The pictures above were taken inside and outside the Basilica di Santa Maria, in the town of Impruneta, Italy. Besides a tinge of fame for beautifully crafted terracotta, this small town, in the Chianti region of Tuscany, is not well known. Almost exactly twelve years ago, we were married here. Why, you might ask? Well, some strange fate (also known as random Internet searching) lead us to the family that resides at Castello di Cafaggio and their warmth and helpfulness drew us in. Until this past May, we had not been back since that hot August week in 2001.
It was surreal to be there with the girls, so many years later. The week was full of nostalgia. In 2001, I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to bring our kids to Impruneta. Our kids. The ones I felt certain we would have. The ones I knew we would travel with. Of course, I had no idea that we would be living in Denmark…and that my little brother’s wedding in Lake Como would be the inspiration for our return. But I love the idea of making dreams come true, despite not having an exact plan for how they will transpire.
We were welcomed once again to Castello di Cafaggio like family, with hugs. Ours was the first (of many) wedding receptions at the castle. During that special week in 2001, we appreciated its rustic beauty and quintessential Tuscan surroundings. Over a decade later, some things changed, but it still lured us in with those same attributes. The castle (and the family who has lived there for centuries) is chalk-full of history, secrets, character and charm. This time we had it all to ourselves and we were able to dig deeper and explore every overgrown nook and rusty old cranny of this ancient place. During our week there, we walked the grounds, tramped through the olive groves and also just relaxed and enjoyed the views – something we didn’t have much time to do when we were there 12 years ago. The girls had their favorite spots and they spent a lot of time outside playing and exploring. As we watched them enjoy it, we fell in love with the place all over again.
A few years after our wedding, Cafaggio added a swimming pool. (Boy, could we have used that back then!) This became our picnic spot, and between day trips and walks through the olive groves, we could be found here.
And look who came to join us for a day — the newlyweds!
There are few words that can express how content we were during this week in Impruneta. Past memories were built upon. There was something very full-circle about it all. Best of all, is that within that circle, have been 12 glorious years with my best friend and true love.