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Italians livid after Ambanis book entire town for pre-wedding celebrations

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While some billionaires splurge on five-star resorts and others fly their entourage in for lavish destination weddings, Mukesh Ambani took extravagance to a new level by booking the entire Italian village of Portofino for his son Anant and his fiancé, Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding celebrations

Over 800 guests descended upon the quaint commune for the grand finale of their four-day cruise, reported the Hindustan Times. While the guests undoubtedly revelled in luxury, the locals and tourists, who were barred from accessing main attractions, were less than thrilled and took to social media to voice their displeasure.

“The beauty of Portofino must be shared with everyone, not just those who can afford to rent it. Disappointed that access was limited to locals and tourists, we weren't even allowed to get close,” vented a user on X. Another fumed, “Many billionaires have come to party here, but no one has ever taken away access to the main part of the city. Who do they think they are? They can't just come in and throw their party and make it difficult for people to do their daily chores.”

A local tour guide lamented the impact on the tourism industry. “As a local tour guide in Portofino, it is disheartening to see our city close for a private event. Our livelihood depends on tourism and this weekend was a huge setback,” he wrote.

The celebration, held in the main plaza, boasted a star-studded guest list including Shah Rukh Khan, Jeff Bezos, and world-renowned Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, whose powerful vocals serenaded the guests during a breathtaking sunset performance. 

Every detail was meticulously planned, from the resplendent decor featuring extravagant floral arrangements, and baskets of fresh fruits, to the tables adorned with Italian-themed covers and centrepieces, reported Mint. With the dress code being Italian summer chic, the bride-to-be, Radhika, looked stunning in her Italian-inspired strawberry pink dress completed with an eye-catching Hermes Kelly handbag. Nita Ambani, the matriarch of the Ambani household, turned heads in what appears to be a custom Oscar de la Renta gown.

All being said, it was a relaxed affair, with the family mingling with their guests and enjoying the evening in true billionaire style, with speeches by immediate family members. Anant and Radhika are set to marry in Mumbai on July 12 and there is no doubt the wedding will surpass all the pre-wedding festivities that culminated in this exceptional Italian soiree.

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