Paris may claim to be the ‘city of love’, but Italy takes the national award. Romeo called up to Juliet as she stood on a balcony in Verona. Images of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, adorn the nation’s galleries. Rich in history, beauty and tradition, Italy embodies all that is romantic, whilst its gorgeous climate and diverse scenery make getting married in Italy a truly magical experience.
One of Italy’s principal attractions is, undoubtedly, its internationally renowned cuisine: the freshest of ingredients combine with the most skilled of chefs, producing unparalleled culinary delights. Yet much as each region boasts its own speciality dishes, no two areas are the same in climate, landscape or traditions.
With a bewildering array of options on offer, we have picked out some of our favourites. From the stunning vistas of Lake Como to the spectacular glamour of Rome, we believe Italy can be the perfect choice for a breathtaking celebration.
1. The Lakes Region
Conveniently located near Milan in the north of the country, the Italian lake region showcases some of the nation’s best wine and cuisine, yet without the scorching temperatures sometimes found in the south. Traditional churches and restaurants nestle along the shores of the three principle lakes – Como, Garda and Maggiore – providing the picturesque backdrop for an authentic Italian wedding experience.
For those dreaming of the traditional, the opulent Villa d’Este – presiding over the shores of Lake Como – ensures a wedding as glamorous as the lives of its previous occupants, which include royalty and sultans. A more contemporary option on the same lake can be found at Il Sereno: with 30 exquisite suites, guests can enjoy the historical location with all the luxury of state of the art design.
2. The Amalfi Coast
Renowned for its exquisite handmade lace dresses, the charming town of Positano is also one of the few locations in which outdoor ceremonies are legally observed, making it one of the most sought after wedding locations in the whole country. Overlooking the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, picturesque pastel buildings cluster on the cliff, with authentic Mediterranean architecture echoing the region’s famous sunshine.
Along the coast, the historic town of Amalfi offers similarly stunning coastal views: views which the Santa Caterina takes full advantage of. Boasting exquisite traditional cuisine and elegant interiors, feasts on the veranda will be for the eyes as well, with a vista stretching out over the town and water.
Rapidly emerging as a popular destination for the luxury wedding, a celebration in the Puglia region takes advantage of this previously overlooked area of Italy. Featuring hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coast, the region is also home to some of the nation’s most unique historical venues.
As opposed to the opulent villa, couples are increasingly opting to celebrate in one of the area’s many masserias. Originally built as rustic homes for rural workers, these fortified farm houses are quickly becoming a favourite of those seeking to combine tradition with a more relaxed atmosphere.
Despite their simple origins, these masserias are by no means unimpressive: used by the Knights of Malta in the 14th C., Masseria San Domenico’s whitewashed walls gleam in the Mediterranean sun. Now a luxury hotel featuring exceptional accommodation and dining, the Masseria is available for exclusive bookings during the summer months, allowing wedding parties to take full advantage of the breathtaking indoor and outdoor spaces.
4. Italian Cities
No one can plan an Italian wedding without considering the nation’s selection of magical cities. From its atmospheric Colosseum to the mythical Trevi fountain, Rome’s history and accessibility make it a popular choice with couples from the UK. As the capital, you can expect an impressive selection of luxury venues: the Hotel de Russie, right in the heart of the city, is one of our favourites.
For the indecisive, the Tuscan cities of Florence and Siena are a little over an hour apart, and between them showcase the entirety of Italian culture. Siena, with its high walls and narrow streets is often considered the pinnacle of Medieval art and architecture. Florence, on the other hand, is renowned as the birthplace of the Renaissance and home of the Medici family, and henceforth the heart of Early Modern innovations. For a wedding in the latter, you could find little better than the Villa Cora, an aristocratic residence whose previous guests include the wife of Napoleon and Russian composer Tchaikovsky, and whose recently renovated interiors continue its international attraction.
Exempt from the commotion of modern traffic, picturesque Venice is the dream destination for a sophisticated fairytale wedding. From the bustling St Mark’s square to the secluded former Jewish ghetto, each winding passage in this unique city leads to further delights. Whilst we would recommend avoiding the height of summer, when the city is at its hottest and busiest, a large selection of luxury venues can ensure celebrations remain a tranquil and exclusive experience.
Can I legally get married in Italy?
Whilst many couples opt to conduct a formal ceremony in the UK before travelling for celebrations, it is possible for the ceremony itself to take place in one of the nation’s charming churches. By getting in touch with the commune (town hall), you can be advised on the local legal proceedings. Our Legalities pages offers further details on marriages in Italy.
What is the best time of year for getting married in Italy?
Italy’s range of climates means temperatures can differ considerably between months and regions. During July, the north’s hottest month, there are high temperatures of 32-35℃, whilst the south in August can reach 38-42℃, making it important to consider the heat if planning a summer wedding. Many Italians choose to go on holiday during August, meaning September is an incredibly busy month for weddings, especially in the cities. Most wedding venues in the popular coastal areas – such as the Amalfi Coast and Puglia – close over the winter, typically from early November until late March, so we recommend checking with your venue before setting a date.