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Italians ‘angry’ over Ambani wedding, calls it ‘disturbance’

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Following a grand pre-wedding event in Jamnagar, Gujarat, the Ambani family hosted another lavish celebration aboard a cruise ship in Europe, making stops in Rome, Portofino, and Genoa. Residents and businesses in these Italian cities expressed outrage as the festivities led to city shutdowns and disturbances caused by unruly guests attending the pre-wedding bash for the younger son of India’s richest man.

Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest individual, organized a four-day luxury cruise from Palermo to the south of France and back to celebrate his son Anant’s engagement to Radhika Merchant, daughter of a prominent industrialist. The cruise, which departed on 29 May, included stops in Rome, Portofino, Genoa, and Cannes, featuring a series of extravagant parties.

The wedding, scheduled for 12 July, began with a pre-wedding celebration in Mukesh Ambani’s hometown of Jamnagar in March. Reports indicate that Ambani spent $150 million on a three-day gala for over 1,200 guests, which included bejeweled elephants and a performance by American singer Rihanna.

The cruise’s stop in Portofino on 1 June featured a party titled “La Dolce Vita,” designed to capture the essence of an Italian summer. Despite a strict no-phones policy, videos leaked from the event revealed performances by the American band Backstreet Boys and singer Katy Perry, entertaining at least 800 guests.

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The pre-wedding celebration angered locals and businesses in Portofino as the entire bay was blocked off, preventing access to residents and other tourists. While Portofino is a popular spot for celebrity weddings—hosting events for stars like Australian singer Sia and reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian—the village had never been completely shut down for any event before.

Several restaurants were offered between €7,000 to €10,000 to cater the event, which included dishes like focaccia, paneer tikka, and beetroot goat cheese kebab. However, Andrea Miroli, manager of the renowned restaurant Il Puny, which has served celebrities such as Denzel Washington, Steven Spielberg, Sir Elton John, and Silvio Berlusconi, expressed dissatisfaction. He stated that they were asked to provide lobster sandwiches and were only notified 20 days prior to the event, finding the offer and timing offensive and disrespectful.

 

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Residents and tourists took to social media to voice their frustrations about the restricted access in Portofino. One user on X (formerly Twitter) remarked that many celebrities and billionaires have celebrated in Portofino without restricting access to the main areas, questioning the Ambanis’ sense of entitlement.

A tourist expressed disappointment at being unable to see Portofino’s main attractions over the weekend due to the private event. While acknowledging past events hosted by other billionaires, the tourist noted that none had previously closed off the area.

Local entrepreneurs, who usually welcome large events for the business they bring, did not favor the Ambani pre-wedding bash. A local tour guide in Portofino lamented the city’s closure for a private event, noting that their livelihood depends on tourism and that the weekend was a significant setback.

The party also disturbed residents of Genoa when the cruise ship arrived early on Sunday, 2 June, blasting loud music from its speakers.

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