If you’re a Star Wars fan, then I visited somewhere in 2018 that many of you didn’t know existed in real life, the location of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala’s wedding.
The Villa del Balbianello is just a short boat ride from my hotel on Lake Como and today I toured the villa and stood where Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala were married. I can see why George Lucas chose this place, it has a magical and timeless feel to it.
Originally a retreat for Monks, it has been a church, a retreat for a Bishop with literary leanings and home to an enigmatic rich business man, Count Guido Monzino from Milan. Monzino led the first successful Italian expedition to conquer Everest. He spent a total of one year at the villa at various times, spending more time at his homes in Milan, Kenya and Chile. Despite being an adventurer, leading many expeditions across the world, he died young at sixty and left the property to the Italian National Trust.
Since being used in both the James Bond film Casino Royale and Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, the property has had renewed interest with many people taking the guided tour we took today.
Interest in the latter film is such that many Star Wars fans turn up for the tour in full Jedi, Darth Vader and Storm Trooper costumes. Some even spend a small fortune to be married in the same spot. The fact that computer generated imagery made that area look slightly different doesn’t seem to matter to the fans.
One couple even had R2-D2 as best man to present the ring to the groom, a sort of R2-D2 I Do.
Tom Kane © 2018
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