As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
Does seem strange. T. What year is the document? I am just reading in Trafford Cole's book that before the unification of Italy in 1870, it was necessary to obtain the consent of both fathers of the couple. He doesn't make any mention of age though. I was hoping to find some reference to that, but no.
....and while the 5AM black dress marriage supposedly took place in obscurity and a degree of privacy the priest would preceed the couple with a small bell so as they wound their way thru the streets people hearing the tinkling of the small bell in the priests hands would know it meaning and the nosey neighbors would peek out the door to see who suffered a diminshed standing in the town. =Peter=
Let me set the stage way back inthe 1950's Italy was still functioning as if the pre-world War11 values, practices and attitudes still existed since the war destroyed any value they had for the Fascist regime so when I firstgot there I had just graduated from High School skipping the last year and was headed toward University of Perugia for the year as a present.
At that time Italy was Italy as I heard of it as a child. Things were recognizable from stories and people reacted the way I anticipated. I do recall that Sicily was bordering on rebellion with the brigand Giuliano roaming all over Sicily battling the mafia and the carbenieri and he kidnapped a a childhood sweetheart. There was an uproar about Giuliano in Italy. Apparently when someone wanted to marry even if the girl was reluctant or the parents did not approve of the man he would kidnap the girl even if she was reluctant, would have to marry since she was no longer a virgin and her prospects for a husband were negligible.
It was during this period that my interest piqued and my girl cousins told me about the 5AM black clad marriages and the priest and his tinkling bell. I assumed it was the practice in Southern Italy but didn't know at the time how far north the practice existed. =PETER=