La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - An Intimate Affair in the Italian Countryside
When Andrea and Marco decided to get married, they knew they wanted an intimate wedding that captured the beauty and tradition of Marco's family homeland in Puglia. Though they lived in Milan, Puglia's rolling hills dotted with gnarled olive trees, crumbling stone fences, and charming historic farmhouses captured their hearts. It embodied generations of Marco's family history and promised the perfect rustic setting for their dream wedding.
After exploring farmhouses across the region, they fell in love with Masseria Torre Coccaro, a restored 16th-century villa nestled among olive groves near Fasano. Its warm golden stone walls, vaulted ceilings, and blooming wisteria promised romance, while its sprawling grounds, courtyards, and terraces offered plenty of options for their family-style wedding.
Andrea and Marco kept the guest list small, inviting only 55 of their nearest and dearest, knowing that the cozy masseria would feel intimate. Guests arrived a couple days early, greeted with aperitivo on the sunny courtyard as Andrea and Marco reconnected with cherished friends and family.
The wedding day dawned bright and sunny, the air perfumed with orange blossoms. The ceremony took place in the masseria's elegant living room, its French doors thrown open to the gardens beyond. Garlands of wisteria draped the doorway as Andrea walked down the aisle to join Marco before their loved ones. Readings incorporated local writer Giovanni Pascoli's poetry, paying homage to Puglia's rich literary history.
After the ceremony, the party moved outside for a feast al fresco on the courtyard. Tables overflowed with Pugliese delicacies: handmade orecchiette, melt-in-your-mouth burrata, sweet ripe tomatoes, and platters of local seafood. Guests lingered for hours, savoring the food, sharing stories, and taking in the atmosphere.
What else is in this post?
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - An Intimate Affair in the Italian Countryside
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Transporting Guests to a Bygone Era
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Honoring Generations of Family History
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Infusing Local Traditions into the Celebration
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Tying the Knot Under a Canopy of Wisteria
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - An Alfresco Feast Showcasing Regional Cuisine
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Raising a Glass of Primitivo Among Olive Groves
- La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Dancing the Tarantella Under the Stars
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Transporting Guests to a Bygone Era
The masseria transported guests back in time, immersing them in the heritage of the region. As friends and family arrived at the 16th-century villa, it was like stepping into a fairytale. The golden stone walls with their historic patina cast a romantic glow, and bursts of purple wisteria added pops of color. Inside, soaring ceilings peaked above weathered brick floors adorned with woven rugs in traditional Pugliese patterns.
The living room where Andrea and Marco held their ceremony evoked generations past with its antique furnishings and roaring fireplace, yet nods to modernity like cozy lounge seating kept it current. Vaulted arches flanked the wood-beamed ceiling, amplifying the officiant's words for an intimate experience. When the French doors along the back wall opened onto the courtyard, it transported guests into the couple's own secret garden.
After the ceremony, we mingled in the courtyard under strings of sparkling lights. Stone pillars entwined with vines stood sentinel as we helped ourselves to aperitivo. The fairy lights above lent a magical ambiance, yet the smell of food wafting from the outdoor kitchen and the sound of lively chatter connected us to the present.
At dinner, we dined al fresco at tables displaying the couple's impeccable style. Covered in crisp white linens and decorated with olive branches, wildflowers, and stacks of brightly painted ceramic dishes, they created a contemporary tablescape with roots in local tradition. As servers presented dish after dish of Pugliese cuisine, I was continually delighted by the way moments from my past came alive through taste and smell in the context of this enchanting setting.
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Honoring Generations of Family History
For Andrea and Marco, honoring generations of Marco's family history in Puglia was profoundly meaningful. Though they lived in Milan, holding their wedding at an ancient masseria near Marco's ancestral village allowed them to physically connect to his heritage. The land itself told a story.
As guests arrived, they gained a visceral understanding of the hardships and simple joys those before them experienced. The gnarled olive trees surrounding the villa bore witness to centuries of backbreaking labor yet also endless bounty. The arid fields rolling to the horizon spoke of both scarcity and community. Even the crumbling stone fences bespoke the passing of time and connection to the earth.
Inside the masseria, generations of furnishings evidenced the continuation of tradition. Handwoven rugs in traditional Pugliese patterns graced weathered brick floors, echoing textiles crafted decades before. Ornate wooden furnishings and locally forged ironwork harkened back to a time of meticulous artisanship and families gathered around the hearth.
The ceremony honored history through readings of poetry by Giovanni Pascoli, one of Puglia's most cherished writers. His words in their native tongue resonated deeply for Marco's family, transporting them to childhoods when those same verses filled their homes. For Andrea, the poetry allowed her to connect to the place that nurtured the man she loved.
At dinner, platters laden with classic Pugliese dishes like melt-in-your-mouth burrata, pillowy orecchiette, and glistening olives cultivated for generations linked everyone to the region's culinary heritage. Local olive oil, tomatoes, artichokes, and seafood reminded us that the surrounding land and sea sustained Marco's family for hundreds of years.
