Even if Kim Kardashian and Kanye West aren’t really getting married on the grounds of the 16th-century Forte di Belvedere on May 24 as the entertainment world would like to believe, they have already created the type of buzz to which they—and their public—have become accustomed.
The news of the Florentine leg of what appears to be a multi-city wedding broke late last week when West was seen milling about the home of fashion designer Ermanno Scervino, where he stayed while he was in town, apparently to pin down some of the last minute wedding plans.
In an exclusive interview with the Tuscan newspaper La Nazione, West did not confirm the wedding plans, but he did say he was looking forward to marrying Kardashian. “I’m happy,” he said. “I’m a romantic.” The “American Divo,” as the paper called him, then described how he gave his bride-to-be a “wall of flowers” for Mother’s Day. “Family means everything to me.”
West also professed his love for Italy. “I adore Florence and I love the Italian lifestyle,” he said, before telling the paper that his heroes were Leonardo da Vinci and Walt Disney. He said that he and Kardashian came to Florence “incognito” about nine months before their daughter North West was born. “I think our daughter North was conceived right here among the Renaissance masterpieces,” he told the paper. “It was our first honeymoon. It's one of the most beautiful cities of the world, for me the most beautiful in Europe.”
West told the paper he was in Italy to look at textiles and designs for the fashion label for which Kardashian is his muse. Scervino, whom he met in Paris, had opened his archives and home to West. “For me, the atelier Ermanno Scervino is a safe place where I feel protected by friendship,” he told the paper. “I want to learn the art of the designer. Ermanno is my teacher.” He said he is also at work on a new album with the working title “Made in Florence.”
Though the details of the exact wedding plans are under wraps—and, it would appear, still fluid—Elisa di Lupo, speaking for the mayor of Florence, confirmed to The Daily Beast that West and Kardashian have rented the Forte di Belvedere for around $400,000 for the weekend, from Friday night through Monday. The premises, which have been closed to the public for around five years, are near the famed Boboli Gardens of Florence, across the Arno River from the Duomo and the Uffizi Galleries. They were once connected directly to the Ponte Vecchio through the secret Vasari Corridor commissioned by Cosimo d’Medici in the 1500s. As it happens, the grounds have been tied to a number of deaths in their long history, including suicides and at least two murders in which lovers threw their partners from the top of the fortified walls.
The couple is apparently planning to have a prenuptial dinner in Paris on Friday night. They were then planning to fly their 100 guests to Italy in private jets. But Radar Online reported on Friday that a French air traffic controllers strike may halt those plans, quoting Kardashian as saying that the wedding—her third—feels “jinxed.” “They are now looking into renting rail cars to get guests to Florence from Paris,” Radar Online reports, but that “they do have a site in Paris also available to hold the wedding.”
There are also reports that the Florentine leg is a ruse, meant to trick the paparazzi from spoiling the event, though the fame-hungry couple are not exactly camera shy. Still, E! Online is reporting that the nuptials will take place in Versailles. The couple apparently visited the royal chateau in January when they were scouting locations for the big day.
No matter where the wedding takes place, there is one thing for sure: the preparations and honeymoon will loom large on the next season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Last week Kim tweeted, “We are not filming our wedding for Keeping Up With The Kardashians. You will see everything leading up til and after!” One would expect nothing less.