Scenes from Sicily, Quattro – Doves Released at a Wedding in Palermo

Everywhere we travel, we always learn about interesting local traditions that we didn’t have a clue about before we showed up and viewed them first-hand. In Australia, an example would be a game of “two-up” played on ANZAC Day (the Australian version of Memorial Day). While traveling through the Peruvian Andes, the two ceramic bulls or house located on the tiles of the roof always captured my attention.

In Sicily, one of the important traditions (and possibly a more recent one) is to release doves after a wedding ceremony. (This may be a more general Italian tradition, but I never saw it in action when we were in mainland Italy in 2009.) We must have arrived during wedding season, because we kept running into them everywhere we went, but while in Palermo, we happened to catch a bride and groom as they were leaving the church.

Before hopping into a very expensive, new Maserati and roaring away, the bride released at least a dozen doves into the air while surrounded by their friends and family. I lucked out on this shot and actually capture a few in mid-flight. I love the mix of guests in this picture, the nun and the priest, the latest fashion and the giant doors of the church. The moment felt as real as the picture indicates, and the bride’s joy is tangible through her smile.

You can see theĀ full album of images from our trip here.

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