Even the music and dancing honored the past. After dinner, live musicians played the tarantella, evoking a tradition still woven into local culture. Marco and his family whirled across the stone courtyard in graceful celebration of all who came before them.
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Infusing Local Traditions into the Celebration
Andrea and Marco made local traditions a cornerstone of their celebration, infusing each element with touches that honored Puglia's heritage. From the cuisine to the music and dancing, they wove the region's time-honored customs throughout their wedding. This not only delighted Marco's family, allowing beloved practices to live on, but gave Andrea's family and friends a taste of the traditions that shaped the man she loved.
The cuisine provided the primary conduit for experiencing age-old Pugliese customs. Andrea and Marco showcased the area's fresh, seasonal ingredients, serving heirloom recipes crafted by local cooks. Dishes like handmade orecchiette dressed simply with sausage and broccoli rabe or tangy burrata crowned with gutsy olive oil spoke of the generations of families who prepared them. Octopus simmered in tomatoes, platters of briny olives, and seafood like red prawns and freshly caught bass honored the bounty of the surrounding seas that locals have relied on for ages. Cucumbers marinated in local white wine vinegar and platters of just-ripe figs and apricots plucked straight from the trees surrounding the masseria continued seasonality's strong tradition. With each bite, guests gained insight into the cooking techniques and ingredients woven into daily life over centuries of Pugliese culture.
Beyond cuisine, Andrea and Marco's choices of music, dancing, and poetry celebrated time-honored local customs. After dinner, lively musicians arrived to lead guests in dancing the tarantella, a quick, energetic folk dance deeply ingrained in Italian heritage. Andrea and Marco laughter-filled attempts to whirl and twirl their way across the stone courtyard reminded me of scenes from generations past. Readings of poetry by beloved local writer Giovanni Pascoli in the original Italian during the ceremony resonated deeply for Marco's family, taking them back to their childhoods when his work permeated their homes. For Andrea's family, hearing the lyrical words in a language foreign to their own ears provided a window into the beauty woven into her new husband's upbringing.
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Tying the Knot Under a Canopy of Wisteria
When Andrea first visited the elegant courtyard of Masseria Torre Coccaro, she was enchanted by the canopy of pale purple wisteria draping itself from the stone pillars and arches overhead. Its delicate clusters of blossoms promised not just beauty, but symbolism - wisteria endures for generations, growing stronger and more resilient with time. To Andrea, it represented the lifelong love she hoped to build with Marco. She knew instantly this would be the perfect spot for them to exchange their vows.
On the day of their wedding, Andrea was thrilled to see the wisteria in full bloom, creating a floral awning under which their intimate group gathered. The soft purple hue lent an ethereal feel, transporting their guests into a romantic secret garden. As Andrea walked down the stone path between aisles of loved ones, the shadows cast by the wisteria leaves dancing overhead in the breeze made her feel as if she were in a midsummer night's dream. Joining Marco underneath the canopy, she was cocooned in beauty for a ceremony focused solely on their commitment.
When the officiant prompted them to share their vows, the dappled sunlight filtering through the wisteria's blooms cast a magical glow over them. As they held hands and professed their devotion, it felt as if the universe was smiling down on their union. The wisteria bore witness as they embarked on a new chapter, offering a benediction of sorts with its tranquil beauty.
Even after the ceremony concluded, the wisteria's presence endured. As guests mingled for aperitivo in the courtyard, the blossoms nodding in the gentle breeze reminded us of the heartfelt vows just exchanged. The purple clusters became part of the backdrop later in the evening as well, when live musicians played for dancing under the stars.
While Andrea and Marco's wedding incorporated many meaningful nods to Marco's Puglian heritage, from the poetry readings to orecchiette dinner, the wisteria canopy during the ceremony held special significance for the couple. The flowers' symbolism of an enduring, ever-strengthening bond reflects the resilience Andrea and Marco envision for their own marriage. And the ethereal beauty of exchanging vows underneath its protective shelter created a moment of magic they'll treasure forever.
Many brides since have drawn inspiration from Andrea's wisteria canopy for their own ceremonies. Those coveting an elevated garden aesthetic have recreated the look with potted wisteria rented for the occasion. Others have timed their weddings to coincide with the flowering of estate grounds already showcasing mature wisteria vines. Urban brides have ordered wholesale bunches of wisteria to suspend above aisles in historic warehouses or loft spaces, mimicking the swooping branches Andrea and Marco stood beneath.
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - An Alfresco Feast Showcasing Regional Cuisine
The feast served up al fresco in the masseria's courtyard remains one of the most memorable elements of Andrea and Marco's wedding for many guests. The menu showcased Puglia's bounty, presenting time-honored recipes that connected us to generations past as they nourished our bodies and spirits.
