Inspiration for a Bridal Hairstyle - A Tuscan Legend

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A Tuscan Inspiration for your Bridal Hairstyle - The Legend of Maddalena and the Hair Comb or ... How to get married in Tuscany

Once upon a time in New York City … 

photocredit: pixabay

Once upon a time in New York City a young woman, named Christine, decided she wanted to get married. As a hard-working journalist in New York City, writing for a famous woman lifestyle magazine she was caught by an article of Civil Weddings in Tuscany, written by a colleague. She asked herself day by day how to get her boyfriend to marry her.


How to become a Bride?

It was in the middle of April and the romantic month of May was knocking on Christine’s door. Wedding gowns, wedding bands, even ads of bridal make up jumped into Christine’s eyes, always and everywhere. She couldn't pass the destination wedding ads of Dream Weddings in Tuscany, Beach Weddings on the Etruscan Coast in Tuscany, Romantic Weddings on famous Tuscan Wineries
Needless to say, hwo much time she spent looking for ideas on Pinterest and inspirations on Instagram.

How to organize a Wedding Proposal?

One of these days, Christopher, Christine’s long-term boyfriend, had the idea of a Romantic Elopement in Tuscany right now, in the beginning of May.
You must know, both Christine and Christopher love Tuscany. They speak Italian, as both have experienced an exchange year in Siena, where they met. They love to travel to Italy, especially to Tuscany. So, it was no wonder that Christpher made up his mind Getting married in Tuscany.

Planning an Elopement in Tuscany

Christopher arranged the travel with an Italian specialized travel agent and booked 10 days in Siena with social programs around Siena. He was so happy and excited to surprise Christine.

The Wedding Proposal in
a Tuscan Restaurant in New York

Of course, he talked to Christine’s boss Shirley to get Christine 10 days off …

On Friday night, Christine and Christopher met always directly after work to have dinner in a fancy restaurant. This time Christopher decided to reserve a table in the well-known “Fiaschetteria” Pistoia 647 E 11th St, New York.

It was already 8 pm, when they finally sat down and ordered their appetizers. Christine wondered why Christopher chose this place. The “Fiaschetteria” was a rather untypical restaurant for Christopher. It was a traditional Italian - no, Tuscan place and not fancy at all. And Christopher behaved so strange….

When the waiter finally arrived with their Prosecco and bruschetta, Christopher couldn’t wait any more. Suddenly he took her hands, looked into her eyes and asked her if she wanted to marry him.
Christine couldn’t believe!
Instinctively and quickly she nodded. Christopher handed her a small box over. She opened the little box, wrapped with the unique turquoise paper and a wonderful diamond ring smiled at her and said hello.
Christopher put the ring on her finger, and it fit perfectly. They hugged and kissed each other …

The surprises are not enough 
Getting married in Tuscany

Christopher still holding her hand told Christine about their Elopement in Tuscany. Christine listened attentively; she couldn’t believe. Christopher was not very talented in organizing. He never organized anything, because he just didn’t like organizing.

A romantic trip to Tuscany

Two weeks later, exactly on the 30st of April, Christine, Christopher and the Diamond ring were on Delta airline, on their trip to Tuscany, more precisely to Siena.

In the heart of Tuscany, Siena!
Making wedding plans

Christine was already making plans and had a vague idea in her mind's eye. Christopher was no equal to her. At the romantic rooftop dinner in the pink colored sunset, the couple talked about their plans and agreed to celebrate an intimate wedding in Tuscany. Where exactly they did not know yet. They were both so overjoyed that they even told Lapo, the receptionists, about their marriage plans.

A Professional Wedding Planner
for a Dream Wedding in Tuscany

Lapo knew a Wedding Planner specialized in Dream Weddings in Tuscany, named Tiziana. He introduced her to them. Tiziana did not hesitate and took them to location inspections and before Christine and Christopher realized they were in the middle of their wedding preparations.

So it was that they visited a borgo, a castle, two different hotels, an agritourism and two romantic wineries as possible destination for their Wedding in Tuscany.
In between they visited a florist and a confectioner. At lunchtime they had a combination of lunch and wine tasting at a well-known winery. The final appointment for that day was just for Christine, at the hairstylist for the bridal hair styling.

The Hairstylist
Competence, Passion & Artistry in Tuscany

Who would have thought that here was the inspiration source for a unique bridal hairstyle...

The hair stylist was a middle-aged woman full of energy. She asked Christine about her desired hairstyle and Christine found herself in the middle of the bridal hairstyle trial.

Christine had no idea.
Too many impressions on that day made it impossible for her to choose a direction.
The hairstylist understood.
She asked for the location that Christine liked best, the place Christine would choose for her Civil Wedding in Tuscany.

