To anyone else this is just a photograph of a woman walking up some steps in a beautiful Italian town. Even I, the woman in the photo, have looked at it many times and thought of it as just that.
I posted this photo on social media recently and as I wrote the caption, the memories of that day came flooding back and it dawned on me how even the simplest of pictures can have such an intense meaning or share a treasured lifelong memory.
Santa Margherita Ligure had always been high up on the list of places I wanted to visit on our tour of Northern Italy. For a time during ‘wedding planning’ I was set on us getting married in Italy and I had found a venue in Santa Margherita Ligure that was so beautiful I could only dream of being able to get married there. It was a 17th century villa, surrounded by established gardens and with a stunning black and white patterned terrace sitting at the front of it, overlooking a sea of endless blue.
I was so set on us getting married outside (and the husband-to-be was going with it) that the fear of the British weather had led our search to Italy, one of the most beautiful countries in the world and blessed with almost endless sun. I spent many a moment imagining how the day would be at the villa, picturing our friends and families on the terrace sipping on ice cold drinks in the sun, chatting and laughing.
As time went on it became apparent that the legalities would restrict us from the type of outdoor wedding that we were hoping for so we opted to hold our wedding in England instead. The day could not have been more perfect; it was relaxed and intimate with just thirty of our closest family and friends, held in beautiful gardens beside a summer house adorned with peach peonies and pure white open roses. From the moment we met each others gaze as I started to walk down the aisle everything else melted away; no detail was important, we were each others everything.
When we visited Italy several months later we stopped in beautiful Santa Margherita Ligure on our way to Portofino and decided to visit the Italian villa that we had almost selected as our venue. We wandered through the streets in the beaming sun and as we meandered our way up the steps towards the villa I felt a flutter of nerves. The villa was breathtaking and so peaceful as we wandered around the garden hand in hand with a feeling of contentment that despite it’s beauty, our day had been so perfect that we couldn’t imagine having enjoyed the day anywhere other than our chosen venue.
This photo was taken that morning.
Watch the video below for the full vlog of our trip including all of the best vegan eats from along the way: