Monday, April 25, 2011

Prelude to My Roamin Holiday Giveaway

To kick off my Roamin Holiday Giveaway,

I thought I'd take a stroll down memory lane of my own Roman Holiday in October of 2007 when my brother Stephen and his wife Wendy were married  at The Vatican.

Stephen & Wendy rented us a villa in Castel Gandolfo.

Castel Gandolfo is a small town in Lazio that occupies a height overlooking Lake Albano about 15 miles south-east of Rome on the Alban Hills.

It is best known as the summer residence of the Pope.

 (View of our villa)

It was voted one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It includes almost the whole coastline of Lake Albano and is surrounded by many summer residences, villas and cottages built during the seventeenth century.

(Relaxing in the villa)

 Here we are eating, drinking and sharing good times in the villa's kitchen downstairs.

The Main Square in Castel Gandolfo with the Pope's residence in the background.

We were so fortunate to be able to attend the Papal Blessing while we were there as it's a rare privilege.

 - Don't be fooled by their designer duds. Under those bright, baggy bloomers and a tilted beret stands a lean, mean fighting machine as well as a courteous helper of lost or curious tourists.

He is a Swiss Guard. He stands at least 5 feet 8 inches tall, is an ironclad Catholic of "irreproachable" character, young and single, has clocked in at least 19 birthdays and usually no more than 30, and he is Swiss.

He also has completed rigorous entrance requirements and Swiss army training, making him a member of an elite guard who is ready at any moment to sacrifice his life for the pope.

The papal Swiss Guard tradition has been marching on for nearly 500 years -- making it the oldest, continually active military corps in history.

Here we are inside the courtyard waiting for the Pope to appear out on the balcony.

 It was surreal!

He spoke beautifully in several languages making sure to bless everyone in the crowd.

Afterward the crowd dispersed into the Main Square.

 The following shots are some of my favorite images captured during this memorable trip.

historic road built by the Romans in 312 BC

 Lake Albano


Lots & lots of pasta!

And finally the big day!

you are probably wondering how my brother pulled off getting married at The Vatican.

Well, here's the story.

We are blessed to have a very close family friend,  a priest named Father Richard Mangini, who we consider to be a part of our family.

He has been there for us through countless weddings, baptisms, holidays, birthdays, confirmations, graduations, anniversaries, and deaths.

So when Stephen asked him if there was any way he could marry them at The Vatican, Father Mangini called up his cousin Cardinal William Levada who serves as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

And that's how we all ended up here on this unforgettable day on October 2, 2007 to witness Stephen and Wendy say their vows in this awe inspiring chapel at The Vatican in Rome.


I was completely overcome with emotion.
It was an experience I will never forget!

Wendy's parents arranged a private wedding reception at the Hotel Hassler.

Hassler Roma is the legendary luxury hotel located at the top of the Spanish Steps.

The meal and service were beyond compare.

We raised our glasses to the happy couple and our gracious hosts.

The beautiful bride and Father Mangini.

The fabulous cake!

Our celebratory kiss!

After the reception as we descended the Spanish Steps...

people stood up to clap and cheer the newly wed couple... it was an amazing moment!

We made our way to the Trevi Fountain...

where a traditional legend holds that it is lucky to throw three coins with one's right hand over one's left shoulder into the fountain!


My Roamin Holiday Giveaway!

New treasure listed at 


" SHABBY JUNK" said...

Went to Rome about 2002 and this brings back alot of wonderful memories. How wonderful to get married there! Great photos! thanks judy

Unknown said...

That is just amazing.. what an experience! Beautiful story and photo's, xo S

vignette design said...

Absolutely amazing Terri! How lucky for you and your family!
I was hanging on your every word!

M said...

Any event held at the Hotel Hassler would be more than worthy of blog coverage; anyone who knows Rome well will know that. But the overall occasion -- a Vatican wedding -- of course puts even the Hassler well into the shade.
Many thanks for sharing your family's event, documented lovingly with so many excellent and unique photos. One of your best-ever posts! (Which is saying a lot.)
All the best,

Unknown said...

I read this, just repeating, "oh my gosh" over and over! This is truly just amazing. The story, the bride and groom, the Spanish Steps (oh...I haven't stood on those in 20 years!)....wowza!

Thanks so much for sharing this today! Loved it!
xoxo elizabeth

L said...

I just saw eat pray love for the first time and between that movie and this post my hand is forced. I must go to italy!!!

Burlap Luxe said...

Beautiful Memories, You had me so captivated in as much as I felt like I new all these people and family as well:)

Terri you looked so comfortable in Rome as if this is where you belong! I need to take a trip and see Rome more then ever now!!

What a honor to have one dream wedding like this.

This was a beautiful post...
See you soon

Tricia Rose Rough Linen said...

Thank you sharing this wonderful family moment and the magnificent photos (nude dude in window?) - I hope you enjoyed reliving it as much as I did discovering it!

La Brocanteuse said...

Just glorious T! thank you for taking us along down memory lane-much enjoyed! Hugs Colette ~ Afrique du Sud

Julie@beingRUBY said...

wonderful shots of my favourite place on earth... i threw my threw coins too.. one for luck.. one for love and one to return to Roma.. so still hoping they all come true.. haha

hope you had a lovely easter. ciao xxx Julie

Seawashed said...

What a dream come true experience for your entire family. It was truly beautifully spectacular. Now that I am Catholic(confirmed on Easter) this all means even more to me. Thank you for sharing this special occassion with us. I loved seeing everything from your view...especially the every day people moments. You are so pretty!!! Looking forward to tomorrow.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Oh Terri, this is a fabulous post! Your memories and photos are superb. I especially love the pictures of you and Chris...what a beautiful couple you make. I hope you leave this post up for a few days so everyone gets to see it. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience with us. XO

Olive said...

We bought our wedding bands in Florence and love Italy. What a very special wedding for your family. I love the picture of them at the fountain.

Kathysue said...

Terri, what a fun journey you just took us on. That is an amazing story. I just visited the Vatican this year and I can not imagine having a wedding ceremony there amaaaaazing!! I also love seeing you and Chris, such a pretty couple, xo Kathysue

Theresa Cheek said...

OMG!!!! Snif! Snif!! What a fabulous post Teri! These photos are completely priceless. Thank you for sharing this!!

Jacque Ferreira said...

GREAT! post, what an amazing experience. Thank you for dropping by my blog with such enthusiasm, I would love to get to meet you in person someday as well. We do travel around your area often to deliver product to stores. TH girls have said we have a lot in common and should share! Thanks for following my sites, I'll keep checking back... have a great week~ Jacque

Unknown said...

What a great story! You always land in the funnest places!!! xoxox

Beach House Living said...

Oh my goodness going to Rome is one thing. Attending a wedding at the Vatican is out of the park! It must have been like heaven...pun intended.

Patricia said...

I just emailed my daughter saying, "Let's plan your wedding at the Vatican!" Then I emailed our parish priest who said, "I didn't know she was engaged!" She isn't. She's not even dating anyone. But I think we're going to start planning a Vatican wedding anyway!

Thank you for sharing this amazing story and these beautiful pictures!

Ana María

for the love of a house said...

omgosh.... I am speechless. That was absolutely AMAZING!! Fabulous, fabulous story!


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