Where to Get Married in Italy?

One of the many advantages of living in an ancient civilization, is the architectural diversity that developed through the centuries. Nowadays, these different landscapes provide incredible backdrops, both for wedding ceremonies and parties. A wedding in Italy offers you endless options of spectacular venues available for brides and grooms to choose from. In order to help you navigate this topic, let’s divide them into 2 broad categories:

1. Private venues

Villa Valier. Photography by Infraordinario – Wedding planner: Irene Recupero

Historical glimpse

Italy didn’t properly exist until the 1860s. Before then, the country was segmented into several small states, each with its ruling family. The Sforza household was in Milan, the Medici in Florence, the Savoia in Turin, and the Borbone in southern Italy. However, the situation was slightly different in Venice and Rome. Having magistrates and popes instead of kings and dukes meant that the most influential families alternated in the lead. This political situation drove a large number of aristocratic families to build their own homes both in and out of town.

Types of private residences

  • Villas

Many residences are still currently owned by the same families and make fantastic wedding venues. They effortlessly combine fabulous locations with great functionality. Most of these are villas, and they are your typical countryside houses that feature 5 to 10 bedrooms. The affluent families built their mansions in the most picturesque corners of their domains, to spend their summer, hunt, or host parties. One such example is Villa di Striano, located in the heart of Florence, and immersed in the splendid landscape of the Apennine mountains.

  • Hamlets

Other venues are located at the center of small villages called hamlets. These hamlets include the homes of the farmers who used to work the surrounding lands, as well as their ranches, cellars, and barns. This layout can accommodate up to 100 guests, which is the entire guest list of most weddings. Borgo Colognola, a precious jewel of medieval architecture, is one such venue and is considered a perfect wedding location in the heart of Umbria.

The best aspect of this kind of venue is the exclusivity that it offers. It also allows the guests to explore the lives and the history of noble families. The downside, however, can be the lack of the services that a more organized venue, such as a hotel, provides. That said, this issue can easily be solved when you find the right vendors who can fill in the blanks.

Of course, private venues are not only villas or hamlets; pretty much in every Italian region you’ll also find castles, farmhouses, palazzos, and monasteries. 

2. Hotels

This category hosts a lot of very different venues. The ones that clients tend to avoid are huge hotels with hundreds of rooms. The reason is simple, it gets more difficult to create a sense of privacy and intimacy in such domains. On the other hand, some of these venues are iconic hotels that dispose of perfect spaces for events. Some examples include Villa Serbelloni on Lake Como, le Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées on lake Maggiore, and Borgo Egnazia in Apulia.

Hotels come in different sizes

The ideal hotel for destination weddings is the 25 to 35-room historic building. This type of hotel usually features large grounds and fabulous views, without being too far away from the nearest town. Its size makes it very easy to rent the whole hotel in its entirety. It combines the intimacy of a private venue and the services that a hotel can supply. Take Hotel Villa Franceschi Relais & Chateaux, which is a beautiful large estate located only 10km away from the iconic city of Venice. This magnificent property provides the option for a couple to rent the entire villa along with its 25 rooms, courtyard, and gardens for their wedding celebration. 

Needless to say, the most suitable venues for a destination wedding in Italy are those that retain a unique characteristic atmosphere, or genius loci. Take Villa Le Piazzole for instance, a historical villa situated on a beautiful hilltop surrounded by gardens and vineyards within close proximity of the busy center of Florence. Locations like Villa Le Piazzole have a very special connection with the territory they sit in. Besides their aesthetic beauty, these venues play an important role in the agricultural development of their area, by producing olive oil and wine. This steady relationship between man and nature creates a wonderful harmony that makes Italy a unique place that everyone loves. As a result, thousands of couples from around the world cross oceans the knot in this magical mediterranean country. 

If you’re looking for a venue for your destination wedding in Italy, WedBoard’s Smart Venue Search allows you to filter your wedding venues by specific type, style, and service offering.

The featured image is of Hotel Villa Franceschi Relais & Chateaux.

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