But again Christine had no answer.
The hair stylist explained: "You know, we could reflect the style of the wedding in your bridal hairstyle.
Whether romantic, country chic, sensual or princely, even the color!
Let's start and take a look! Okay?”
Christine smiled gratefully and nodded.

Suddenly Christine had an idea, she asked for the trendiest bridal hairstyle.
And so trendy braids were plaited, and re-opened. Trendy cut-up hairstyles were tried and reopened, and the hairstylist even experimented with hairpieces for the classic Chignon.

With a trained eye and practiced grips, a hairdo was conjured for a Beach Wedding in Tuscany, then again, an updo, which was based on the rolling hills of Tuscany. They looked even for colors, reflecting the Tuscan landscape.

At the end the hair fell in loose and natural curls and Christine was more than tired.
Christine could not decide on any of the hairstyles. But she did not have to, the hairstylist underlined.
Christine took a picture of each of the many hairstyles with her smartphone.
Importantly, Christine knew she was in good hands.
The hairstylist said goodbye and gave her another thought: "Maybe a hair accessory would be nice, what about a hair comb?"

Sunday in Arezzo, making Wedding Plans for their Dream Wedding in Tuscany

photocredit: pixabay

“On the first Sunday and preceding Saturday of every month the main piazza of Arezzo becomes the largest antique market in Italy. “Lapo told Christopher and Christine.
“You should go there! It’s more than worth to see!”

Under the Vasari Portico Christine and Christopher saw old military uniforms, old plates and silverware, dresses and even comic books. They let themselves be driven by the crowd. After about half an hour, they turned into a small, narrow street and the bustle slowed down until it suddenly stopped completely. They had landed at the stands of historical women's cosmetics and accessories. There were stands with beautiful historic perfume bottles that could tell stories… 
Precious, handmade hairpins and hair combs were displayed on the tables and wanted to be taken.


photocredit: pixabay

Christine stopped at the second last stand on the left with beautiful historic hair combs.
An especially beautiful one caught her eye. It was carved from horn and had two golden pine trees whose branches grew together. Christine was so impressed by the filigree work that she picked up the hair comb without even noticing the outside world.

The old woman

It was almost as if the hair comb wanted to be picked up by her. The horn felt pleasantly warm and velvety, not at all smooth and cold as Christine thought. Christine looked at the work more closely and did not notice that behind the table, an old woman slowly and clumsily rose from her chair and slowly moved with her stick towards her.

The woman was dressed in black with a crocheted robe of wool, it seemed. She had a big ugly wart in the middle of her nose and gave Christine a friendly smile.
Christine was startled, wanted to put it back, but the old woman made gestures that Christine should keep him. Christine asked in her Italian what it would cost. The old woman shook her head and said, "Nothing!"

After a short pause, she said wide-eyed: "But, I want you to hear the story of this hair comb!"
Christine smiled benevolently and nodded. She understood that the poor old woman wanted someone to listen to.

So, the old woman pushed her chair to the table and settled heavily on it. She made space on the table, pushed aside some hair combs so that Christine could sit down on the table. Christine did as she was told.

The old woman closed her eyes as if she wanted to remember a long-forgotten time, took a deep breath and began her story:

The battle between Florence and Siena

This hair comb is already very old. It comes from a time when Florence and Siena warred against each other. There were a lot of conflicts and many innocents on both sides had to give their lives. Young and old were called to fight, field workers, butchers, goldsmiths, and sometimes even women and children.

So it happened that the young goldsmith apprentice Iacopino Lungavita had to move to the Battle of Montaperti.

Iacopino was in the first year of training with an elderly master Giuseppe Prezioso.
Prezioso was known throughout Siena for his big heart.

Iacopino had lost his beloved parents last winter. Both had succumbed to severe pneumonia.
Thus, for Iacopino, there was only his master Prezi, lovingly named by him, and his lovely granddaughter Maddalena.


Maddalena was the dearest girl imaginable, gentle in character and quick-witted, graceful and kind.
Unfortunately there was a big ugly wart in the middle of her nose. And so it happened that she did not have many friends.
Even then people were very superficial.
But Iacopino saw Maddalena as she was, and the two tied a tender but firm love tie.

The Workpiece

Iacopino had secretly begun to work on a hair comb, which he wanted to give his Maddalena to marry.
He had taken the only one that had left him from his beloved mother, a hair comb made of horn.
He worked on it to attach decorations.
Iacopino had asked his master Prezi for permission to use the waste form their work for it.

Master Prezi

The master had kindly agreed and was already looking forward to the finished piece of jewelry.
He really liked his young friend; he appreciated his sincerity and his creativity.
But rather, he appreciated Iacopino for his humanity.
Iacopino was very compassionate in dealing with his fellow men and always tried very hard for him, the master, and his granddaughter.

The old woman paused for a moment and said nothing.
It seemed like she was tired. But when Christine wanted to say something, she continued eagerly.

In this time of conflict, people were even more aware of their transience.
Iacopino wanted to marry his Maddalena before he died on the battlefield.
Only they were too young for that. Even if the Master gave his consent, no priest would wed them.
So, they arranged to meet at the Double Pine.

The Double Pine

This was called because the crowns of two pine trunks had grown together in the course of time. This place served for many lovers as secret meeting place as it was surrounded by high wild rose bushes.

The Promise

Iacopino was waiting impatiently for his Maddalena at the Double Pine.
The moon was bright in the sky, when Maddalena finally arrived.
Iacopino excitedly presented the gift to his Maddalena.

Since the call for the battle, he had worked day and night on it, even neglecting the work assigned to him by the master.

The hair comb made of horn was decorated golden.
Maddalena traced the two pine trees that have grown together with her delicate fingers. She had never seen anything so beautiful.

They knelt down in front of the Double Pine and swore love to each other forever.
Then they hugged and kissed dearly and Iacopino disappeared in the dark night.

Maddalena treasured her gift with her life.
She wore the comb wrapped in a clean, flaxen cloth under her tunic, tied to her body, so that nothing and nobody could take away the most precious thing in the world.

The Victory

The days passed. For days followed weeks.
One day, a messenger arrived announcing that Siena had won.
Maddalena hurried to her grandfather to deliver the joyful news.

Master Prezi looked even older, sick with concern for his dear young friend Iacopino.
They waited for Iacopino’s return.

For weeks followed months and still no Iacopino.
Maddalena tried to find out if her beloved Iacopino had fallen in battle, but there was no information.
The records showed that Iacopino had appeared and fought. But she could not find out more.
And that's how months became years.

Waiting ...

The waiting was too much for Master Prezi and he decided that the beloved boy had fallen in the battle.
It broke his heart to see how his granddaughter had become a young woman, whose will to live hung
solely on the hope of the return of her beloved Iacopino.

Maddalena takes over the goldsmiths

One day it had probably become too much for old master Prezi and he died.
Maddalena took over her grandfather's business and did it as well as possible.
The people who so far ridiculed her continued to mock her.
The others, who did not even notice, noticed her a lot less.
Maddalena had learned to handle all this and showed no reaction.
But in the evening, when she was alone, she overcame the loneliness and the fear that her beloved Iacopino might have fallen many years ago at the Battle of Montaperti.

Asking God for Help

As Christmas drew nearer firewood became scarce and supplies began to decline, Maddalena went to church and asked God for help.
She was alone in the church, she had convinced herself.
She promised her life to God, if she could see her Iacopino again.
She sacrificed God her most precious possession, her hair comb. Before she laid it gently at the feet of the statue of the crucified Jesus, she held it tight and kissed it, as if it was Iacopino. Then she left the church in the dark of the night and headed home.

That night a wounded man slept on a stretcher in the cold forest, not far from Maddalena's goldsmith.

The Return

The next day Maddalena swept the house when strangers knocked on her door. She opened the door and saw a man on a stretcher, carried by two henchmen with the emblem of the Count of Arras.

She came closer and looked into the laughing eyes of her beloved Iacopino.
Iacopino wounded on the stretcher could barely move.

The men carried him into the house and laid him on the bed.
Maddalena could not believe her eyes, she had so many questions.
While Iacopino told of the battle, she cleaned his infected wound and put on herbs.
Then she dressed the wound with a clean cloth.

The Years in the Far East

Iacopino told of the Battle of Montaperti and that he had saved the life of the son of a famous merchant from the Far East. This man thanked him by taking him to the ship and sailing home to the Far East.
There Iacopino became very ill and had to stay in bed for a long time.
The merchant was a good-hearted man. He arranged for Iacopino teachers, to teach him writing, reading and calculating.

He offered Iacopino to work in his business, what he did.
And Iacopino made money, a lot of money.
He wanted to come back one day, marry Maddalena and live in their newly built house with their children.
But somehow time passed.

Suddenly there were conflicts in the Far East as well, and people who had always been treating him with kindness for years, now regarded him with suspicion.

So Iacopino decided to escape one night.
He took some of the valuables and paid for the passage with the ship.
Back on land, he was attacked by robber who stole his horse and mauled him badly.

Coincidentally, the escort of the Count of Arras was present and drove out the robbers.
They tried to help Iacopino, but the knife wound was deep.
The escort took the nobly dressed Iacopino to the Count of Arras.

