The Cervara abbey, in Portofino, has always been cloaked in a shroud of enchantment and mystery. During its seven centuries of existence, times of grandeur have followed periods of decay, and the information handed down over the centuries about Cervara blends reality with imagination, and history with legend. The prestige of San Girolamo della Cervara and its magnificent position made it the preferred destination of illustrious personalities (Francesco Petrarca, Saint Catherine of Siena, Pope Gregory XI, John of Austria and Guglielmo Marconi). The abbey reached the summit of its glory in the 1500s. For over a century, it had dominated a dozen Benedictine monasteries, thus endowing the Cervara with great power and significant riches. As a result, the complex was also coveted prey for the Saracen pirates who infested the Ligurian coast during that time. The beautiful tower in renaissance style was built to defend the facility from the terrible pirate attacks. When the current owners purchased the complex in 1990, important recovery and restoration projects were begun under the supervision of the Office of Natural and Architectural Properties of the Liguria Regional Government.

It’s impossible to remain indifferent to so much charm, history and mystery…as happened to Lisa (a wonderful Russian girl) and Paul (a charming English gentleman). For their international wedding they have chosen Italy and, particularly, Liguria, the first stop on their honeymoon after marriage and me as their wedding photographer. The day before the event, the couple entertained guests from all over the world with a welcome dinner in a charming farmhouse in the area. The wedding day was incredible in a magical setting like The Cervara.

Before the ceremony, Lisa got ready at the Hotel Santa Margherita Palace & Spa, in Santa Margherita Ligure, not close from Portofino. Her make up artist had to face an unexpected event: the airline lost her make up suitcase. The very good supplier didn’t lose her spirit but brilliantly solved the problem by collecting all the available make up from the bridesmaids and creating the perfect look for Lisa. The bride was sensual and elegant at the same time in her dress by Pronovias excellently combined with the shoes by Jimmy Choo. Paul got ready at the Cenobio dei Dogi, in Camogli. He looked very handsome in his grey suit with an impeccable black bow tie.

It was a sunny day outside and inside the couple and their guests. Despite different nationality, the two families were so well connected to each other and the guests participated in the religious ceremony in a very sensitive way. There were lots of hugs and deep looks, Lisa’s mother’s wet eyes, Paul’s bestman’s words, the bride’s sister’s reading written by her. A delicious dinner followed the rite with a special fish based menu. After the meal, a great and funny dancing party was offered to the guests who danced and laughed on the notes of a stunning French rock band. True and strong emotions, what I love the most!

Thank you Lisa and Paul! It was a pleasure to be your wedding photographer during your special days in Portofino, Liguria!

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