A well known Largs couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in style - by returning to the Italian town where they were married 50 years ago.

Roberto and Grazia Nardini tied the knot in Barga in 1973 and the special occasion gained front page coverage in the Largs and Millport Weekly News.

Roberto was one of the directors of the world famous Nardini's Cafe for many years, and Grazia also had a valued role in the operation.

Grazia was behind many of its best loved features, including the annual Christmas display.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Roberto and Grazia were joined by members of both families for the golden wedding celebration in the historic Italian town - from where many people emigrated to Scotland from the late 19th century onwards, earning Barga the nickname of "the most Scottish town in Italy".

It was love at first sight when Grazia, 16, and 17-year-old Roberto first met in the Tuscany region - and love blossomed.

Roberto was returning to his family home of Barga when he met Grazia, who was living in the area at the time. 

Grazia's father was the director of a bank, and the family moved around different regions of Italy while he trained staff in branches around the country, before settling in Barga for the final years of his career.

Roberto is the twin son of Sandrino Nardini, one of the original founders of the Nardini's enterprise in Largs when it opened in 1935.

They were married at Sacro Cuore Church in Barga on October 14, 1973 with 130 guests - many of whom had made the journey to Italy from Largs - with the reception taking place at Il Ciocco Hotel.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

"We had a lovely wedding reception," Roberto recalled, "with many friends coming over from Largs for the special occasion, including Jimmy Wham - and we even received the first ever bottle of the famous Wham's Dram as a wedding present."

The best man at the wedding was Roberto's twin brother Riccardo, and others who visited for the wedding included Largs businessman James Ramage, Thomas Hill of the A1 Buses co-operative, and Jim Fleming - who was the Largs Golf Club captain at the time - and wife Netta, who had two ladies fashion shops in the town.

The couple began their honeymoon with a holiday in Spain before taking a cruise from Bilbao to Southampton and driving home to Scotland.

They went on to have two children, Claudio and Sara, who now run Nardini at the Moorings and Buena Onda respectively, and they now have one grandchild, Koa. 

Roberto and Grazia also became directors of Nardini's at the Moorings, which has been running at Largs Pierhead for 20 years.

And in true 'This is Your Life' style, Sara, Jordi and Koa all flew to Italy for the celebrations, springing a surprise on Roberto and Grazia at Prestwick Airport before the flight.

Grazia said: "I was very lucky when I moved to Largs because Lauretta, my sister-in-law, was staying with us. She was already there for a year, and she kept me company and encouraged me and we helped each other; it was lovely.

"The 50 years have really flown by and every time we come back to Barga it brings back such lovely memories."

The couple lived in Lanzarote for a number of years before returning to Largs.

Daughter Sara ran Robinson's Bar in Lanzarote, but followed in her parents' footsteps by returning to Largs last year with Jordi to launch Buena Onda - which translates into English as 'Good Vibes', and there's no shortage of those in the family's tale.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Newspaper cutting from 1973 from Wee Paper from wedding reception Newspaper cutting from 1973 from Wee Paper from wedding reception (Image: Newsquest)

Asked for the secret of a long and successful marriage, Grazia said: "We care for each other and having a good friendship. We have worked together too, I am a strong character, and Roberto is very easy going, and we complement each other well.

"It seems just like yesterday when we got married. It has passed by in the blink of an eye."

Roberto said: "It is so fast - when we retired around ten years ago, it feels like life is going twice as fast. Things that happened two years ago feels like they happened five days ago."

Roberto's sister Maria Pia was responsible for the original Christmas display at Nardini's restaurant before Grazia took over the reins, also working closely with the late Fabby Nardini.

Their Italian heritage meant they were able to bring many unique products to Largs from Tuscany, from chocolate delicacies to advent calendar gifts, which were unavailable elsewhere in the UK in the 1970s and 80s - and made the Christmas display eagerly anticipated every year.

Roberto said: "The day Nardini's Cafe opened in 1935 was the day my grandfather Pietro retired.

"He went back to Barga, and bought townhouses, and donated a lot of money to Barga, and was very generous.

"He also helped set the ball rolling for Nardini's in Scotland when he opened a fish and chip shop in Paisley.

"My father Sandrino joined my uncles Augusto and Nardino in opening Nardini's restaurant in 1935, and the rest is, as they say, history.

"It was lovely to head back across to Barga on the occasion of our golden wedding anniversary, and the ties between Largs and Barga remain forever strong."