The Count of Arras touched by Iacopinos story wanted to help and sent his escort with Iacopino to Siena. The two lovers should finally come together, he decided.

Maddalena could not believe her ears and was still quite moved that her Iacopino had now returned home.
This was now fallen asleep from exhaustion.
Maddalena arranged a camp for the two henchmen in the stable and brought them food.
Then she lay down beside the sleeping Iacopino and dreamed of their future.

The Lost Treasure

Maddalena had a very restless night. In her dream she was searching, but did not know what, she ran and ran and never arrived.
When she opened her eyes she knew, the hair comb!

How was she to explain to her Iacopino that she had given her most precious possession to God, who was to bring back her lover?
She put her hand on Iacopino's arm and he returned her gentle gesture with a firm pressure.
Iacopino had more color on his face and looked much better than yesterday.

Maddalena made a nutritious porridge for her Iacopino and the two henchmen, leaving the men to themselves and going to church. She hoped for a miracle to rediscover the hair comb at the feet of the statue of Jesus Christ. She wanted to thank God and have her hair comb back.

When she arrived at the church, she threw herself at the feet of the statue of Jesus Christ and thanked him from the bottom of her heart.
It had escaped her trained eye that there was a stranger in the church.

When Maddalena finished her prayer, she searched for her hair comb. But the search was in vain.
She began to cry bitterly.
The stranger came slowly closer. It was a very old man,  wearing an old brown cowl.
Around his waist he wore a cord of three knots.

He asked Maddalena why she was crying what had happened. But Maddalena could not utter a word.
After a while she had recovered and told of her Iacopino, the twenty years she had been waiting for him.

She said that she had promised her life to God and sacrificed her precious hair comb, Iacopino’s masterpiece , to have her Iacopino back. 
But now that Iacopino had come back how could she explain to him that she had sacrificed the precious gift, his masterpiece, to God.

The stranger listened attentively and nodded. He said slowly: “I understand!”
Then he looked at her calmly from his blue eyes and asked: “Did you ask St. Anthony for help?”

Maddalena shook her head. She did not think so, but St. Anthony had helped her many times before. Last time she remembered to find the piglet again, thank St. Anthony!

She was lost in her thoughts and did not notice that the stranger left the church.
Maddalena wanted to thank the stranger, but the church was empty.
She reached the small statue of St. Antony, who was at the right of the entrance.

She marveled as she knelt, her hair comb resting at his feet.
She could not believe it. She gave a long thank-you prayer and headed home with her hair comb.

The Wedding

Maddalena and Iacopino got married in springtime on the first Sunday of May. They got a daughter, Theresa. When her time came for the wedding, the hair comb went from Maddalena to her daughter Theresa and her marriage was also blessed. Theresa gave birth to a lovely girl. And again, the hair comb was passed from mother to her daughter when the time for the wedding came.

The old woman suddenly fell silent.
Then she looked at Christine, her eyes flashed, and she said friendly: “I have found in you an attentive and dear listener. I thank you!
I have seen you both from afar and I feel your great love. I would like to give you this hair comb and I wish you such a strong love as that of Maddalena and Iacopino!”
Then the old woman hugged Christine smiling, turned around, took her stick and dragged away.

The owner

Christine was still sitting on the table, quite confused, when a woman in her mid-forties in jeans and a lucent red top was building herself in front of her and asking her unkindly why she was sitting on HER table.
Christine immediately jumped up and apologized. She explained that the old woman who owns the stand would have allowed her to sit down.

The woman looked incredulously at Christine, nearly shouting at her: “What are you saying? This is MY stand! Here exists no old woman, just me!”

Christine looked at the woman and got angry.
She showed the hair comb and replied questioningly: “This hair comb does not exist and the story of Maddalena and Iacopino does not exist either?

The woman looked at her in astonishment and asked stuttering in disbelief: “How do you know the story of Maddalena and Iacopino?”

Christine told about the hair comb, the old woman with the wart in the middle of her nose, telling the story of Maddalena and Iacopino and giving Christine the hair comb, as a thank you for listening.

The woman was stunned, changed tone and told Christine about the legend of Maddalena and Iacopino:

The Legend

Every year, on the first Sunday of May, Maddalena appears to give her hair comb made of horn with two golden pine trees, that grow into each other, to a loving bride.
These marriages are particularly blessed.
After the wedding, the hair comb disappears to bring luck to the next bride next year.

“Why on the first Sunday in May?” Christine asked.
The woman answers: “That was the wedding day of Maddalena and Iacopino!”

the two henchmen
Master Prezi
The old woman
The old man
The owner of the stand
The Hair Stylist

Angela Giuliano from Sfumature in Poggibonsi, Tuscany, served as model for the role of The Hair Stylist..

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