Malcesine for some shopping at the many tourist stores and general sightseeing
and a cup of joe.
After lunch of pizza and pasta (what else?) at a waterfront restaurant, it was time to meet at the Malcesine Castle, built sometime before 590 A.D.!
It was a truly beautiful and romantic place for a wedding, and the ceremony was fantastic. Tracey and David were married by what we would call a Justice of the Peace. She was a wonderful middle-aged matron who seemed truly happy to be performing this ceremony for a couple of Irish people she had never met before. The translator was great as well, facilitating and translating the Italian civil ceremony into English. The verbiage was concise, practical, and elegant at the same time.
It must be universal to exchange rings,
kiss the bride,
and sign paperwork,
before the happy couple can be announced
at the thick walls
And go to the top of the keep.
We had several hours to enjoy the town of Malcesine before our dinner sitting, so we changed into casual clothes and walked around the beautiful town.
And then strolled down to the lake shore harbor
As dinner time approached we made our way to a cove near the restaurant below the castle
It was time for a seven course meal at the finest restaurant in town
I wish I had taken pictures of each course, but we were too busy eating! We started with potato chips, fresh olives and champagne. Second was an appetizer of cold fresh salmon and bread paired with a refreshing white wine. Third we were served an ultra thinly shaved pork salad, which surprised us all with how light and tender it was. The fourth course was ravioli in black truffle (mushroom-y) sauce paired with rosé. The fifth course was shrimp risotto for Tracey and David and grilled onion and chicken salad for Drew and me. For the main course, after a civilized 15 minute break in which we were served a smooth red wine and encouraged to take a stroll along the beach (!) came out fillet mignon. Not a tiny cutlet, as we expected, but a steak that weighed at least 6 oz and was served with gravy and sautéed potatoes. By this time, we had polished off 4 bottles of wine and enough food to last us two days, but of course we couldn’t say no to a slightly raisin-flavored sweet dessert wine to accompany our two, yes two, desserts: molten chocolate cake and panna cotta (custard). Wow, what an amazing meal. I have never eaten such a civilized and delicious meal made extra special by the wonderful conversation and company of our dear newlywed friends.
We rolled out of there to capture fireworks in celebration of Santa Anna day, and Tracey and David!