25 November 2011
Posted in WEDDING IDEAS
As Autumn sets in and the days get cooler, Italy remains a spectacular place to get married. It is the season for arts, music and culture, so for all you culture vultures and history buffs out there, this is a great time to visit a country with such a rich heritage. Here is some useful information for those who want to marry in Autumn.
As well as being the season for the opera and performing arts, and a great time to visit monuments and famous landmarks away from the summer crowds, Autumn is also harvest time for plenty of delicious fare such as olives and mushrooms. In addition to this, you escape the summer heat, and find that many shops that were closed in August are again open to the public. To find out about shows and food festivals you can go to in Italy in autumn, take 8a look at our calendar of events(link).
Because it is harvest time, Autumn is a fantastic month to get married or stay in an agriturismo where you will get the chance to try all kinds of delicious fare. It is also great for atmospheric weddings in villas and castles, and you will also find some great hotel deals at this time of year. For more information on possible locations, click here(link).
Autumn flower range from delicate, colourful blossoms that seem reluctant to let go of the summer that lingers in the air until mid October, to richly coloured blooms that go perfectly with the fiery colours of the Autumn leaves and the rich, woody scents of the season.
Camellias are stunning rose-like flowers, normally in white or pink. They can be used instead of roses or alongside them in bouquets and arrangements. Most are not scented, but a few varieties are.
Dahlias. These flowers have many petals which range from large and clearly formed to thin and ragged in a “sea anemone” formation. They are colourful, and the variation in texture between dahlias allows you to be quite creative with them alone. Try hot pink and yellow for a summer feel, or burnt orange and burgundy for a beautiful Autumn themed display.
Lilies. A dramatic choice, lilies are large flowers coming in a variety of colours. They work beautifully either alone or mixed with other flowers such as roses and gypsophila. Calla lilies are a peculiar variety which deserve a mention: they have a tubular form and are usually white, but can come in a variety of colours including black, which looks incredibly striking against the white of a wedding dress.
Gladioli are slender spikes of flowers that grow that grow one on top of the other. They are often vividly coloured and can grow very tall, making them an impressive addition to any floral arrangement. The most popular colours are fiery orange and red, making them a great seasonal choice.
Iris. The most striking thing about the iris is its colour. These flowers are a brilliant, cobalt blue with a smudge of yellow in the centre, and have an unusual, flag-like shape. These can be stunning alone, but are particularly striking when placed with contrasting shapes and colours – yellow dahlias, for example.
Daisies. The simplest of flowers, the daisy usually has a yellow centre ringed with white petals although many colour variations are now available. Many brides use these flowers on their own for a simple bouquet, or with colourful roses for a burst of sunshine.
Orchids. Orchids are among the most elegant flowers in the world, and are becoming extremely popular for floral arrangements and wedding bouquets. Classically whit, but also found in varying shades of pink and purple, the orchid is perfect for an exotic, trailing effect as the stems are long and curling.
Hydrangea. These flowers grow in balls or “puffs” and come in colours ranging from greenish white to electric blue or violet. Each flower is delicate and fairly small with a neat star shape, but they grow in bundles as large as eight inches across, meaning only a few bundles will suffice for a bride’s bouquet. These can also be placed with other flowers, like lilies and roses for an interesting texture.
Roses. Red roses are the traditional token of love between couples, and a mixture of white and red roses is often used for brides’ bouquets. You do not have to limit yourself however as roses come in many colours and can be either big and extravagant or small and delicate, and combine beautifully with other flowers.
In Autumn, it is worth remembering that you can be creative with other colourful material nature has gifted us with: colourful autumn leaves make for an unusual arrangement with a seasonal feel, that is bound to be remembered by your guests. For more practical and aesthetic advice on flowers
As the weather gets colder, salads and light flavours make way for heartier, more mature dishes. This starts from the kind of produce in season, and extends to the cooking methods used.
Fruit. Most varieties of apple have now ripened, and you can find a vast array of them in the greengrocers. The sweeter varieties such as red delicious and gala are eaten fresh or in salads, whereas tarter varieties such as bramley or granny smith are often used to make delicious apple pies or apple cakes Grapes at this time of year are at their best, and again there are a variety of different types. especially interesting are uva fragola a variety of black grape with a thick skin but deliciously sweet flesh that many people grow in their gardens.
Sharon fruits are also in season. These are actually a kind of persimmon, and are a deep yellow with a sweet, tangy flavour. They are normally eaten raw, as an after dinner refreshment.
Vegetables. A great deal of fresh spinach is eaten in Italy at this time of year, either as a side dish with lemon and butter or in rustic savoury pies and in omelettes.
Beetroot is also delicious in autumn, being particularly sweet and succulent. In Italy the root is normally roasted in its skin and eaten as it is rather than being pickled, and the Italians also use the leaves of the plant to make pasta sauces.
There are also many ways of preparing that autumn staple, the pumpkin. In particular, it is worth trying pumpkin pasta in the South of Italy where it is prepared with oil and a touch of chilli, emphasising its sweetness. Finally, ceps, or funghi porcini really come into their own at this time of year, along with other varieties of mushroom and truffle. It is worth visiting some of the more mountainous regions to try these versatile delicacies at their best.
Meat and fish. With Autumn comes game season, meaning that in some areas it is possible to find delicious venison, pheasant, quail and other game meat. Game is often used to make cured meats and also ragù, a rich pasta sauce made with tomatoes and meat.
As far as fish is concerned, this is a good season for fresh sea bass and other meaty white fish. They are usually cooked in the oven with a little lemon or a splash of white wine and served with roast potatoes, or used to make a pasta sauce. Traditional autumn fare – As the weather cools down, food gets richer and heavier. In the North in particular a great deal of polenta is eaten in autumn, often accompanied by meat and by mushrooms of various kinds. In the south, time is taken to make the rich meat sauce ragù, considered by most to be too rich for summer.
In the mountains, festivals celebrating mushrooms and truffles abound, and these can be served in any number of ways. Also popular at this time of year are chestnuts, either roasted and eaten hot or used to make deserts such as monte bianco, a very sweet cake, or even in pasta dishes with various vegetables.
Autumn in Italy is still very mild, but cooler than summer and more changeable. It is still warm enough to go to the beach for much of the season, and many people carry on bathing in the sea until late October, although the chance of rain makes a beach wedding risky. Autumn evenings are much cooler however, and are perfect for celebrations in villas or castles.
Average conditions for Naples (Campania) in Autumn:
September – Min/Max Temperature, 16/26°C. Sunlight hours, 8. Chance of rain, 16%
October – Min/Max Temperature, 12/22°C. Sunlight hours, 6. Chance of rain, 29%
November – Min/Max Temperature, 9/17°C. Sunlight hours, 4. Chance of rain, 35%
(Figures from www.bbc.co.uk/weather)