Once a retreat for romantic poets, Lake Como has been a perfect wedding location for the two Bollywood lovebirds.
It wasn’t that Indians weren’t aware of Lake Como in Italy. But what Isha Ambani’s engagement and Ranveer-Deepika’s wedding at villas there have done is to make it the next aspirational benchmark on our social calendar.
“After Ranveer and Deepika’s wedding, Indians are discovering Lake Como in Italy as a ceremonial destination. The place was already quite popular among elite Indians and this wedding will give it a fillip. As November marks the end of the season at Lake Como, we are already receiving inquiries for the fresh season starting from March 2019 and also for the weddings and engagements in 2020-21. Going by the trend, the place will soon become a favourite for weddings, unions and vacations with the unique spectacular villas and historical hotels, sophisticated atmosphere, delicious food options and proximity to international airports,” says Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings.
The interest in Italy as an event destination has been gathering pace, especially after the wedding of cricketer Virat Kohli and actor Anushka Sharma in Tuscany last year. As Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Brand Expedia, enunciates, “Italy has been a popular destination among Indian travellers and continues to attract them with tempting food, awesome architecture, diverse scenery and amazing art. The privacy of its mansions and villas has made it a preferred destination for honeymooners and people travelling with their family and friends from India. We have also seen a year-on-year increase of 35-40 per cent in bookings from India. Destinations like Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples and Milan have traditionally been popular among travellers. However, celebrities choosing Tuscany, Lake Como, Lake Iseo and Amalfi Coast as their wedding destinations are also likely to increase the tourist footfall in these destinations in the future.”
Of all destinations, Lake Como has acquired exclusivity by virtue of its history, cultural soirees and more recently as a holiday hideaway of Hollywood biggies like George Clooney and Robert De Niro. And then there were the Bond films with wide angle sequences choreographed on the lake with azure waters that is fringed by woods of the thickest green, fairytale castles, rolling estates and the sun-kissed hills. Once the retreat of the Milanese aristocracy, famous artistes, philosophers, scientists and writers made it their home away from their homes in the city. The Romantic poets sought inspiration and revival in itssalubrious climes. English poet PB Shelley, who lived by Lake Como for many months while attempting recovery from consumption, then described it as the “most beautiful lake I have ever seen.” American novelist Mark Twain called it a “heaven of quiet rest.”
The landscape, the tranquility, the connection to heritage and the natural elegance continue in boutique properties and waterfront homes, which have drawn solace-seeking Hollywood celebrities. And it is this little cul de sac of medieval repose with wisteria wraps that has made Lake Como a glamorous destination. The estate owners have only upped expectations by customising comforts, services,boat rides and even arrangingspectacles. From May to October, the estates see a wedding every weekend — English, American, Russian and Indian among them — and command a steep location fee. Ranveer and Deepika reportedly spent Rs 1 crore for their four day jamboree on security and Rs 4 crore on private yacht services.
Writer: Team Viva
Courtesy: The Pioneer