We were not able to go to the wedding of a great niece that recently took place in Italy, but during our stay in May/June we were invited to a party to celebrate one of Mr P's sister's 80th birthday. It was held in a pizza restaurant up in a mountain village which is an important area for cultivating olives. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset that concluded with pink skies over the olive groves as we travelled up to the village.
Mr P comes from a large family as his father was widowed and married again and then had more children. Mr P is the youngest son and he has four living sisters and a brother. His half brothers and sisters are no longer with us. The birthday party was an opportunity for family photos including one of Mr P and his sisters and brother. His oldest sister couldn't attend and the photo was taken when we went to visit her. It was a relaxing evening and a good venue as the restaurant is owned by the birthday girl's younger in-laws (nephew and niece) and we had a room just for our party. Nothing was too much trouble to make the evening an enjoyable celebration. A plate of mixed appetizers was followed by different types of pizza, including vegetarian, which suited everyone. The children went to play in the garden in between courses. It's relatively cool up in the mountains and evenings are a good time to eat out. People work until late (around 8 pm) and shops are open until then so a party might not start until late evening when guests arrive. During the Summer months guests can comfortably eat at tables set up out in the courtyard garden.
Later that evening a nephew (our local deli man) opened the bottles of prosecco, the birthday cake was served and we were entertained by a geat nephew who played well-known folk tunes on his accordian. Sadly my sister-in-law's children who live in England could not be with us for the occasion, but they were able to talk to her and her husband by Skype during the evening. One of the sons, his wife, three girls and boyfriends have now spent a few weeks Summer holiday with the parents. They've had a lovely time and it's made up for the fact they couldn't be there on the actual birthday.
My sister-in-law had some lovely flowers given her including a beautiful big bouquet with a written message sent by her children. When we went to visit her and her husband afterwards I took some more photos that I could pass on to the family in England. My sister-in-law and husband are our very good friends as well as family and times spent with them are precious.