Kim Kardashian Kayne West wedding in Florence
Celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kayne West have finally decided on a wedding venue but not everyone is happy with the choice, it seems. Image: Agence Francepresse

Rome – Rapper Kanye West and reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian are getting married in Florence on Saturday – and some locals are not happy about the happy couple taking over one of their most beautiful monuments.

An official from the mayor’s office confirmed last Friday that the couple had rented the 16th-century Belvedere Fort for €300,000 (S$514,000) for the occasion, which will be presided over by a Protestant pastor.

The 16th-century fortress built by the Medici family is now used for exhibitions. As the castle is not an authorised site for weddings, there was some question about whether the event will be an official marriage ceremony or a celebration with some looser status.

Asked how he was feeling as the day approached, West told Italy’s La Nazione daily: “Quite emotional. But very happy. I’m a romantic: I gave Kim a wall of flowers for Mother’s Day. Family is everything for me, it’s the antidote to the stresses of fame. Family and creativity relax me.”

The couple will be accompanied by their 11-month-old daughter North, whom he said was “conceived here, among the masterpieces of the Renaissance”. He took Kardashian on a tour of Italy for her 32nd birthday, visiting Florence in October 2012.

“It was our first honeymoon. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. For me, it’s the most beautiful in Europe.”

He proposed to her on her 33rd birthday.

The couple’s request to wed at the Palace of Versailles was said to have been denied, reported the Daily Mail. They are believed to be hosting about 100 guests at a pre-wedding dinner in Paris before flying them to Florence.

Florence’s opposition candidates in an mayoral election later this month are up in arms over the wedding, according to media reports.

Passions were further inflamed by the rental of the Cappellone degli Spagnoli, a chapel with 14th-century frescoes in the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, for a dinner for JP Morgan bank for €20,000.

Right-wing candidate Achille Totaro said these amounted to “a sell-off of Florence’s monuments”.

But deputy mayor Dario Nardella, who is also running for election, said: “We are respecting all the rules. If hosting events like private business dinners is good for finding resources for our community and for our cultural heritage, then I think it is right.”

Agence France-Presse, Reuters

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on May 19, 2014. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.