If you have chosen Bella Italia for your destination wedding, you’ve chosen one of the most beautiful places in the world to “tie the knot.” Whether it’s a Roman terrace with a Coliseum view, a peaceful setting on Lake Como, Florence’s Boboli Gardens, the rolling hills of Tuscany, or the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean from the Amalfi Coast, your destination wedding in Bella Italia is an experience beyond imagination.
If Italy is your destination of choice, selecting an appropriate venue for your ceremony is the first step. From northern Italy to the southern coast, the country offers a variety of breathtaking venues, each one with its own special charm.
As a wedding officiant who has conducted hundreds of personalized ceremonies from the “thigh” to the “toe” of the Italian boot, there are several considerations to keep in mind when making your wedding plans.
In my 14 years living and working in Bella Italia, I have had the unique pleasure to officiate for wedding ceremonies throughout this beautiful country. If you are planning a destination wedding in Italy, the following areas are some of my favorites:
The Amalfi Coast
The landscape is gorgeous, especially when the flowers are in bloom. The climate is temperate, especially in spring, early summer and fall, but even in the heat of summer, sea breezes abound. Villas and hotels that offer wedding services often have gorgeous gardens overlooking a magnificent view of the Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful villages dot the coastline and I have had the pleasure to conduct weddings in many of these charming venues including Vietri sul Mare, Positano, the village of Amalfi, Atrani and Ravello, and Sorrento.
Tuscany is the cradle of the Renaissance and is world-famous for its wine and its variety of delicious food. Venue choices include beautiful walled gardens located in the center of Florence to charming villas and working farms to the ancient walled villages that dot the countryside. Vineyards abound and the delicate leaves of the olive trees shimmer in the golden light that characterizes the Tuscany region.
The Italian Riviera
The Italian Riviera is a long stretch of beautiful Mediterranean coastline, part of which touches the Tuscany border. Weddings abound in Liguria, the region most identified with the Italian Riviera and where the internationally famous towns and villages of Bordighera, Lerici and the Cinque Terre (the “five towns) are located. But the crown jewel, say many wedding couples, is the picturesque fishing village of Portofino that boasts “an enchanting mix of history, pristine beaches, panoramic views, vibrantly colored homes, and mouthwatering regional cuisine,” including the world famous “Pesto Genovese.”
If the Eternal City is your choice, your ceremony will be held in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The cradle of Roman civilization, Rome is romantic and magical. From the beautiful villas dotting the Seven Hills to the charming in-town gardens, there are a myriad of choices to hold your ceremony. From a visit to the Vatican to a tour through Trastevere, the old Jewish quarter, your wedding guests can celebrate your marriage and combine it with a visit to Rome, with all the cultural opportunities that the city has to offer.
Couples I’ve married in Venice say that it is the most romantic city in the world. Brides who choose the “floating city” can arrive to their ceremony by gondola while the 117 canals and 400 bridges create opportunities for fabulous photos and videos. Because automobile traffic is prohibited in Venice, the city is calm, quiet and intensely personal. Distinctive piazzas, ancient structures adorned in gold that offer ancient mosaics and frescos inside contribute to an atmosphere that is both intimate and culturally stimulating. Venice’s botanical garden is a venue of choice as are the beautiful gardens of the hotels that dot the island landscape.
Beautiful Lake Como is located in Northern Italy about a two-hour drive from the center of Milan and about a 1.5 hour drive from Malpensa, Milan’s international airport. Lake Como has been a venue of choice not only for George Clooney and Gianni Versace but has been beloved by celebrities since Roman times. Charming villages dot the beaches surrounding the lake, while the island of Bellagio offers an exclusive wedding venue where the bride can arrive by water craft. Gorgeous hotels offer complete wedding packages. With castles to visit and hiking and biking paths to delight your wedding guests, Lake Como offers a charming and distinctive wedding experience.
The islands: Sicily, Ischia, Capri, and Sardinia
For couples with an adventurous spirit who enjoy more remote or undiscovered venues, the islands off Italy’s Mediterranean coast offer a unique opportunity for a wedding ceremony. The beaches or the hills of Taormina (Sicily), the castles on Ischia, the nuraghi (ancient cone-like fortifications) that dot the shoreline of Sardinia, or the terraces that jut out above the sea on the island of Capri offer romantic settings like none other.