Platters laden with local specialties like pillowy burrata crowned with a drizzle of gutsy olive oil, orecchiette pasta dressed simply with sausage and broccoli rabe, and bowls of plump, briny olives accumulated down the long wooden tables. Seafood like red prawns and bass just hauled in from the nearby Adriatic Sea spoke to the surrounding waters' continued importance. Octopus simmered in tangy local tomatoes and accompaniments like sun-ripened figs and apricots picked just steps away from our feast honored the seasonality so essential to real Pugliese cooking. Even the local Primitivo wine came tied to the land, with its heartiness shaped by the rocky soil under the relentless Puglian sun.
With each bite and sip, we connected viscerally to the ingredients' origins and gained insight into the lives of generations past. The hand-rolled orecchiette crafted specially for the occasion by elderly local women linked us to decades of cooks kneading this traditional pasta shape by hand. The pale green Vernaccia olive oil conjured up images of their family members once toiling among the olive trees to extract each drop. The scarlet prawns spoke of fishermen rising before dawn to haul in their catch just as their grandfathers did.
Beyond the food itself, everything from the serving platters to table decor further reinforced the heritage on display. Ceramic dishes in vibrant hues of blue, green, and gold added pops of color down the table while honoring the artisans whose pottery defines Puglian design. Woven placemats in traditional patterns echoed rugs handcrafted in the area for generations. Centerpieces of fig branches and tumbling wisteria linked back to the surrounding trees.
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Raising a Glass of Primitivo Among Olive Groves
As the sun dipped below the horizon, Andrea led Marco and their guests beyond the courtyard with its empty plates and flickering candles to a secluded corner of the estate. Here, among the tidy rows of centuries-old olive trees, blankets and pillows awaited atop the sparse grass.
We settled in nooks among the tree trunks, comforted by thick blankets and the murmur of easy conversation. Servers circulated with bottles of ruby-hued Primitivo harvested from the nearby vineyards of Manduria. As Andrea filled our glasses, she shared her appreciation for the family wineries who crafted this iconic Pugliese wine varietal. Savoring the first sips, I noticed how the wine's distinctive hearty flavor captured the essence of the land. Much like the families who have farmed this unforgiving terrain for generations, Primitivo has adjusted over time to thrive. Its deep color and ripe fruit notes reflect the relentless Mediterranean sun that concentrates the grapes' sugars on the vine. The bold tannins mirror the sturdy resolve required of olive and vine growers toiling amidst the arid rocky soil. This wine encapsulates the story of its context.
Passing the bottle around our blanket, we let the Primitivo spark conversations about the surrounding landscape. Marco's uncle pointed to a distant hill silhouetted against the moonrise, reminiscing about playing there as a boy after helping his father press olives in the grove. A local childhood friend of Marco's recalled long summer days when village kids would sneak into a neighbor's vineyard to snack on warm, sweet grapes before plunging into the Adriatic. With every tale prompted by the flavorful wine, the gnarled olive trees witnessing our laughter grew more animated with memories.
La Dolce Vita: A Fairytale Wedding at a historic Puglia Farmhouse - Dancing the Tarantella Under the Stars
As the last of the farewell espressos were sipped and hugs shared under the glow of paper lanterns in the courtyard, the live band began setting up, eager to infuse the night with traditional tunes. Strings of lights draped between olive trees sparkled to life, transforming the grove into an impromptu dancefloor for celebrating generations of heritage.
Andrea and Marco led the first dance, attempting the quick, lively steps of the tarantella. Laughter erupted as they twisted and turned, the women’s skirts twirling like brilliant flowers. The newlyweds’ shared joy illuminated the darkness as family and friends clapped to the driving rhythm. I glimpsed Marco’s grandmother singing along, transported back to her youth.
The band accelerated and other couples joined the dancers. Marco’s father guided his aunt, the years falling away as they whirled. College friends linked elbows, skipping and spinning with carefree smiles. Even children darted among swaying skirts, mimicking their parents’ graceful steps.
Watching generations celebrate custom together forged connection across cultures. Though my family hails from Germany, clapping along filled me with nostalgia for my Oma and Opa’s backyard polka parties. Witnessing Marco’s roots etched deeper understanding of the man who captured Andrea’s heart.
Olive branches whispered overhead as Andrea was swung back into Marco’s arms with a breathless kiss. Their circle now formed a spiral pulsing outwards as more couples gravitated to the dancefloor. Swept up in the tarantella’s tempo, I partnered with Marco’s hip-swaying aunt, attempting my best approximation of the quick steps. Our shared laughter harmonized with the musicians’ lively mandolins.
Under the stars, away from the farmhouse’s beautiful yet confined stone walls, inhibitions dissolved. Here we danced unwatched among the olive trees, connecting to loved ones, heritage, and even ourselves. The tarantella’s history hummed beneath our feet from generations stamping out worries among those same gnarled trunks. Lifting my arms towards the moon, I imagined women dancing this same healing dance centuries ago, binding communities.
These moments will linger even after sore feet heal: Marco’s grandfather singing in Italian while cradling his tiny granddaughter asleep in his arms. Andrea’s friend leaping and twirling like she was born to tarantella among the olive grove. The way my partner beamed when I managed to learn the simple footwork.