Saturday 18 November 2017

'Kimye' get married but Florentines are left unimpressed

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at a fashion designer workshop in Paris
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at a fashion designer workshop in Paris

Silvia Ognibene in Florence

THE celebrity circus surrounding the wedding of the two stars did not impress many residents of Florence, a city renowned for its culture and history.

Locals and visitors were divided about the Hollywood invasion with the newspaper Corriere Della Sera noting that the city had been effectively "shut down" for the celebrity nuptials.

"I think it's cool," said Ilaria Nicarelli, a teenager who was standing at the gates outside Fort Belvedere and was disappointed not to catch a glimpse of more stars, not to mention the bride and groom.

"Florence is a very stuffy place so we're all excited that this is happening in our city."

"It's an annoyance for the population, for neighbours," declared a middle-aged man who would only give his name as Diego.

"It's a Hollywood invasion that brings to the little streets of Florence a style that is not really in tune with the nature of Florentines."

Prince Ottaviano de'Medici di Toscana, a modern descendant of the once-powerful Medici family that built the stunning fortress taken over by the US rapper and his reality-TV-star bride, said he was furious that the city fathers had taken 'Kimye's' money.

"The city is renting out our palazzi for small change to be used as dance halls," said the prince, who heads a conservation society in Florence with 40,000 members.

"Events like this represent a danger to the cultural integrity and historical authenticity of the city, which is protected, and could mean a possible loss of Unesco status or being placed on Unesco's danger list," he said.

"They are selling the city off and many here are disgusted."

More details about the event filtered through despite the heavy security. Although the couple are said to have officially married in the US, they retook their vows in front of a Protestant pastor, with the background of walls of white flowers.

At the reception, an impressive 70-metre long marble table – a gift from marble craftsman Gualtiero Vannelli from a quarry in Carrara – had been brought to seat the 200 guests.

A huge dance floor was set up in the garden of the 16th Century fort where Mr and Mrs West had their first dance.

The wedding feast was created by the renowned Fiorentine caterers Galateo.

West, 36, a rapper, entrepreneur and self-declared romantic, proposed to 33-year-old reality TV star Kardashian in an empty baseball stadium with a specially hired orchestra, the event shown during an episode of the TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians.

The couple, known collectively as 'Kimye', celebrated their nuptials accompanied by their daughter North and 200 family and friends.

However, as the castle is not normally authorised to hold weddings, it was unclear whether the event counted as a legal marriage ceremony.

The guest list was kept a secret but celebrity magazines said Jay-Z and Beyonce and Canadian singer Justin Bieber were expected with other rumoured attendees included actor Will Smith, singer Rihanna and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Following a pre-wedding party and a visit to the historic Chateau de Versailles outside Paris on Friday, most guests arrived by private plane in Florence's main airport and left early this morning.

Last Tuesday, in Paris, the couple shopped at Givenchy. On Wednesday, they went to the gym. Thursday, Kardashian posed in front of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum in what looked like a bachelorette bash. On Thursday night, Kardashian celebrated her hen do with friends.

On Friday, guests shared brunch and strolled with Valentino in the gardens of his Chateau de Wideville west of Paris.


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