Have you been dreaming of getting married in Italy and just don’t know where to start? Let us begin with the most exquisite wedding venues in Italy to get you on your way to making that dream wedding come true. Whether you are thinking a 16th century formal garden, a villa with perfectly appointed luxurious rooms with frescoed vaulted ceilings, a little chapel and a Tuscan villa set among the rolling hills and vineyards, breathtaking views from a seaside castle, or a private estate on placid Lake Como, here we guide you to some of the most legendary locales and hidden gems to make your big day truly special in authentic Italian style.
If you are looking for the ultimate old-world luxury experience in the Lakes region for your Italian wedding, you should consider the stunning Villa d’Este of Lago di Como, surrounded by a 25-acre park and about one hour from Milan. The estate was built as a summer home for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio in 1568 and has since hosted the English Queen, important aristocrats and powerbrokers, and of course has served as the location of many gala weddings over the centuries. Also, if you would like to have an outdoor wedding in a formal 16th century garden filled with oleander, gardenia, wisteria, and a mosaic covered nymphaeum, this is the wedding venue for you.
Villa Balbianello, an 18th century villa with exquisite terraced gardens, is part of the National Trust of Italy. It was built in 1787 on the southern edge of Lake Como. Highlights are a pretty chapel with two bell towers overlooking the lake and directly accessible from the harbor, beautifully decorated rooms with Beauvais tapestries and Ming dynasty porcelain, stone stairways and lovely views from any direction. Because it is part of the Italian National Trust and not privately owned, we recommend working with a wedding planner or agency to book a wedding event, though you can contact the property manager.
An intimate affair overlooking Lake Como. ©WeddingBox Lake Como .
Via Comoedia, 5
Watery Venice is unlike any city in the world, and an ideal place for romance in true Italian style. We think one of the best places to host wedding festivities is Hotel Cipriani with 79 guest rooms, a ballroom, three high-ceilinged granaries, as well as the Fortuny Restaurant with two expansive flower-filled terraces overlooking the lagoon and the Cips Club looking onto St Marks Square. The hotel also has an in-house events planning team and offers a special "ultimate take over" package where you can have the whole place to yourself.
The Sala Rossa or Red Hall of the Florentine 14th century medieval palace called Palazzo Vecchio is part of one of the more stunning town halls you will ever see. It is the perfect place - and quite a dramatic setting - for a quick civil (not religious) wedding, with its floor to ceiling crimson red drapes, walls and ancient furnishings. Ceremonies take place only on Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday mornings and last less than a half hour. There are also some opportunities to book Saturday afternoon events throughout the year.
The Sala Rossa at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence for civil unions. © Comune di Firenze.Piazza della Signoria, 1
If you think grandiose Renaissance style when you are dreaming about your perfect Italian wedding venue, then The Four Seasons Hotel in Florence can be your playground with its two ballrooms (one formerly a convent church), grand halls, exclusive suites with vaulted ceilings showing frescos and stuccos, outdoor terraces, and expansive private gardens. We recommend the Royal Suite della Gherardesca for the bride and groom.
If your idea of a dream wedding is more about rustic country life and wine (and you don’t have the budget of a Queen), you might like Terre di Nano, a refined country villa or what Italians call a “farmhouse” set in the hills of Tuscany and surrounded by acres of vineyards and olive groves. Terre di Nano produces their own excellent wine and has lovely views of the countryside and nearby hamlets including Montichiello. It can host up to 30 people for overnight stays. If you book far enough in advance you can rent the entire villa and grounds for an intimate wedding party.Località Nano
Rome is full of incredible churches and gardens dating back to the earliest Christian times. If you are Catholic, then see if you can secure a spot in a smaller Roman church. Try the lovely mosaic-laden Santa Maria in Trastevere if you want a traditional ceremony, but be sure to plan well ahead as there is a great deal of demand for a ceremony in this ancient church built in the year 340.
If you are more a castle kind of girl, one of the best places to get married near Rome is Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano, a castle constructed in 1470 with a museum and church onsite, the Duomo di Santo Stefano, which can seat about 150 guests. The great thing about this venue is that there is a secret underground passageway running from the castle to the church, which the bride can pass through after being prepared in the Sala Vittoria of the castle’s quarters; this makes for a truly grand appearance!
Imagine running through the secret passageway of Castello Odescalchi to meet your groom! © Castello Odescalchi - Livio IV Srl.Piazza Mazzini, 13
Ischia and Capri are islands off the coast of Sorrento and ideal locations for summer weddings if you love picturesque seaside settings with dramatic coastlines. Imagine a light Mediterranean breeze wafting through your veil at Ischia’s Hotel Mezzatorre. In addition to stunning views, this hotel has one of the country’s most respected spas onsite - just in case you want to indulge in some extra pampering to prepare for your big day. They also can arrange helicopter service direct from the airport.
If you want modern elegance in the style of a 1700s Neapolitan palace replete with its own White Museum housing contemporary art, an internationally recognized restaurant, and suites which have their own private pools inside the rooms, try the Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, which has won various awards from Conde Nast. The hotel is situated next to a laboratory of artisans who make objects in linen, cashmere, and leather for the Hotel’s own line of handmade goods using traditional island methods.
In Italy there is a famous expression about Naples, "see it and die there", meaning once you go to Naples and experience the beauty of it you will never want to leave again. It is indeed one of the most distinctive cities in all of Italy, and one of the best places to host a wedding event is at the exquisite Palace of Capodimonte, set on a hill on the edge of the city and not far from Naples Bay. Originally the location was the hunting grounds of King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily. The King wanted to construct a hunting lodge there, but in the end he decided he needed something more lavish and the Palace was constructed in the early 1700s. It is now the site of the National Museum housing works by great masters including Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, and Bellini, as well as the Farnese collection of sculptures. It is not possible to rent the entire palace (nor could you ever fill it no matter how many guests you might have), but some divine rooms are available for events.
If you want opulence first and foremost for the setting of your Italian wedding celebration, we also recommend the Reggia di Caserta, modeled on the Palace of Versailles and not far from Naples. This stunning location was formerly the residence of Bourbon King Ferdinand IV and his Queen Maria Carolina, the sister of Marie Antionette. In all of Europe, it was the largest palace of the 18th century and is surrounded by 296 acres of spectacular gardens, elaborate fountains and even waterfalls. In addition to it being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace and grounds have been the setting for scenes of Star Wars, Mission Impossible III, and Angels & Demons. Needless to say, this is not an easy wedding venue to access (Naomi Campbell wanted to get married here). Officially, weddings are not permitted inside the palace - wedding photos and small wedding parties are allowed only in the outdoor areas of the estate - but it has been reported that some very exclusive weddings have taken place behind the palace doors.
If you want a luxurious wedding in the heart of paradise, then look no further than the Palazzo Borgia del Casale in Syracuse, Sicily. Any bride who wants to feel like a princess will feel right at home among the sumptuous Rococo interiors of this palazzo built in 1760.Piazza Duomo, 6
If you want a religious ceremony in Sicily it will be a very difficult job to chose from all the beautiful churches, but perhaps one of the most glorious is the Duomo di Monreale, a 12th century monument of Norman Sicily just outside of Palermo. Second in the world only to the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, the exquisite and well-preserved golden mosaic-interiors of the Duomo cover an expanse of nearly 70,000 square feet. The intricately carved Romanesque capitals and columns in the adjoining Cloister are also breathtaking.