Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dining with Royalty in Rome, Italy!

A dear friend of mine has been living a life that most would call a fairy tale, since she came to Rome in 2003 and stole the heart of a handsome Italian Prince! At the end of my blog, you will find a link to the story of how this came to be, and I hope you will take the time to read about the beautiful journey of Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi and Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi.

Princess Rita and Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi in Villa Aurora

Joseph and I visited Villa Aurora, located near the famous Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome, several years ago when Rita and Nicolò hosted our Harvard class to a magical dinner in their castle filled with priceless paintings and frescos. As I was planning our European tour, Rita was one of the first classmates to offer to host an event in my honor...and she went far beyond anything I could have dreamed...

In attendance was His Royal Highness, Crown Prince of Libya, Two Serene Highnesses, Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, of which there were two and then countless other Princes, Princesses, Count, Countesses, Marquess, etc., and even an Archbishop from the Vatican.

The Archbishop blessed our meal and Princess Rita delivered a most eloquent introduction, as well as, a heart felt thank you to each of the guests. As I stood and listened to her speak, I could not help but feel as though this was a moment to treasure...one of those moments in life when I describe the feeling as "oozing with blessings!" When Rita finished, I shared my profound appreciation to my gracious hosts and to those who were kind enough to share in this exquisite luncheon.

The meal was as magnificent as one would imagine, but most importantly, each conversation was so very special and we will treasure this surreal experience for a lifetime!

Please enjoy the photographs!

Don Marco Elser, Harvard Club Italy and Signor Patrick Gallagher

A lovely conversation with Princess Elisa Massimo

Don Marco Elser, the Princesses and Prince of the Alliatadi Montereale family, along with a family friend and Signora Sandra Seagram

How appropriate that a Guercino fresco known as "La Fama" adorns the ceiling with the mythical Phoenix - rising from the ashes more beautiful than before...

Rita guides us through the castle, pointing out the only known Caravaggio painted ceiling with oil on plaster known as "Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune" from 1597

Princesses Mirtilla and Allia Alliata di Montereale

Princesses Mirtilla and Allia, HRH Princess Ana Maria Al Senussi, Princess Rita and Don Anthony Dobrzensky de Dobrzenicz

Princess Rita and Don Anthony

Dr. Paolo Federici and Prince Vittorio Alliata di Montereale

Marquessa Gianna Terzi di Sant' Agata and Marisela Frederici

Signor Joseph, Princess Rita, and Prince Nicolò

Countess Aline Dobrezensky de Dobrzenicz, Princess Rita, and Signor Joseph in front of the Coat of Arms

Count Harry Dobrzensky de Dobrzenicz

Princess Dialta Alliata di Montereale lives with her family in Hawaii

Princess Elettra Giovanelli

Treasures within Villa Aurora - cherubs by Valesio

The sitting room where guests gather

Guercino's Aurora fresco 1621, for which the villa is named

Joseph as we were departing the villa...and the gate as we bid "arrivederci"


This link is a wonderful read, about a truly lovely couple:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/greathomesanddestinations/16iht-rerome.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Grazie! to my gracious and warm hosts, Rita and Nicolò, and to each and every one who attended this lovely luncheon held in our honor. Joseph and I are humbled beyond words and will never forget this experience or any of you!

With love and blessings,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

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