Underwater wedding in Morcone Bay on Elba Island

Sometimes we find ourselves face to face with phenomena that astonish us because we are unable to comprehend or understand them. Yet, we are all witnesses to the time we live in and, whether we like it or not, it makes no difference at all. In fact, every human being, passing through life, leaves behind material information. This love story is one of those crazy dreams that stir our fantasy: to get married underwater. In spite of all logic, in a remote corner of our mind, coral, colored fish and reefs prompt the imagination of those who are fond of the sea and arouse sensations that justify the fascination of dreams. In the marine depths, far from the city’s hectic rhythms, from traffic and the ‘madding crowd’, man has discovered an unexpected panacea to his dissatisfaction. A dive into the sea rids man of his weight and complexes. Submarine silence and colors are the beginning notes of a magical symphony. Man savors the taste of adventure and feels like an athlete pioneering undiscovered poetic worlds. It is understandable that, at a certain point, he would want to share these feelings and his extraordinary underwater enterprises with his beloved. Francesca and Giampiero, expert scuba divers, made their dream come true in Morcone Bay, at Capoliveri. They were married underwater with the highest number of licensed scuba diving guests ever recorded! On June 12, 2010, two hundred and sixty-one scuba divers, or better yet, highly efficient ‘artificial fish’, bubbled and gurgled from beneath the water to make the acquaintance of thousands of their ‘natural counterparts’, looking almost like an army ready to conquer the underwater abyss.   

Matrimonio subacqueo

There was scarce visibility because of a strong sirocco wind that had blown a few days before, and the dust mixed with rain did not allow for a crystalline view of the ensemble. Under the water, though, you could see divers everywhere, from the water’s surface to the sea floor. I had never seen such a vast sampling of humanity linked by the same passion. There were physicians, geologists, archeologists, oceanographers, journalists, writers and poets, representatives from the press, television, dedicated magazines, patrol boats and finally… them, the only true, authentic reason that had gathered us at Morcone: the sea and the bride and groom. Viola Francesca Colombi from Milan, and Giampiero Giannaccaro from Bologna. The exceptional bridesmaid was showgirl Antonella Elia; the best man was Gianluca Genoni, world record free-diver. The ceremony took place among a myriad of bubbles coming from the 261 attendees and was celebrated by the mayor of Capoliveri and expert scuba diver Ruggero Barbetti, who communicated with the spouses using written cards. To respond, the spouses used the video-computers on their wrists produced by Mares, the sponsor of the event. After the fatidic “I do”, there was a grand celebration on the beach where some threw rice on the spouses and others watered the many guests down using a hose. For me it was like going back to 1974 when, at San Fruttuoso, 16 meter deep in front of the Christ of the Abyss, chaplain Stefano Ercoli united European fin-swimming champion Barbara Durante and spear-fishing champion Arturo Santoro in marriage. In both cases, despite the presence of numerous non-professional scuba divers, the ceremonies ended successfully even though somebody complained about getting slapped in the face with a fin. 

What we won’t do for love!

The article is been written for the magazine of touristic promotion Elba Per2 e non solo… Edizione 2013 by Carlo Gasparri, Free diving champion. per il magazine di promozione turistica Elba Per2 (Edizione 2013). The photos are kindly given by Mares Brand and by the Municipality of Capoliveri.