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Weddings in Sorrento and in the Sorrentine Peninsula

Old time customs »


In the time of ancient Rome, weddings in Sorrento were characterized by the custom of having the bride and groom hand out walnuts ( the very famous Sorrento walnuts, that were already well known and believed to bring good fortune ) instead of today's sugar coated almonds. " Bread and walnuts is food for brides" declares a famous ancient proverb, probably directly derived from this custom.
Through the years weddings have maintained a strong social significance. Until a few years ago they presented one of the few moments when a community would come together, offering other young people an opportunity to meet their future husband or wife. Until the fifties, with the exception of noble and wealthy families, wedding receptions were usually held at home.
Entire families would work to prepare the wedding party. Family members and close friends would partake in the dinner, while the dancing was opened to all who would bring a small gift. The music was played by small orchestras who offered their services often only in exchange for a meal.


Wedding receptions

Between the twenties and thirties in the last century, people began hiring a chef for the nuptial meal. These men were the forerunners of modern catering services.
One of the most renowned was surely Peppino Gargiulo, son of the owner of the restaurant Antico Francischiello in Massa Lubrense. The day before the wedding he would go to the home where the reception was going to be held and would cook the hole night on the traditional coal kitchens of the time. His restaurant, now one of the Italian historical venues, was one of the first (together with 'O Parrucchiano Restaurant in Sorrento) to organize wedding dinners and receptions; the very first in 1930-35 were held in a specially devoted venue next to the restaurant.
The widespread custom of celebrating in restaurants began in the sixties.


Click here to view a TIPICAL MENU of a 1940's - 50's wedding
Typical wedding menu in the 40's- 50's


  - Ham and Mozzarella cheese (or yellow melon)
- Scapecia style aubergines
- Country style pie
- Bread
First courses:

  - Cannelloni
- Surrentine style potato dumplings
Second courses:

  - chicken with oven baked potatoes
- Fried fish
Season fuits
Wedding cake

Old time customs »