Wedding at Castello di San Pelagio, Padua – Gianna & Luca
I first met Gianna and Luca on a rainy evening in April, when Milan was so cold and wet that it almost felt hostile.
In that “dark and stormy night” – to quote Snoopy – I was particularly impressed by their bright smiles.
Gianna has a radiant personality, Luca is serious and determined but has a sincere handshake.
They’re getting married in July near Padua and the reception will be held at Castello di San Pelagio. It looks like an easy, textbook wedding: getting ready in a hotel, religious ceremony in a little local church, then reception in a castle.
Nobody could have imagined what would have happened.
The hotel turns out to be a termal baths’ one: a labyrinth of rooms filled with steam, pools, people strolling in their bathrobes drinking tea.
Gianna is getting ready in a suite located in a more secluded area, and she’s as radiant as the day I met her.
She’s surrounded by few selected people. There’s silence and peace, even if the sultry weather is hard to stand.
Today I’m working with Gabriele; he’s shooting a very tense Luca while he gets dressed, and then he will help me during the rest of the day.
Gianna’s father enters the suite on tiptoes.
I almost don’t notice him until I find myself facing him and his wise, sweet look. It makes me imagine the hugs, kisses, and lullabies that must have filled Gianna’s childhood and that are probably impressed in old fading photos hung on some walls.
I sense a change in the air; something is about to happen. I don’t fully understand what it is but there’s a lot going on around me, I can’t stop to contemplate the sky.
Gabriele and I shoot the same photo from two different points of view without agreeing on it, and the result amazes me.
We saw the same thing, we were surprised by the same thing.
I know it’s going to be a day full of wonder.
Something magical happens.
For some reason my Leica Q focuses on a different subject than the one I had in mind, and I realize that sometimes a mistake can lead to great discoveries.
The sky is getting darker. I manage to play with colors and geometries for a bit, then a terrible storm forces us to seek refuge in the castle.
When we arrive at the castle I get surprised once again.
I’m not in the habit of scouting the location before the wedding because I like to create at the moment (which does not equal improvising). So I didn’t know that the castle contains a Flight Museum, because Gabriele D’Annunzio started here his travel to Vienna by hot air balloon.
Since I used to work in the aeronautic field I’m in awe at every room, every corner of the garden, the castle itself.
Outside it’s still pouring.
And I love using natural light inside. I ask a puzzled keeper to turn the lights down in the Hot Air Balloons Room.
“Are you sure?”
The semi-darkness enhances that little light that comes from outside.
Light needs to be looked for and turned to your advantage.
The day is not done with its surprises.
Suddenly the warm sun comes out at the right time in the right place.
“Guys, we’re serving the risotto!”
Gianna looks at me, then at the waiter: “Go ahead and serve it, but we wanna enjoy the sun!”
The party goes on with cheers, toasts, hugs, dancing that everybody wish could never end, beer bottles opened using one’s teeth.
It’s 2am when we’re back in our hotel rooms, a bit tired but really happy we got to fully live this day.
Second shooter: Gabriele Capelli
Wedding planner: Giulia Molinari (directly from Apulia!!)