Have you seen the wedding of Amanda and Douglas? It's the Lake Como, Italy, stunner in our Fall issue. An absolutely amazing event, produced with the help of Annie Lee of Daughter of Design (more from her tomorrow!) and captured beautifully by Roey Yohai.
In the spirit of dishing some behind-the-scenes dirt and our latest destination issue, here's a little scoop on the couple's "engagement-moon." As the story notes, Doug proposed to Amanda in New York but later in the evening whisked her away to Italy to celebrate for four days on Lake Garda. Douglas recalls, "When I decided that I wanted to surprise Amanda with a celebratory trip immediately following our engagement, Italy immediately popped into mind because we'd had so much fun when I took her along for a business trip to Milan about a year earlier. After I polling some very well-traveled friends and did some research online, Villa Feltrinelli on the shores of Lake Garda felt like the ideal destination for a romantic getaway. Neither Amanda nor I had been before, though both of us had spent lots of time in the region. And what was all the more appealing, this new destination was very accessible [a 2-to-3-hour drive following a direct flight to Milan) yet still undiscovered by us both."
For Amanda and Doug, the most memorable part of the trip was the dramatic surroundings of the lake and the villa, which they say is one of the most beautiful places they’d ever seen.
"Exploring and dining in Villa Feltrinelli’s exotic gardens and inside the 19th-century villa, all against the backdrop of the lake and the still-snow-capped mountains enveloping it, was just such a refreshingly unique experience. Anyone visiting Lake Garda should visit Villa Feltrinelli, whether it’s for an excellent meal or for a view that you’ll never forget. Of course, given the locale, it made sense to explore the lake via boat, and our favorite activity was chartering boat rides from a seasoned local named Pablo. One evening before dinner at the villa, we uncorked some champagne on the boat and learned about the long, dynamic history of the area--Mussolini, living in exile during WWII, actually lived in Villa Feltrinelli until 1945.
"During the daytime, we chartered the boat to a small island on the southern part of the lake, Isola del Garda, and had a casual lunch at a restaurant on a nearby island. The best part of the daytime boat rides was just diving into the refreshingly chilly water in the middle of the lake after lounging in the hot sun on the boat. Back at the villa, it was fun to get dressed up and walk the cobbled streets of the charming local town of Gargano, still very much the same as it was 100 years ago.
"We always ended up back at the villa, however, choosing to eat our meals pretty much wherever we ended up sitting down, throughout the vast grounds; one of the true luxuries of our stay was the ability to dine essentially anywhere. There we’d encounter all kinds of travelers from all over the world, making for some very interesting conversations into the wee hours of the morning."
Before returning to Italy for their actual wedding, the couple took a pre-honeymoon trip to Paris for a few days. For their actual honeymoon, they ventured down to Positano, Italy, and Eze, France. Amanda and Doug were lucky to have met Franco Sersale, the owner of the Sirenuse Hotel in Positano, at a wedding they attended. Franco hosted the couple and showed them the sights on his boat -- allowing the newlyweds to take in the beauty of the area, with plenty of local touches.
The newlyweds finally settled down from their European adventures and later welcomed baby Jackson into their family.