Top Five Italian Wedding Destinations
The appeal of Italy as a wedding destination stretches far beyond its borders, as couples from all over the world are attracted by its peerless scenery, dining and fine wines, as well as ease of global access via its well-connected network of world class air and sea ports.
Five particular venues have ensured that, as part of the broader appeal of their offering, they offer a magical private setting for the perfect nuptials.
Villa Ciggiano is a case in point. In the heart of the Tuscan countryside and set on a photogenic hilltop in Montaione, it has six suites for residents but also offers a plethora of facilities which make it ideal for hosting a ceremony. There is a beautiful seating area, a heated swimming pool, whirlpool and spa, as well as a private helicopter landing pitch. There is also the offer of the services of a celebrated Tuscan wedding planner, to ensure bespoke perfection, informed by real local inside knowledge.
Another stand-out Tuscan luxury estate rental is The Oak Tree in Maremma. Conveniently accommodating up to 17 guests in a beautiful villa, it has a range of stunning exterior locations too: an olive grove, rose garden and a park, as well as a swimming pool. They are all characterised by a romantic peace and tranquillity. The property boasts a strong emphasis on wellness, and wedding guests and honeymooners alike have access to a sumptuous range of massages and treatments as well as a personal trainer and a yoga instructor.
In a slightly different part of Tuscany, Fighine – Villa Melissa is a stunning traditional house which sleeps eight and boasts a location within the Castello di Fighine estate. The villa itself has an inviting private pool and poolhouse and a hugely competent concierge steeped in local knowledge. For weddings, though, a further unusual attraction is its setting within the estate. In addition to access to other neighbouring villas for guests, Fighine has its own five hundred year old church, restaurants and a theatre. The theatre is a spectacular venue which can seat over 100 people, whilst the historic church offers a more intimate setting.
Perugia hosts a perfect wedding property too. Castello Bonaparte is a historically important and truly grand country house, easily able to accommodate 15 guests in its bedrooms and offering an astonishing setting for a wedding. Four further apartments are also available in the nearby eleventh century tower property. There is an atmospheric medieval courtyard and octagonal tower, set within a lemon grove and overlooking a saltwater pool. Alberto Margheriti’s landscaped gardens provide an almost impossibly picturesque backdrop to wedding photo shoots, and the lovely church on site is fully licensed to perform weddings. Resident deer, hares and birds complete what is a truly fairy tale setting.
The Italian mainland does not hold the monopoly on breath-taking wedding properties. Across the sea in Sicily lies Villa Giardini del Principe, with space for 22 guests to sleep in 11 beguiling bedrooms across the main house and three cottages. The water features outside are truly exceptional, with a waterfall running between a large principal pool and a Jacuzzi, a separate children’s pool, a fishpond and a private boat. With a unique blend of scale and intimacy, the totally private and serene estate can nevertheless accommodate up to 170 guests in the gazebo. Beach access and a botanical garden complete the idyllic setting.
This happiest celebration is also notoriously the hardest to plan. Each of these five marvellous properties simplifies the marriage process by offering a breadth of experience, facilities and staff to ensure a luxurious, unforgettable and perfect event.
By Phileas French, Travel Writer